On Wednesday the 26th of February, our Archdiocese celebrated the Hierarchical Vespers service in honour of St. Raphael of Brooklyn in the parish of Saint John the Baptist, Croydon Park.

In a word following the Vespers, His Eminence reflected on how St. Raphael was unknown in Australia, but through St. Raphael’s Mission who feed the homeless in Sydney, the Holy Saint has become well known and loved. Many faithful now ask for his intercessions, follow his example and celebrate his Holy feast.

From the vesperal hymns, His Eminence highlighted the importance and role of St. Raphael in the life of the church of America and the missionary work of the Antiochian Orthodox Church.

St. Raphael was not only a role model for the clergy of the Church, but for all the faithful. He took care of everyone regardless of who they were and where they came from. His Eminence thanked all the volunteers of St. Raphael’s Mission who follow in their patron Saint’s footsteps and feed all who are hungry.

He especially thanked all the ladies of the New South Wales parishes for cooking a warm meal for St. Raphael’s Mission every Monday night, awarding them each an icon of the Saint as a token of gratitude for their service.

Following His Eminence’s sermon, the faithful shared in a meal of love and thanked God for His holy Saint.