We share with you experience from one of these long days on the streets of the Old Havana when unexpectedly we found ourselves in front of the new Greek Orthodox church.
There are certainly many, mostly catholic churches in Havana – by large remembering old colonial times.
But on this page I wanted to focus on the “new addition” to the old history of Christianity on the island – Greek Orthodox Church.
The following pictures show the Cathedral of St. Nicolas.
The church was consecrated by Patriarch Bartholomew on January 25, 2004 after receiving the keys in an official ceremony from Fidel Castro.
Although in recent years many churches in Cuba were re-opened for services, this one was the first new church build in the country in 43 years. And even more surprisingly – at the initiative of the Cuban government, the most prominent location in the port side of the Old Havana (a UNESCO World Heritage) was selected for the church.
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St. Nicolas Cathedral.
Almost instantly the St. Nicolas church became a “home” for all orthodox Christians in Cuba. Interestingly, most of the estimated 2000 Orthodox Christians living in Cuba are Russians; only fewer than 50 are of Greek’s nationality.
Inscription memorizing the foundation of the church:
This cathedral is a gift from the people of Cuba to the Greek Orthodox Church and to Ecumenical Patriarchate Bartholomew.
Fidel Castro, November 2003.
Monument to Mother Teresa commemorating Her two visits to Cuba
The narrow path from the Greek Orthodox Cathedral leads to an old monastery complex where we found the stunningly beautiful monument to Mother Teresa. It so truly reflects her appearance of a tiny and humble person shining with seemingly unlimited energy, love and patience.
And as during her life – you cannot just pass-by without noticing Her presence – sitting on a bench she still commands attention of everyone.....
We silently sat close to her on the bench. Suddenly the noise from the busy streets disappeared, our fatigue was gone freeing our minds for deep personal reflections…..
And even now, after few long years since that moment I have still so remarkably vivid memory of these few long minutes - sitting next to Mother Teresa…..I do not remember exactly my thoughts from that time, but know what I felt going through my own life and asking myself what I offered to all those needy, we meet on a daily basis around us……
That reminds me a wonderful and so true statement I will remember to the end of my life, that I would like to quote on these pages:
Life is not lost by dying,
life is lost minute by minute, day by dragging day,
in all the small uncaring ways
Stephen Vincent Benet
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Left: Madonna - pictures from the Cathedral of San Cristobal in Havana
Right: Old Monastery complex next to the St. Nicolas Greek Orthodox Church and the path to the monument of Mother Teresa.
If you just started this site then:
To continue the tour of Havana, feel the atmosphere on the streets, visit restaurants, rum factory etc...click:
Havana City Pictures-1
Havana City Restaurants
Old Cars on Havana streets
If you want to follow Hemingway's footsteps in Havana then click:
Hemingway in Havana
If you enjoyed this visit, then please share your experience with friends :-)
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St. Nicolas Greek Orthodox Church in Havana (Cuba)
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