Encyclical of Archbishop Demetrios for the Feast of the Holy Archangels - November 8, 2005
Oct 31, 2005
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 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 we reflect upon the love of God revealed in the ministry of the Archangels Michael and Gabriel and all the heavenly, bodiless powers who serve as holy messengers, guardians and protectors. Archangel Michael, is known as a protector of our holy Orthodox Faith. The Archangel Gabriel serves as the messenger of God, most notably as the bearer of the Good News of the Annunciation.
Holy Scripture and tradition teach us that the angels are “ministering spirits” (Hebrews 1:14) who throughout history have come to the aid of the faithful. A direct and continuing example of this is at our baptism, when the priest celebrant prays that an angel of light might be joined to our life to protect us. In this same spirit of protection, a faithful service of care has been the ongoing mission of our Holy Archdiocese through the ministry of Saint Michael's Home, our senior adult home in New York, which is named after the Archangel Michael.
As we commemorate the Feast of the Archangels and their ministry in our world, we ask that you also remember the important ministry of our Archdiocese carried out in Saint Michael's Home, which for more than 40 years has provided a Christ-centered sanctuary of ministry, care and respect for people from throughout the United States. St. Michaels depends largely on the generous support of Orthodox faithful to meet the operating budget of its vital ministry. For this reason, in annual observance, our parishes will be passing a special tray for St. Michael's Home on Sunday, November 13. Your financial contributions will benefit not only the current residents of Saint Michael's Home, but will ensure the continued growth of this ministry for generations to come. Additional contributions that you would like to offer may be made payable to Saint Michael's Home and sent to the Office of the Archbishop at the Archdiocese.
On this Feast of the Holy Archangels, I ask that you keep not only the residents, but also the families, directors, board, staff, and volunteers of St. Michael's Home in your prayers, as their work in providing care to the elderly is an important affirmation of the sacredness and dignity of human life at all ages. May the divine protection of the Holy Archangels be with us always, and may they inspire us to grow in our worship of God and in our commitment to minister unto others who are in need of His love and saving grace.
With paternal love in Christ,
Archbishop of America