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 Distinguished Archons of the Order of St. Andrew, 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,

It is with much joy that I greet you on this festive occasion of the Feast of the Synaxis of the Holy Archangels, a day designated by our Church to remember the active role in our lives of the "myriad of myriads and thousand of thousands" of angelic beings, constantly praising and glorifying God (Revelation 5:11-14). Given the high level of appeal that angels receive in our contemporary culture, this day affords us with an opportunity to reflect upon the uniquely spiritual identity of the angels as understood by our Orthodox Church.

The Epistle to the Hebrews describes the holy angels as "ministering spirits sent forth to serve for the sake of those who are to obtain salvation" (1:14). The Holy Tradition of our Orthodox Church also teaches that each of us is assigned a guardian angel at the time of our baptism to watch over us throughout our earthly lives. Thus, angels perform a role that is vital in our earthly lives; they minister to us through their activities as God’s messengers and our protectors.

In recognition of this important role and on the occasion of the Feast of the Synaxis of the Holy Archangels, it has become the good custom of our Archdiocese to set aside this day in tribute to the work of St. Michael's Home, the only Greek Orthodox adult home in the United States, named appropriately after the Archangel Michael, which for more than 48 years has provided an Orthodox Christian sanctuary of ministry, care and dignity for people from throughout our country. As the operating budget for the Home depends largely on donations from you the faithful, your continual support of this vital ministry is much needed. Accordingly, in annual observance, our parishes will be passing a special tray for St. Michael's Home this Sunday, November 12. Your financial contributions will help to return the precious gift of love and care to a generation of our earthly guardians, parents and godparents who reside today at St. Michael's Home. Any additional contributions that you would like to offer should be made payable to Saint Michael's Home and sent to the Office of the Archbishop at the Archdiocese. Your offerings will benefit not only the residents of Saint Michael’s Home, but will also support the continued growth and expansion of this important ministry for generations to come.

I express our deep thanks for your offerings of support, and for the diligent work of the clergy, board members, staff, volunteers, caregivers, and families who make St. Michael's Home a truly sacred and honored institution of our Holy Archdiocese. I offer on behalf of all Greek Orthodox Christians our heartfelt prayers for the continued physical and spiritual health of all who reside at St. Michael's, and I furthermore pray that the divine protection of the Holy Archangels be with you all on this day and every day of your lives.

With paternal love in Christ,

Archbishop of America

Archive: Archbishop Demetrios' Encyclicals