September 8, 2013
Metropolitan Hilarion celebrates Liturgy for repose of founder of Saint Nicholas Monastery in Florida

On Friday, August 30, the feast of the Holy Hieromartyr Myron of Cyzicus and St. Alypius the Iconographer of the Kiev Caves, His Eminence, Metropolitan Hilarion, celebrated the Divine Liturgy in the Church of the Holy Prophet Moses at Saint Nicholas Monastery in North Fort Myers, FL. The First Hierarch of the Russian Church Abroad was joined by Priest Benedict Simpson (rector of St. Nicholas of Myra Church in Acworth, GA), Priest Mark Rowe (rector of St. Joseph Church in Sarasota, FL), and Hieromonk Tikhon (Gayfudinov; cleric of the Synodal Cathedral in New York City). During the Divine Liturgy, His Eminence ordained Subdeacon Ignatius Lozano of St. Andrew Church in Lockhart, TX to the diaconate.

The following day, on the feast of the Holy Martyrs Florus and Laurus of Illyria, at the Divine Liturgy, Deacon Ignatius was ordained to the holy priesthood. A special commemoration was made for Metropolitan Laurus of thrice-blessed repose, and Archimandrite Florus (Vanko) of blessed repose, of Holy Trinity Monastery at Jordanville.

As an ordination gift, the monastery and His Eminence presented Fr. Ignatius with an icon of the newly-revealed martyrs of the Turkish yoke, St. Raphael, Bishop of Lesvos; St. Nicholas the Hierodeacon, and the child-martyr St. Irene of Mytilene, martyred in 1463. The icon presented to Fr. Ignatius holds a holy relic of St. Raphael.

St. Nicholas Monastery’s founder, Schema-Archimandrite John (Lewis), of blessed repose, was remembered at the Divine Liturgy on Monday, the feast of the Holy Prophet Samuel. Following the Liturgy, His Eminence served a panihida for Archimandrite John, who reposed six years ago that day.

During the time His Eminence was in Florida, he traveled, accompanied by the monastics, to Saint Andrew Stratelates Church in Saint Petersburg to celebrate the All-Night Vigil and Hierarchical Divine Liturgy on the parish’s feast day.

Media Office of the Eastern American Diocese