On Saturday July 1st, 2023, faithful of all jurisdictions of the Orthodox Church in North America, and even from abroad, gathered to celebrate the memory of a great Saint of our time, Holy Hierarch John of Shanghai and San Francisco the Wonderworker. The annual commemoration took place at Holy Virgin Cathedral where the honorable and wonderworking relics of Saint John repose.
His Grace THEODOSY Bishop of Seattle, the first auxiliary bishop of the Western American Diocese, presided over the celebration. His Grace JAMES Bishop of Sonora, the second auxiliary bishop, and a multitude of priests and deacons concelebrated with him.
Nikita Buick, Church Warden of Holy Virgin Cathedral, reported several informative details in his weekly blog posted on July 4th, 2023. The cathedral had a “full house, a first in this post-pandemic era… offering Holy Communion from four chalices.” “After the Liturgy, the entire congregation circled the Cathedral in a procession that was endless.” The archbishop’s choir sang at its best with many thanks to the choirmaster, Vladimir Krassovsky. 700 prosphoras were distributed on that day. The Sisterhood of Holy Virgin Cathedral prepared a bountiful, Lenten meal for everyone who stayed after the Divine Liturgy.
“Though a man may be found in a weak state, that does not at all mean that he has been abandoned by God. On the cross, the Lord Jesus Christ was in trouble, as the world sees things. But when the sinful world considered Him to be completely destroyed, in fact, He was victorious over death and hades. The Lord did not promise us positions as victors as a reward for righteousness, but told us, ‘In the world you will have tribulation - but be of good cheer, for I have overcome the world.’
What is important is not victory or the position of a victor, but rather the labor of striving towards God and devotion to Him.”
Saint John of Shanghai and San Francisco the Wonderworker