"Days of St John" and Burlingame's Feast Day

On July 2, the feast day of St John (Maximovich) of Shanghai and San Francisco the Miracle-worker, His Eminence Archbishop Kyrill of San Francisco and Western America performed the solemn Divine Liturgy at the San Francisco Cathedral along with the clergymen of the Diocese, numerous visiting clergy and an enormous gathering of Orthodox worshipers from various countries. On the feast day itself, the sarcophagus containing the incorruptible remains of St John was moved to the center of the Cathedral for liturgy. At the end of the moleben and procession of the cross, the sisterhood offered a lenten trapeza.

It is interesting to note that on June 18, regular Sunday services resumed in the city of Shanghai, PRC. Services are performed by a priest of the Moscow Patriarchate, Fr Alexy Kiselevich, in the Russian Consulate building. Employees of Russian institutions of Shanghai and their families attend the services. On the day of St John, matins, Divine Liturgy and a blessing of the waters were performed. St John lived and worked in Shanghai from 1935 to 1950. During this period, the Cathedral of the Mother of God "Intercessor for Sinners" was built, which adorns the city to this day. Unfortunately, services are not yet allowed here, since the legal status of the Orthodox Church in China has not been established.

That evening, His Eminence Archbishop Kyrill officiated at service at the Church of All Russian Saints in Burlingame, CA, whose rector is Protopriest Stefan Pavlenko, and performed Divine Liturgy the following day. His Eminence was joined by Archimandrite Anastassy (Sagarsky), Protopriest Vsevolod Drobot, Protopriest Stefan, Protopriest Andrei Sommer, Senior Priest of the Synodal Cathedral of Our Lady of the Sign, and Hieromonk James, of the Old Cathedral of San Francisco, along with Protodeacon Nicholas Triantafillidis, Deacon Serge Shumiloff, under the joyous singing of the parish choir under the direction of Andrei V Roudenko. Parish clergyman Protodeacon Alexander Kochergin did not serve for reasons of health. Archbishop Kyrill offered a deeply-emotional sermon on the topic of the feast day. Protopriest Peter Perekrestov, Senior Priest of the San Francisco Cathedral, arrived in time to participate in the moleben and procession of the cross, as did Protopriest Sergei Kotar, the Diocesan Treasurer. At the trapeza, organized by I Bogoslovsky and T Pavlenko, Fr Andrei and Fr Peter gave brief speeches. Fr Andrei greeted Vladyka Kyrill, Fr Stefan and all the parishioners on behalf of His Eminence Metropolitan Laurus, and then congratulated the Parish Rector on his forthcoming 25th anniversary as Burlingame's priest. Fr Peter also congratulated them on the feast day and told of the history of the service to All Russian Saints. Fr Stefan, congratulating them in turn, expressed gratitude to Archbishop Kyrill, the attending clergymen, choir, sisterhood and all the parishioners and worshipers.

The "Days of St John" ended with a solemn liturgy on July 7, the day of St John the Forerunner; on this day 40 years ago, the funeral of St John of Shanghai and San Francisco was held; he was laid to rest in a crypt under the altar of the Cathedral of the Mother of God "Joy of All Who Sorrow." When the Church glorified St John in 1994, his relics were taken up to the Cathedral itself, and the crypt turned into a chapel dedicated to the Translation of the Relics of St John.