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A bright light has gone dim with the falling asleep of Fr. Efstratios Dimou, known as Papa Steatis. He was only 57 years old. He has been caring for refugees coming from Syria as they make their way to shelters, through an organization he established, the NGO (non-government organization) Angalia (Embrace). On an island already burdened with citizens suffering from the country’s economic crisis, the extra toll of the hundreds of refugees a day has opened the door to great criticism from citizens, who feel their resources are already taxed to the brink of collapse. Papa Stratis only saw the image of God in people, never asking first if they were Christians: “What I see are people. People in need. I cannot turn them away, nor can I kick them, nor imprison them.”
May we have his prayers, and the courage to follow his example.
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