Monday, July 7, 2014

Guarding the Border

The immigration ‘crisis’ at the southern border of the [u]nited States is being purposefully manufactured by the federal government:

It is therefore up to the plain folk and the so-called public servants of the various States, counties, and towns being affected to protect their own.  There have thankfully been some instances of the former standing up in California:

That will need to be done time and again in many other places in the coming weeks, along with creative actions from State and local officials.  For instance, instead of groveling at the feet of the federal Dept. of Homeland Security like Texas AG Greg Abbott is doing in order to get money to fund patrols of Texas state police, etc. along the border, he and the Texas State Legislature, Governor, and others ought to take all the necessary steps to divert whatever amount of federal tax revenue is being generated in Texas that is needed to fund those patrols, as well as temporary housing and finally the return of the illegal immigrants back across the border, from its path to the coffers of Washington City to the Texas comptroller’s office in Austin.

But just as importantly as all this, we must remember to ask for heavenly help and intercession.  The saints are not far from us.  Throughout the years they have proven themselves faithful protectors of their peoples and homelands.  St Demetrios the Myrrh-bearer is one of the most well-known ensamples:

Time and again, during sixteen hundred years, Saint Demetrios has given proof of his benevolent care for the city of Thessalonica and its inhabitants. He has defended them from the attacks of barbarians, he has preserved them from plague and famine, healed the sick and comforted the afflicted.

We would do well to call upon St Demetrios, but we would perhaps do better in this situation to call upon the saints closest to us in space and in time, upon the holy martyrs, confessors, and ascetics who have walked this very land we now live upon, the Saints of North America.  Here is a very short introduction to each of those who are known:

St. Herman of Alaska – great missionary monk and wonderworker of Alaska, preached the Gospel, built schools, defended natives from mistreatment by Russian company, lived as a hermit most of his life on Spruce Island, 1st glorified American Saint

Martyred Hieromonk St. Juvenaly – part of original Russian mission from Valaam, was part of the baptism of over 14,000 Alaskan natives through his missionary efforts, later killed during his Gospel ministry by natives

St. Peter the Aleut, ProtoMartyr – with a group of Aleut hunters captured by the Spanish and taken to San Francisco in 1815, tortured brutally for refusing to convert to Roman Catholicism, St. Herman heard about his death and called him a new martyr

St. Jacob Netsvetov – first Alaskan ordained priest, traveled over huge stretches of land to minister and preach the Gospel, after his wife reposed he went to the Alaskan interior, preaching to many people who had never heard the Gospel, during his last trip to the Yukon he baptized over 1300 natives

St Innocent of Alaska, Metropolitan of Moscow – married Russian priest assigned to Alaska in 1823, learned languages and translated Gospels and services, wife reposed while he was in Russia in 1838, took monastic vows in 1840 and was made bishop of Kamchatka and the Aleutian Islands, continued traveling and working for the spread of the Gospel, later appointed Metropolitan of Moscow

St. Tikhon, Patriarch of All Russia – worked tirelessly during his tenure in America as bishop, traveling, converting many, founding Churches, and founding St. Tikhon’s Monastery, worked to establish Church structure for the American diocese, returned to Russian in 1907 and elected Patriarch in 1917, harassed by the government, imprisoned and persecuted, reposed in 1925, considered a martyr (many think he was poisoned by the Bolsheviks)

Hieromartyr St. Alexander Hotovitsky – married Russian priest assigned to St. Nicholas in NY, very active in the community and in publishing, built a huge new cathedral, returned to Russian in 1914, he was arrested and tried by the Soviets, eventually facing a final arrest in 1937 when he was sentenced to death and executed

St. Raphael of Brooklyn – born in Lebanon to Syrian parents, educated both in Damascus and Russia, 1st Bishop consecrated in America (by St. Tikhon), served as auxiliary bishop of Russian Church, based in Brooklyn, traveled constantly serving the Arab Orthodox throughout North America (visited St. George Church in Vicksburg!)

St. Alexis Toth – married Uniate Greek Catholic priest in Slovakia, he came to America as a missionary priest after his wife’s repose, the Latin bishop refused to receive him, he knew his heritage was Orthodox and had considered conversion before and so now he entered the Russian Orthodox Church in America, through his ministry over 20,000 uniates were re-united with the Orthodox Church

Hieromartyr St. John Kochurov – married Russian priest who came to America as a missionary in 1895, served in Chicago, built the parish and founded other parishes in the Chicago area, translated texts into English, returned to Russia in 1907, martyred by Bolsheviks in October 1917 becoming the protohieromartyr (1st priest martyr)of the Soviet yoke

St. John Maximovitch, Wonderworker – life is far to amazing to detail here, spent the last years of his life as Archbishop of San Francisco (1962-1966) and was known far and wide even during his lifetime as a holy man and great worker of miracles

St. Nikolai Velimirovich – came to America from Communist Yugoslavia as a refugee in 1946 (spent time in Dachau, imprisoned and tortured by Nazis), ended his life as rector of St. Tikhon’s Seminary in 1956

Lesser known (4)


Hieromartyr St. Basil Martysz of Poland – married Polish priest who was a missionary in North America from 1900 to 1912, was in charge of Orthodox affairs for Polish army for 25 years, martyred in closing days of WW2 by bandits who tortured and killed him in 1945

St. Seraphim of Uglich – Russian monastic priest who was a missionary under St. Tikhon from 1902-1908 where he served as a teacher, deacon, and priest, consecrated bishop of Uglich in 1920, refused to cooperate with the Bolsheviks to form a new Synod, eventually exiled in 1928 from which he never returned (possibly martyred in 1937)

Hieromartyr St. Anatole of Irkutsk – missionary priest in North America from 1895-1903, glorified as a New-Martyr by the Russian Church for his suffering, though he reposed freed from prison in the early 1920s

St. Barnabus the New Confessor – born in Garyn Indina in 1914, returned to Serbia as a child and became a monk in 1940, later consecrated bishop and accused of being an American spy for his open criticism of the communist governments mistreatment of Christians, arrested and tortured and imprisoned, death believed to be by poison (like St. Tikhon)

Source:  Priest Matthew Jackson,, posted 23 June 2014, accessed 7 July 2014

Cry out to them, fervently beseeching them to bring to a quick and good end this scheme of Pres Obama and the others to flood the States with poor, dependent immigrants, to ‘deliver us from every sorrow, evil and pain’ (prayer from the Order of Small Compline,, accessed 7 July 2014).  We shall not be disappointed if we pray in faith!

As the bountiful harvest of Your sowing of salvation,
the lands of North America offer to You, O Lord, all the saints who have shone in them.
By their prayers keep the Church and our land in abiding peace
through the Theotokos, O most Merciful One.

 . . .

Today the choir of Saints who were pleasing to God in the lands of North America
now stands before us in the Church and invisibly prays to God for us.
With them the angels glorify Him,
and all the saints of the Church of Christ keep festival with them;
and together they all pray for us to the Pre-eternal God.

 . . .

The Saints are as the beautiful and fruitful trees of Eden, putting forth the fragrant flowers of their doctrines and the fruit of their labors. By them our souls are nourished and our spiritual hunger satisfied. Come, therefore, let us run to the protection of their guidance and bless them as the joy and adornment of our land, and as the image and example of our lives, for they have received incorruptible crowns from the Pre-eternal God.

Source:  Service to All the Saints of North America,, accessed 7 July 2014

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