Greece’s Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis didn’t attend celebrations of the Dormition of the Virgin Mary on the island of Tinos this year, as is customary.
Instead, he and his family traveled to their ancestral island of Crete, where he attended services at the Holy Trinity Monastery in Akrotiri, outside Hania.
Facing numerous national crises simultaneously, including a belligerent and expansionist neighbor, as well as an increase in COVID-19 infections across Greece, Mitsotakis sought to calm a nervous nation.
“This year’s August 15th celebrations find us separated physically— but more united than ever,” the prime minister said after attending church services with his family.
Encouraging safe practices, Mitsotakis reminded his fellow citizens that “we wear masks, we don’t congregate in large groups, we follow the directives of the government doctors. We celebrate the Virgin Mary protecting our own life, as well as the health of those around us.”
Mitsotakis also addressed the increase in tensions with neighboring Turkey, which has sent ships into Greek territorial waters.
“While we celebrate the falling asleep of the Virgin Mary, our nation’s armed forces protect our national sovereignty,” he said.
He also referenced Greece’s civil protection forces, fire brigades and police forces which continue to protect the citizenry, saying that Greeks “owe them our gratitude.”
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