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The Exodus of Papaflessas – The Celebrations in Dyrrahio

Papaflessas, also known as Grigorios Dikaios, was a cleric, a politician and a great hero of the Greek Revolution. Initially he lived in the Monastery of Velanidia, outside of Kalamata, but then went to Istanbul, where he was ordained an Archimandrite and was later initiated into the Filiki Etairia (Society of Friends). He came back to the Peloponnese during the particularly turbulent time that preceded the Revolution, with the aim of encouraging the people. His base was the Monastery of Rekitsa, near Dyrrahio, which he used as a starting point for many decisive battles in various locations in the Peloponnese and especially in Arcadia. Papaflessas was killed in the battle of Maniaki on May 20th, 1825, after fighting heroically on the side of the very few comrades he was left with.

The exodus of Papaflessas from the historic Monastery of Rekitsa is annually celebrated in Dyrrahio, under the auspices of the District of the Peloponnese, the Municipality of Megalopoli and the Brotherhood of the Dyrrahians of Attica. The entire village is filled with flags and the celebrations start with a Doxology in the Monastery of Rekitsa. Then the officials are gathered in front of the statue of Papaflessas, where a memorial service is chanted, followed by a wreath laying, a minute’s silence and the standard celebratory speech. After that the officials are awarding the prizes to the athletes that ran the Dyrrahio – Rekitsa race and the celebrations end with the National Anthem.

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