On Saturday, July 2, 2022, a multitude of clergy and laity gathered together at Holy Virgin Cathedral in San Francisco, CA, to celebrate the memory of our Father among the Saints John Archbishop of Shanghai and San Francisco the Wonderworker.
“Love never fails” (I Cor. 13:8), nor does Saint John the Wonderworker who incarnated love, who converted the self-love of our fallen nature into Divine love for God and man. Following in the footsteps of all the Saints, he crucified his “flesh with the passions and the lusts thereof” (Gal. 5:24), denying himself, taking up his cross, and following Christ. The great number of people who joyously came to the Feast Day to venerate Saint John’s honorable relics in the cathedral and glorify his holy memory are filled with grace, as the Saints never die. What they give in Christ to their neighbors while alive on earth, they continue to share in abundance from beyond the grave. All who were present sensed this, experience Saint John’s love, and are not left bereft of consolation. How many problems are resolved, and how many sorrows are forgotten through the intercessions of Saint John and his love for all people.
This year, after two difficult years of abiding by quarantine restrictions, the Altar of Holy Virgin Cathedral was filled with over 40 clergymen, priests, and deacons, not to mention subdeacons and acolytes. His Eminence Archbishop Kyrill of San Francisco and Western America presided over the Liturgy. Concelebrating with him were His Grace Bishop Theodosy of Seattle and His Grace Nicholai Bishop of Manhattan and the clergy. The faithful partook of the Sacred Mysteries of Christ from three chalices. Bishop Nicholai of Manhattan gave the homily and the cross procession commenced during which the clergy and magnificent cathedral choir antiphonally raised up resounding prayers to Christ our God, His Most-pure Mother, and Saint John the Wonderworker.
At the Small Entrance, His Eminence Archbishop Kyrill elevated priest Sergei Kiryuchin to the rank of archpriest, and priest Andrew Gigla was awarded the nabedrenik. His Eminence Archbishop Kyrill was also distinguished at the end of the Divine Liturgy, receiving the Order of the Kursk-Root Icon of the Most Holy Theotokos, First Degree, for his 30 years of service to Mother Church as an archpastor. Further details may be read here.
The hosts of this divine event did not send the guests and pilgrims away with empty hands, for everyone received a package that contained a large prosphora, an icon of Saint John, and holy oil from the lamp which burns over his incorrupt relics.
O Holy Hierarch Father John pray to God for us!
Day of Commemoration of Saint John, Archbishop Kyrill presiding - 07/02/2022
Photographs by Helen Nowak