It is with great joy and excitement that we welcome You to the new Asia Minor Civilisation Museum which has been established by the Board of Directors of the Holy Shrine of Saint John the Russian, funded mainly by NSRF, with the financial support of the Holy Shrine, and is permanently hosted in the thoroughly refurbished and appropriately converted building hitherto used as a pilgrims’ guest house.
Here are displayed everyday’s life relics and artefacts, which, through indescribable difficulties and extreme dangers, were brought to our land by the unjustifiably persecuted residents of Prokopi, Cappadocia in Asia Minor, after the Asia Minor Genocide against the Greeks and the signing of the Treaty of Lausanne.
Great awe overwhelms the observing and thinking visitors and pilgrims who realize that, the once wealthy refugees from Prokopi, decided to take in their very limited allowed luggage on this mandatory journey with no certain destination the relics of Saint John, gospels, chalices and icons, the testimonies of life and faith and they left many other valuable belongings behind, in their unforgettable homeland, from which they were so savagely uprooted..
Here, therefore, my dear and welcomed visitor, you are not simply seeing salvaged artefacts and fragments of a remarkable civilization which among other things, echo crucial historical events.
Here, you stand in front of a testimony of the soul. In order to understand it, knowledge or historical research or the study of archaeology and art is clearly not enough. Here, in this place, which is an extension of the House of God, the church of Saint John, a different approach is required and taught.
Enter with the utmost respect and fear of God. Stand respectfully. The holy Grace, which abundantly pours out to the heart, will guide You. It will initiate You. It will reveal to You mysteries and secrets previously unseen and unheard of.The greatness of Faith. The true beauty of life.
I entrust and leave You to that grace.
With all my love and honor,
The Metropolitan Bishop Chrysostomos of Chalcis, President of the Board of the H.Shrine