Protocol Number 130/10

November 8, 2010
Feast of the Synaxis of the
Holy Archangels

To the Most Reverend Hierarchs, the Reverend Priests and Deacons, the Monks and Nuns, the Presidents and Members of the Parish Councils of the Greek Orthodox Communities, the Distinguished Archons of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, the Day, Afternoon, and Church Schools, the Philoptochos Sisterhoods, the Youth, the Hellenic Organizations, and the entire Greek Orthodox Family in America

Beloved Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

On the Feast of the Synaxis of the Holy Archangels, on November 8, we commemorate the spiritual and bodiless powers of Heaven who were brought into being by God and who serve with faithfulness and zeal.  As servants and messengers of the Most High and as protectors and guardians of humankind, the Holy Archangels and all of the heavenly hosts are obedient to the loving will of God.  This is an obedience to the holiness and power of God, to the love of God, and to the truth of His promises and the potential for salvation and restoration for all of the created order.

In commemorating the Holy Archangels and their obedience to the will of God, it is a fitting tradition that on this day we also offer our prayers and support for the ministry of Saint Michael’s Home, our Greek Orthodox residential adult home in Yonkers, New York.  For over fifty years, Saint Michael’s Home has provided exceptional care to Greek Orthodox senior citizens, offering each resident a quality of life that reflects a commitment and an obedience to the loving will of God.

In following God’s will, the staff and directors of Saint Michael’s Home have and continue to labor to sustain the lives of their beloved residents in a complete and beautiful way.  They do this with a respect for each person, as one who is created in the image of God and loved by Him.  The care provided by Saint Michael’s is also filled with the grace of God.  As His will is revealed to us in acts of grace, the ministry of Saint Michael’s affirms that this grace is essential for life and well-being.  The lives of senior adults, and of all persons, are not sustained only on the basis of physical needs.  Care is also provided for the spiritual needs of each resident in a way which is truly a way of love and grace.

This is why I ask that on this feast we offer our prayers for the ministry of Saint Michael’s Home, and we recognize both the example of service and the model of senior adult care provided by this institution of our Holy Archdiocese.  I also ask that our parishes take a special collection on Sunday, November 7.  The offering should be designated for Saint Michael’s Home and sent to the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America.  Your generosity will help sustain and expand a vital work of love and will assist in following God’s will to care for our brothers and sisters in Christ.  I also ask on this sacred feast that you contemplate the will of God in your life and in the ministry of your parish.  As God sends forth His messengers, the Holy Angels, in fulfilling His will, we are sent forth as bearers of grace, truth and love to attend to the spiritual needs and the care of the lives of those around us.  May we be attentive to His will, obedient and faithful in following, and committed to serving others for their salvation and the honor and glory of God.

With paternal love in Christ,

Archbishop of America

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Teachings of Christ

“If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel's will save it. For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul? For what can a man give in return for his soul?" (Mark 8:34-37 ESV)

Seventh Ecumenical Council

O Christ our God, You are most glorious, * for You established our Fathers as lights upon the earth * and through them led us to the true faith. * O greatly Compassionate One, glory to You! (Troparion, Tone 8)

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and to the ages of ages. Amen.

The Son Who shone forth ineffably from the Father * was born two-fold in nature. * Beholding Him, we do not refuse the image of his form, * but piously depicting it, we honor it faithfully. * Therefore the Church, holding fast to the true faith, * kisses the icon of the incarnation of Christ. (Kontakion, Tone 6)

(Troparia of the Sunday of the Holy Fathers of the Seventh Ecumenical Council)

Random Proverb

"Do not say to your neighbor, “Go, and come again, tomorrow I will give it”—when you have it with you." (Proverbs 3:28 ESV)

Pray Without Ceasing

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

The work of prayer belongs to the angels, and is, therefore, the special concern of the Church. Every other work, i.e., charity, nursing the brethren, visiting the sick, caring for prisoners, releasing captives, and other similar things, is done by the brethren in love and offered by them to God. Similarly, poverty, fasting, sleeping on the ground, prostrations, vigils, etc., are good and like a sacrifice to God, because they aim to subdue and humble the body so that we may be purified and approach God and become friends of God -- yet these things do not present us directly to God, whereas prayer does so and unites us with Him. A person praying acts towards God like a friend -- conversing, confiding, requesting -- and through this becomes one with our Maker Himself.

St. Symeon of Thessalonica