Hagia Sophia Church in Warsaw Consecrated
OCP News Service – 15/05/2023
Warsaw-Poland: Hagia Sophia Cathedral in Warsaw was consecrated by His Beatitude Sawa – Archbishop of Warsaw and Metropolitan of All Poland on 14th May 2023. This is the first construction of an Orthodox church in Warsaw over a hundred years, which is a copy of the world-famous Byzantine miracle of art from the 6th century – Hagia Sophia of Constantinople. The church was constructed as a monument and tribute to the victims of deportation, camps, Operation Vistula, the demolition of Orthodox churches in the Chełm region and Podlasie, the September campaign, the Warsaw Uprising, as well as children from the Orthodox orphanage in Warsaw’s Wola District murdered in 1944. The laying of the foundation stone was done by His Holiness Bartholomew, Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople on 05th December 2015.
The consecration service was led by His Beatitude Sawa and presided over by all members of the Council of Bishops and a large number of clergy from all dioceses of the Church. In his welcome speech, His Beatitude said ‘Let us rejoice and be grateful to God for this day. It recalls the noble intention of building the House of God, when, encouraged by the words of the prophet Solomon “I intend to build a temple in the name of the Lord my God” (1 Kings 5:19). On October 24, 2015, we began to consecrate a place located in the Ursynów fields, at the entrance to Warsaw, intended for the construction of the temple St. Sofia – Divine Wisdom. Then, on December 5, 2015, His Holiness Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople consecrated the cornerstone, and on May 19, 2018, we placed St. The cross on the main dome of the church being erected, asking God to “heed the prayer of his servants, listen to the cries and prayers brought before him, so that his eyes would look at this temple night and day” ( 1 Kings 8:28-29). It is through the help of God and the zeal of our faith that today we can enjoy spiritual and material achievements by the consecration of this church and regularly celebrate the liturgy, which sanctifies us and the world around us, unites us with God and with other people.’ His Beatitude reminded the faithful that the doors of this church are open to everyone who crosses its threshold with faith, hope, and love, seeking God’s support and consolation in the everyday carrying of life’s cross. A large number of Orthodox faithful from the capital city and pilgrims from all over Poland took part in the consecration service. After His Eminence’s speech, the ceremony of consecration of the church began. The relics of the Holy Innocents of Bethlehem and the Child-Martyr Gabriel of Białystok were installed in the church.
The homily after the reading of the Holy Gospel was done by Archbishop Jerzy of Wrocławsko and Szczecińska in which he mentioned the importance of the day as a great triumph over the sufferings faced by the Orthodox Church in Poland and thanked His Beatitude Sawa for his exceptional role in the construction of Hagia Sophia church. After the service, a congratulatory letter from the President of the Republic of Poland His Excellency Andrzej Sebastian Duda was read in the church. The representatives of the government and different churches took part in the service. As per the decision of the Holy Synod of the Polish Orthodox Church, the consecration of the cathedral marks the inauguration of the 100th-anniversary celebrations of the autocephaly of the Polish Church. The consecration day also marks the 25th anniversary of His Beatitude Metropolitan Sawa assuming the throne of metropolitan Warsaw and all of Poland.
In the end, His Beatitude Metropolitan Sawa thanked God for the day, and words of gratitude were expressed to all those who contributed to the creation of Hagia Sophia in the capital in all ways.
Steady Progress in the Construction of the New Hagia Sophia Church in Warsaw
Update on the Progress of the Construction of the New Hagia Sophia Church in Warsaw
OCP News Service