Panagia Soumela Monastery will Not be Open for Dormition of Virgin Mary Liturgy

Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew at the Dormition of Virgin Mary liturgy (File photo)

The emblematic Panagia Soumela Monastery in Trabzon, Turkey will not be open for the Dormition of Virgin Mary liturgy on August 15 since restoration works are not completed yet, according to a Skai television report.

The monastery, which is the most sacred place for Pontian Greeks because of the miraculous holy icon of Virgin Mary, is also a major tourist attraction, receiving hundreds of thousands of visitors each year.

The site was closed down in September 2015 because it was in dire need of restoration. Works were to be completed in May this year, with a scheduled opening on May 25.

However, works are not completed yet and the yearly liturgy of the Dormition of Virgin Mary on August 15 will not be held there. Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew was to conduct the liturgy, as he did every year when Panagia Soumela was open.