CHICAGO, IL [DOM Communications] – On Friday and Saturday, October 30-31, Orthodox Christians gathered from around Chicago to celebrate the memory of Hieromartyr John of Chicago, the first priest to erect a temple in their city, Holy Trinity Cathedral. His Eminence Archbishop Paul of Chicago celebrated the services for the builder of his cathedral, along with Priest Alexander Koranda, Cathedral Dean, and Protodeacon Thomas Keith.
The feast for St John of Chicago is celebrated annually with great splendor; and, even during this time of restricted attendance, as well as other difficulties, this was still the case. “People really do love this feast,” said Fr. Alexander. “I have been attending these services before I was even in high school, and you can feel the grace within the temple.”
Offering a reflection after Divine Liturgy, Archbishop Paul pointed out that everyone in attendance was blessed with the gift of being in a holy place where saints have walked. “Looking at the historical pictures of St. John preaching in this very spot that I stand amazes me and leaves me in awe every time. I then think about the end of his life and the great faith he demonstrated – the courage he had; this is something for us to take note of.”
St. John was killed by godless men, the Archbishop continued, who were unprovoked by the holy priest, who was simply praying for peace. “St. John was not in the soldiers’ faces, yelling at them or telling them they were wrong. Rather, he was tending to his priestly duties of prayer and was confronted with this evil. His faith and love for Christ is an example for us all.”
The celebration concluded with the Archbishop congratulating all those present and bestowing on them his archpastoral blessing.
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