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Lest we forget

9 September 2011

There are numerous articles about the upcoming anniversary of the crashing of aircraft into the World Trade Center in New York, but spare a thought for the other anniversary. It will also be the seventh  anniversary of the death of four Orthodox bishops of Africa, as well as several other people, in a helicopter crash on 11 September 2004.

Among those who died were the Pope and Patriarch of Alexandria and all Africa Petros VII, Metropolitan Chrysostomos of Carthage, Metropolitan Ireneus of Pelusim and Bishop Nectarios of Madagascar. Seventeen people were killed altogether, but it is very difficult to find the names of the others.

For us in South Africa the news of the crash came just as we had finished the funeral of one of our own priests, Fr Simon Thamaga, who had died a few days earlier.

In happier times: Pope Petros visited our church of St Nicholas of Japan on 8 November 1997. It was the 10th anniversary of our reception into the Orthodox Church, and our Slava

One of the sad things is that though it is possible to find a brief biography of Patriarch Petros, and stories of Bishop Nectarios on the web, virtually nothing is available to tell of the life and ministry of Metropolitan Chrtysostomos of Carthage, and Metropolitan Ireneus of Pelusim, and even the names of the others are forgotten. The story of Bishop Nectarius’s mission work is told here, and there is also a page on Wikipedia about him.

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  1. The Narrow Path

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