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Thanksgiving Day 2021

November 25, 2021
Feastday of St. Catherine the Great


Dear Brother Archons and Friends,

As we prepare to celebrate Thanksgiving with our families, let us take a moment to bring to mind the myriad of blessings that Christ our true God, through the intercessions of His all-pure and all-immaculate Holy Mother, the Theotokos, has bestowed upon us.

We have so much to be grateful for, especially in the last several months: the visit of His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew to the United States, the ministry of Elpidophoros Archbishop of America, the 2021 Athenagoras Human Rights Award, the Investiture of 53 new Archons, the growth of the Bartholomew Foundation, and so much more.

His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew concluded a triumphant Patriarchal visit to the United States that included the Thyranoixia (Opening of the Doors) of Saint Nicholas Church and National Shrine; the conferral of an honorary degree upon His All-Holiness by the University of Notre Dame; and the 2021 Athenagoras Human Rights Award, presented by the Order through the hands of the Ecumenical Patriarch and the Archbishop of America to Dr. Albert Bourla, CEO of Pfizer; Dr. Uğur Şahin and Dr. Özlem Türeci, husband and wife founders of BioNTech and Dr. George D. Yancopoulos and Dr. Christos Kyratsous of Regeneron. And who could be a more appropriate Master of Ceremonies than the creator of Operation Warp Speed, Archon-elect (now Archon Aktouarios) Hon. Alex M. Azar II the 22nd Secretary of Health and Human Services.

This year’s Archon Investiture, His All-Holiness, in the presence of His Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros of America, welcomed the Archons of the Class of 2020 and Archons of the Class of 2021. We are most thankful to embrace the 53 new Archon soldiers as they join us to fight for the religious freedom of the Holy Mother Church!

I am grateful to Almighty God for each one of you Brother Archons, old and new, and for your beloved families. I give thanks for everything that you have done and continue to do in order to protect and defend our Ecumenical Patriarchate and our Holy Faith.

The Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew Foundation has raised nearly 20 million dollars, thereby ensuring the financial security of the Holy Mother Church. Our beloved longest-serving Ecumenical Patriarch in history was honored at the inaugural FOUNDERS Dinner where former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo delivered a compelling address on religious freedom.

There is so very much more for which we are thankful as well, including the blessed ministries of His Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros of America and of Their Eminences the Metropolitans of the Eparchial Synod and of the Order’s Spiritual Advisor Fr. Alex Karloutsos. We offer heartfelt gratitude to our dedicated parish priests who labor ceaselessly to teach the Holy Orthodox Faith to the people of God in this nation.

Finally, as we give thanks for the religious freedom that we enjoy here in the United States, we remain in prayer for our Holy Mother Church of Constantinople and for the Christians of Turkey, a country which once again was placed on the “Watch List” by the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom as one of the world’s worst religious freedom violators.

Maria and I wish you and your beloved families a Thanksgiving full of joy in the blessings of God, as well as a joyous Feastday of Saint Andrew the First-Called Apostle, for whom our Order is named, which is observed on Tuesday, on November 30.

In the service of the Great and Holy Mother Church,

Anthony J. Limberakis, MD
Archon Aktouarios
National Commander


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