Prot. No. 248/2022
Archiepiscopal Encyclical for the Feast of the Archangels
November 6, 2022
Unto the Most Reverend and Right Reverend Hierarchs, Pious Priests and Deacons, the Monks and Nuns, Presidents and Members of Parish Councils, Honorable Archons of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, Members of Leadership 100, the Day and Afternoon Schools, Philoptochos Societies, the Youth, Greek Orthodox Organizations, and the entirety of the Christ-named Plenitude of the Holy Archdiocese of America:
Who makes His Angels spirits, and His ministers a flame of fire. (Psalm 103:5)
Beloved Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
Every year, on the 8th of November, as we celebrate the Synaxis of the Holy Archangels, Michael and Gabriel, together with all the ranks of the Bodiless Powers of Heaven, we remember our precious Archdiocesan Institution, Saint Michael’s Home. Although most of us will never see an Angel face to face before we pass from this life, we do often feel their presence. They bring us messages of God’s love and strength in trying times, especially when our faith is tested. But as much as we need to receive the aid and consolation of such Heavenly Beings, we must also be willing to be “angelic” in character – meaning, that we should also carry messages of love, mercy, compassion and forgiveness to others, and thus serve in the ministry of the “flame of fire,” spoken of in the Psalm.
The mission of Saint Michael’s home is a ministry that we can all embrace with a fiery love and devotion, especially because it is in the service of those precious members of our community who not only have given so much to the Church we now enjoy, but also are in need of our compassion and care in their twilight years. As it says in the Book of Leviticus: Stand up in the presence of the elderly, and show respect for the aged (19:32). Saint Michael’s Home affords every member of our Archdiocese an opportunity to take a stand for the elderly, and show concrete respect and appreciation for those who have labored from the “first hour.”
With this year’s commemoration of the Heavenly Hosts, led by the Princes of the Angelic Powers, Michael and Gabriel, let us take inspiration from their ministrations throughout the history of both the Old and New Israel. Let us take up the cause of Saint Michael’s Home as a spiritual devotion, and light a flame of fire within our hearts that burns with love and compassion for our seniors — whether they are of our own parishes and families, or of this God-pleasing and venerable Institution of our Sacred Archdiocese of America.
With paternal love in our Lord Jesus Christ,
Archbishop of America