"We Glorify You, o St. John"
The Feast Day of St. John of Shanghai and San Francisco Celebrated in San Francisco

Faithful from all corners of the USA, Canada, Australia and Russia gathered in San Francisco to pray to the great saint of the 20th century, St. John of Shanghai and San Francisco the Miracle-worker, on his feast day. In accordance with the decision of the Synod of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, the memory of St. John as a great archpastor, podvizhnik (laborer for God) and miracle-worker of the Russian diaspora, is celebrated on the nearest Saturday to the day of his death. This year that day fell on June 29th (new style).
On Thursday evening, after matins and vespers in the Cathedral of the Mother of God "Joy of All Who Sorrow" on Geary in San Francisco, the tomb with the relics of St. John was transferred to the middle of the church. On Friday, before all-night vigil, the first of many worshippers began their confessions, which only ended at the completion of the service. At 6 p.m. all-night vigil began. The rector of the Church of the Resurrection in Santa Barbara, priest Peter Shashkoff, officiated. The hierarchal choir saing under the direction of V.V. Krassovsky. The choir was supplemented by singers from various churches in the Bay Area. Bishop Alexander of Buenos Aires and South America, and the Ruling Bishop of the Western American Diocese, Bishop Kyrill, led the polyeleos. There were not only Russians in the church, but Americans, Serbs and Bulgarians as well--all venerators of St. John. All-night vigil ended at around 10 p.m.
On Saturday morning, the greeting of Bishop Kyrill was at 9:30 a.m. At liturgy, some 20 priests served with Bishops Kyrill and Alexander. The clergyman who had come from the furthest away was protopriest Vsevolod Drobot from the Syracuse-Holy Trinity Diocese, and the pilgrims who came from the most distant places were those from Adelaide, Australia and a woman and her sick granddaughter from near Moscow. The Holy Gifts were administered from three chalices. The sermon was given by Bishop Alexander. He expounded upon the Orthodox teaching of the Holy Trinity and explained the essence of moral ideas of this important dogma of the Orthodox Church.
A procession of the Cross took place after liturgy with prayers of supplication to the Most-Holy Trinity and St. John of Shanghai and San Francisco the Miracle-worker, and then all the worshipers were invited by the Cathedral Sisterhood to a feast in the parish hall. By the end of the services, representatives of the Jerusalem Patriarchate arrived and stayed for the feast.
The feast ended at 4 p.m. The pilgrims from distant places remained for a moleben to St. John before the Saturday all-night vigil at 5:30 p.m.
So prayerfully, ceremoniously and yet simply was the celebration of the day of St. John in San Francisco. Next year the memory of the saint, who was canonized in 1994, will be marked for the tenth time.
A Participant.

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