Dear Brother Archons and Friends,
As Thanksgiving approaches in this eventful year, let us take a moment to look back and give thanks to Almighty God for the innumerable blessings He has bestowed upon us this year, for He is good and loves mankind.
In 2020, His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew reached his eightieth year, and embarked upon the thirtieth year of his Patriarchate. We are grateful to our Lord Jesus Christ and His All-Holy Mother for protecting him and maintaining him in good health as he has continued his worldwide spiritual leadership.
We likewise thank God for the decisive and inspiring spiritual leadership of His Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros here in America, for the protection and safety of all Archons and their families, for the upcoming COVID-19 vaccines and His protection throughout this pandemic, and for so very much more.
Even as we have borne crosses these days, such as the conversion earlier this year, of Hagia Sophia and the Monastery of Chora to mosques, we remain thankful, with our hope in the Lord unshaken. We persist in prayer that the crucifixion that our Ecumenical Patriarchate and the Christians of Turkey are suffering will lead to a resurrection, a new flowering of the faith both in Turkey and everywhere in the world where Christians are experiencing relentless persecution today.
On Thanksgiving Day this Thursday, let us be sure to pray that our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ continue to bless America and preserve her in her unique status as a beacon of religious freedom. May all Christians everywhere in the world soon enjoy the same freedom of religion we are blessed and grateful to enjoy in the United States.
As I consider the great tasks that lie before us as defenders of the Mother Church, I am particularly grateful to God for each one of you and your beloved families, and for your individual and collective efforts to support and defend His All-Holiness, our worldwide spiritual father.
Maria and I and our children and grandchildren wish our brother Archons and your beloved families a richly blessed and joyful Thanksgiving. We also send you the warmest best wishes for the feast day of Saint Andrew the First Called Apostle, the Patronal Saint of the Ecumenical Patriarchate and for whom our sacred Order is named, observed this Monday on November 30.
In the service of the Holy and Great Mother Church,
Anthony J. Limberakis, MD