Archepiscopal Encyclical for the Feast of the Archangels



Prot. No. 306/2023

Archepiscopal Encyclical for the Feast of the Archangels

November 5, 2023

Unto the Most Reverend and Right Reverend Hierarchs, Pious Priests and Deacons, Monks and Nuns, Presidents and Members of the Parish Councils, Honorable Archons of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, Members of Leadership 100, Day and Afternoon Schools, Philoptochos Societies, Youth, Greek Orthodox Organizations, and entirety of the Christ-loving Plenitude of the Sacred Archdiocese of America:

And God appeared to him [Abraham] by the oak of Mamre … (Genesis 18:1)

Beloved brothers and sisters in Christ,

Every Christian knows the magnificent icon of the Holy Trinity, depicted as the Three Angels who visited Abraham and Sarah by the oak of Mamre. It is a profound image of philoxenia, the hospitality that we offer, but which takes us into the very bosom of God. Indeed, the version of Andrei Rublev is famous throughout the world.

This year, as we celebrate the Synaxis of the Holy Archangels and all the Holy Angels, we pause to remember our most hospitable Institution of our Sacred Archdiocese, Saint Michael’s Home. For any of you who have had the privilege to visit the Home, you understand that you are received by staff and residents alike with true Abrahamic hospitality. Our seniors welcome you to their home as the ancient Greeks would welcome “Zeus the Stranger.”

As Christians, our vocation is to see no stranger in the eyes of another, and Saint Michael’s Home is of that character, where all are welcomed warmly and lovingly. For the Feast of the Angels, every November 8, let us return that philoxenia, that warm and heartfelt hospitality that Saint Michael’s offers to its residents and every visitor. Let us make a special gift of prayer, of intention, and yes, of our resources, so that this marvelous Institution, which is expanding in service to even more of our seniors, can thrive and prosper. The Three Angels who sat down by the oak of Mamre prefigured the Holy Trinity in the Old Testament and gave us a way to portray the Godhead in our sacred icons. Let us offer our very best to those Angelic Powers who protect us, and who protect our seniors at Saint Michael’s Home.

With paternal love in Christ,


Archbishop of America

Note: To be read in every parish of the Archdiocese on Sunday, November 5, 2023.

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