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.