Oxi Day celebrated in Damascus, Syria (PHOTOS)

Oxi Day Damascus Syrian Greek Greece flags

Under the high auspices of His Beatitude Patriarch John X, the Divine Liturgy was held in the Maryamiyah Cathedral in Damascus, on the occasion of the October 28 National Day of Greece, Oxi Day, which was presided over by Bishop Youhanna (Batach).

The Divine Liturgy was attended by the Chargé d'Affairs of the Greek Embassy in Syria, Mr. Nicholas Protonotarios, the Head of the Consular Office at the Greek Embassy, ​​Anna Kramarido, and the Embassy's staff.

The President of the Greek community in Damascus, Mr. Habib Saloumi, and a group of members and friends of the community attended.

At the end of the liturgy, Bishop Youhanna (Batach) congratulated the Greek ambassador and all those present on the occasion in the name of His Beatitude Patriarch John X, conveying to them his blessing and his fatherly prayers, and wishing the Greek state all prosperity and blessings.

Photos uploaded by the Antioch Patriarchate Facebook page.

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OXI Day on October 28, 1940, commemorates the anniversary when former military general and Prime Minister of Greece, Ioannis Metaxas said: “OXI” (NO) to an ultimatum made by Italian Prime Minister Benito Mussolini, an ally of Nazi leader Adolf Hitler.

It is said that at 3 am on October 28, 1940, an ultimatum was handed to Ioannis Metaxas at his home in Kifissia by the Italian Ambassador of Athens, Emanuele Grazzi.

The ultimatum required the free passage of the Italian army through the Greek-Albanian border and thus began the occupation of some strategic areas of Greece.

After reading the letter, Metaxas turned to the Italian Ambassador and replied in French (which was the official diplomatic language at the time) with the historic phrase: ‘Alors, c’est la guerre’ (Well, this means war), taking his stance against Italian demands.

At the time, Metaxas expressed Greek popular sentiment, which was the denial of allegiance. This refusal was passed through to the Greek press with the word ‘Oxi’ (No).

The word ‘Oxi’ was first presented as a title in the main article of the newspaper ‘Greek Future’ of N. P. Efstratios on October 30, 1940. Locals all over Athens ran through the streets yelling “OXI”!

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