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 and Afternoon Schools, the Philoptochos Sisterhoods, the Youth, the Hellenic Organizations, and the entire Greek Orthodox Family in America,

On this uplifiting day in this great land of America, the heart of the nation beats with thanksgiving for the bounty of blessings bestowed upon this country of faithful by the Almighty God. Across the land in towns and villages, cities and municipalities, families and friends gather together for meaningful rituals of celebration and praise acknowledging the One from Whom all good things come.

This national holiday of Thanksgiving strikes a responsive chord of the human heart to the benevolence of God. This feast day extends an invitation for each soul yearning to express and expand the spirit of loving appreciation for the manifest goodness of the Creator. It grounds and re-affirms the belief of the presence of God’s guiding hand in the course of history and in the journey of human lives. It speaks to the unity of God and His creation, to the fact that He is with us.

To this Almighty and loving God Who is with us, we express today our feelings of gratefulness that inundate our souls:

We are deeply thankful for our own existence. He brought us into being out of nothingness. In the run of millions of years each one of us comes, by the will of God, into the world and is given the unique gift of life.

We are deeply thankful to God for the generations preceding us, for the people who kept alive the wonderful traditions of our Orthodox faith and Hellenic culture.

We are deeply thankful for the many gifts offered daily to us, gifts of health, food and prosperity, things that make life a treasure of blessings in this nation and land of freedom, opportunity and promise.

We are deeply thankful to God for the people who live with us: family, relatives, friends, colleagues and fellow citizens. It is a great gift to have our lives enriched with the presence of human beings around us.

We are deeply thankful to God for calling us to become members of His Orthodox Church and thus opening to us the unique way to salvation, to the ultimate union with Christ.

We are deeply thankful to God for becoming one of us, inhabiting our earth, partaking of our food, breathing our air, walking our own streets, and offering His promise to us, Know that I am with you always to the end of time (Matthew 28:20).

In view of such an amazing abundance of gifts on this Thanksgiving Day, let each of us sing:

It is good to give thanks to the Lord,

And to sing praises to Your name, O Most High;

To declare your loving kindness in the morning, and Your faithfulness every night,

On an instrument of ten strings,

On the lute

And on the harp,

With harmonious sound.

For You, Lord, have made me glad through Your work;

I will triumph in the works of Your Hands.

Psalm 92:1-4.

With best wishes for a joyous Thanksgiving, I remain,


With love and paternal blessings,


Archbishop of America

Archive: Archbishop Demetrios' Encyclicals