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November 20 / 7 (OS), 2020 The Holy 33 Martyrs of Melitene

"Pray like a child, in simplicity of heart, concerning all your needs and sorrows, and entrust yourself to God's will, for the Lord arranges our salvation." +St. Nikon of Optina

Dear Past and Future Benefactors of the St. John Kochurov Society,

I warmly greet you with the recent feast of our heavenly patron St. John Kochurov, an apostle to America and first priest-martyr of the Bolshevik Revolution. St. John, dearly beloved by American and Russian Orthodox Christians alike, is a God-pleasing and sympathetic intercessor for us as we live amidst the climate of fear, danger, and uncertainty brought about by COVID-19 and the political and civil unrest in our American land. His life was one of earthly trial and heavenly triumph: a holy podvig of shepherding his family and parish, proclaiming the kingdom of God in the mission field, and prayerfully enduring the political division and violent civil unrest that resulted in his glorious crown of martyrdom.

No matter the dire circumstances we may find ourselves in this year or in years to come, we too are called by our Lord Jesus Christ to the same earthly podvig, to the same heavenly rest. St. John's courageous example inspires firm hope in our hearts, teaching us to hold fast to the Lord as we cross the sea of life, and to take refuge in the harbor of His Holy Church. By his martyric life and death, St. John bears eternal witness that every cross borne humbly for Christ's sake will be planted in the unfading garden of Paradise, where all the saints rejoice! I fervently pray that the Lord may grant this everlasting joy to all of our Orthodox fathers and brethren who have perished in the pandemic, and to all of you!

In the coming year, we should anticipate greater needs in our diocese, and thus, a greater podvig. The St. John Kochurov Society exists so that we may better fulfill one aspect of our charitable duty toward each other, and it is through your membership and patronage that the Society continues to provide critical financial support to our Diocesan Youth, Missions, and Monasteries in need.

I entreat you from the depths of my heart to faithfully maintain your prayerful and financial support of our common and essential work! May God bless you in return for your charity!

Holy Father John Kochurov, pray to God for us!

With Gratitude for your Generosity and Love in our Lord Jesus Christ,

+PETER, Archbishop of Chicago & Mid-America


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