The priest at a Greek Orthodox church in Adelaide gutted in a devastating fire has said the recovery of undamaged holy relics from the blaze is “an ongoing miracle”.
Father Peter Fotakis of St Panteleimon Greek Orthodox Church at Glenelg North told local reporters of his joy at finding the partial remains of the church’s namesake, safe and sound.
For, despite being in the blaze which destroyed the entire inside of the building, the delicate gold-plated box containing the saint’s bones behind only a thin sheet of glass was totally untouched by fire, smoke or ash.
One parishioner speaking to local channel 7 News, said: “Clearly there’s been some heavenly intervention there.”
The community is rallying round after the fire swept through the church days before Orthodox Easter.
St Panteleimon’s caught fire on Tuesday afternoon. Despite the best efforts of fire crews, the building was extensively damaged. The cause of the fire remains unknown for now.
Parishioners were left distraught, with the blaze coming on Holy Week, meaning the church will be unable to open for traditional services.
However, a Catholic church in Glenelg has offered space to the Orthodox community to use their premises for Easter celebrations.