<< OMNIA AD MAJOREM DEI GLORIAM>>
Everything for Lord’s Greatest Glory
This used to be the motto of a small group of Myrrh-bearing women, who got the route of a deliberate migration towards Germany, even though their family life was comfort and secure. They were in the middle of an ice-cold winter, on 13th December, 1963. While the northern wind was howling, the waves, as if they were mountains, were covering the ship named “KOLOKOTRONIS”. It was wheezing in the open sea, while the migrating for Christ’s love sisters were singing joyfully: “The ships have started their voyage and we are in them”. Why? What was their target? What was their goal?
At this specific period, Germany was under re-construction after the stormy Second World War. The country offered a hard, but also well-paid, job to everyone, (not only to European citizens) who wanted to work and make money out of his or her work. But these Christ’s sisters had a vision in their life. They dreamed to do something great. Inspired by their love for Jesus Christ, who they loved with all the zeal of their heart, they dreamed to offer a charity work for their suffering fellow beings. What kind of charity should they offer? They didn’t even know. It was too early for them to know. The Lord would show the way and He would direct their life at the proper time. At the moment, they had to find a place to stay, a place that would soon become a holy life place and at the same time a base for charity deeds. Their eyes sparkled by the idea of going to Germany. “That will be the solution,” they thought. Everything for Lord’s Greatest Glory
With their spiritual father’s blessings, they made the sign of the cross and they began their journey. Jesus Christ, their Beloved, who they started this great life adventure for, would surely accompany them.
And He did. He was always with them, blessing and giving them peace and joy. They still remember and talk about those years in Gemany in a nostalgic way
Being abroad, these devoted to God sister’s had a divine inspiration, an inside impulse. They wanted to give a name to their small spiritual family, a name which all the people would get to know them with henceforth. They wanted to find a name that would be proper to their life. It would be a name that would express their visions and their high ideals, suitable to their life and their migration. Leafing through the books about Saints, it was a name that attracted their attention. How strange it was! Could a holy soul have lived in the same way as they did?
The name <<SAINT XENI>>.This book mentioned that saint Efsevia changed her name after she had migrated deliberately, because it expressed exactly her dreams and life.
She was a stranger for many reasons. These women were also strangers for almost the same reasons.
So, up there in the distant Germany, “SAINT XENI” , Sisterhood was established by these devoted women who had migrated deliberately for our Lord’s love and for their vision to offer good deeds to the other people.
“SAINT XENI” Sisterhood was established according to the law under the rule 1216/66 of the Court of First Instance, Thessaloniki and it is located in the village of Playari Thessaloniki. The Sisterhood was blessed by God and its Patron Saint richly. New members were added to the first ones who had founded it. Under the wise and sleepless spiritual guidance of Archimandrite f. Gervasios J. Raptopoulos, who has been her spiritual father, the Sisterhood has developed a very important charitable, missionary and social work. So, the Sisterhood performs its active presence of Christian love and altruistic offer to the suffering fellow beings, to those who are the image and the presence of God in the world, asAbbot Apollo had said: “Have you seen your brother? Then, you have seen your God, your Lord.”
The Sisterhood’s main activities are:
1. Diaconyfor the Poor Prisoners’ Release”, which has released about 14.000 poor prisoners since 1978, using the offers of known and unknown Greeks. Those prisoners were kept in prisons not only of Greece but also abroad. The Sisterhood pays both the prisoners’ bill of costs and their small debts. It is noticeable that the releases are being continued nowadays and they are daily.
2. Our summer camps. The Sisterhood has been functioning summer camps of all the grades and for both sexes,. As the Sisterhood did not have its own premises, the camps were accommodated in various places being guests, having offered a lot of both spiritual and material help to a big number of young people. Since 2008, the Sisterhood has had its own camping site in an area of about 30 acres in Elani, Halkidiki, which is an expatriate couple’s grant. The construction has not finished yet. The work is still on….
3. The operation of the Spiritual Centre “GALILEA”in the premises of our Sisterhood, where religious speeches are made every Sunday 7-8 p.m. from November to May.
4. The publication of our Orthodox quarterly magazine “Christian Pulses”. Spiritual messages are sent to its readers through its contents.
5. The publication of books about national and religious issues.
6. The operation of Sunday schools in many churches of the Holy Dioceses of Kassandria, Neapolis-Stavroupolis, and also the operation of The Ladies’ Meetings for the study of Gospels in various parishes.
7. The financial support in various Units of Missions abroad and in other Orthodox Patriarchates.
8. Last but not least, the daily charity to all our suffering fellow beings without discrimination.
<<SAINT XENI >>