Restoration of Holy Skull


Immediately after the inauguration of the parish church, it was considered necessary to make efforts with the cooperation of our former Venerable Metropolitan and the then Mayor of Patras, Mr. Evangelos Floratos, to return the chariot of the Saint to the Church so that the City of Patras can once again regain its special ties which it had had from long ago with Agia Irene.
Faced with this new perspective, our former Reverend Metropolitan and the former Mayor of Patras, Mr. Evangelos Floratos, through the Vatican embassy, ​​which is based in Paleo Psychiko in Athens, contacted the Vatican Church and the efforts that began in 2001, after one year and specifically in May 2002, they had the result of bearing fruit and thus having an official meeting at the Vatican Embassy with the Vatican Ambassador, Archbishop Paul Tavet of Sina, in which representatives of the former Venerable Metropolitan of Patras Mr. Nikodimos participated, the former Mayor of Patras Mr. Evangelos Floratos and the Vicar of the Holy Church.
In this meeting and after explanations from both sides, the Vatican Ambassador expressed the positive opinion of the Pope of Rome John Paul II that the negotiations, which were to a certain extent unofficial in terms of correspondence , proceeded officially, so that even after the unanimous consent of the Archbishop of Chambery Laurent Ulrich, to whose spiritual jurisdiction the Hautecombe Monastery is subject, to the Abbot of the Hautecombe Monastery Olivier Turbat and also to the General Abbot of the Order, to which monastic order the fathers of the Laurent Fabre Monastery belong, that approval be given to return the cranium of Saint Irene in the City of Patras and indeed in the Church of Saint Irene
This approval was finally granted, the official correspondence was completed and after the procedures for the return of the Holy Relic were regulated, October 5, 2002 was set as the day for the return of the Holy Skull of Saint Irene.
Therefore, in front of this event of great importance and importance for the church and the City of Patras, and not only, there was an official meeting of representatives of the Ecclesiastical, Municipal, Military and Police Authorities, where the details of the reception of the honorable Skull were discussed
Undoubtedly, such an event related to the return of the Holy Relic to the city and to the Church of Patras after 771 years, moved and delighted the Patras community which eagerly and with due respect awaited the blessed day of Saturday, October 5 to welcome the Chariot of Saint Irene which would henceforth remain in the place it belongs to, since it fled during difficult historical moments for Byzantium.
Such a reception, which the Greek people had to carry out, could not be other than the reception given and the honor given to heads of state.
Indeed, on the afternoon of October 5, 2002, with the bells ringing along the route, the holy relic crossed the city of Patras, accompanied by a group of police cars and a procession of cars. An official reception takes place in the "Synora" area of ​​Ano Polios with an official eulogy, as well as speeches by the former Metropolitan of Patras, the former Mayor and the Catholic bishop of Chambery to whose spiritual jurisdiction belongs the HAUTECOMBE monastery where the holy relic was kept until then and he was the head of a five-member accompanying committee of Latinos.
The last act of reception takes place in the area of ​​Riganocampos where the Holy Relic is lit up along the boundaries of the parish and handed over from the hands of the Latins now permanently to the hands of the vicar of the holy church of Agia Irini. Holy shudder, unbridled emotion and excitement possess the souls of all residents, and not only. All the official representatives of the authorities, the multitude of the clergy, the thousands of believers present, as well as the military orders and schools that accompanied the procession, softly chant the apolytypic of the Holy Glorious Great Martyr Irene.For the next forty days, daily liturgies and supplications will lead thousands of believers to the threshold of the holy temple and before the holy relic to pray.
Already this small church in a suburban parish has become known for the great blessing it bears, and this blessing is the stimulus and consolation for the continuation of its works, first of all the completion of its iconography.
In April 2004, the Holy Relic traveled to the Martyrdom of Megalonisos in Cyprus and went on a ten-day popular pilgrimage to the Church of Saint Irene Pervolion in Larnaca. There, the coincidence of the presence of Holy Cranium with the holding of such an important referendum for the Cypriot brothers on the Annan plan, stimulated and relieved the anxiety of the faithful people. At the same time, an unbreakable Spiritual link was created with the vicar there and the residents of the area, some of whom have taken care to visit our city and the Church of Riganokampos.
On the occasion of similar invitations, the Holy Relic was placed on a popular pilgrimage to the Holy Church of Galatsi in Saint Irene in April 2012, to the Holy Church of Saint Irene in Aiolos in January 2017, in the presence of the Archbishop of Athens, His Excellency. Jerome and in the Holy Church of Agios Dimitrios Hydra in October 2017 during the festival.
The Apostolic city of Patras, after the return of the Holy Chariot of the patron saint of Saint Andrew and the Cross of the Martyrdom of the protoclete of the Apostles, has been honored for years now with the holy chariot of the glorious great martyr Irene. The residents of the district of Riganokampos saw the dream of so many years come true after a great and historic effort. And all together they wish through the embassies of the Saint, whom they call on every day, that the Divine Peace that is so necessary in our modern life prevails throughout the world.

(The following is a short video tribute from 2014 to the re-collection Holy Skull of Saint Irene)