Among his many achievements St.. Raphael has a special connection with St. Tikhon's Monastery.
Your proclamation has gone forth throughout North America, calling the scattered sheep into the unity of the church. hearing your voice, they responded to your teaching, and through your writings you instructed them in piety. now guided by your example, O Father Raphael, we sing hymns of praise unto Christ our God. Glory to Him Who gave you strength! Glory to Him Who granted you a crown! Glory to Him Who, through you, grants healing to all!
Today is the feast of the first bishop consecrated in America (1904). Among his many achievements, St. Raphael of Brooklyn (Hawaweeny) has a special connection with St. Tikhon's Monastery. On July 31, 1905, he consecrated the land during the first pilgrimage when the monastery was founded. He also planted a cross on the site that became the first church and celebrated the Divine Liturgy early that morning. Among his comments at that time....
"Let us worthily give due glory, honor and thanksgiving to our Lord and God, Who found us worthy to consecrate this place and to elevate the cross upon it. And so, in this place, which was once wild and barren, where perhaps the Name of God was never, ever even spoken, we have called upon Him with all glory and honor, and from this time forth, in like fashion, His Name shall be glorified here both day and night, and the names of the founder of this holy habitation, His Eminence, our Archbishop Tikhon, and its builder, the most honorable Hieromonk Arseny will be remembered forever, together with all those who labor and serve this holy habitation and helped make this day to come to pass...
"We have made a good start and have accomplished a good beginning here. But as we all know, a 'good beginning' is only the first half of the job. 'But we have no resources,' some will say. 'Look at the economy, what about the situation in the world?' . . . Others will say, Yes, all of this might seem true, but talking like this does not do anything to further our cause. Let us not forget the words of Scripture that say, 'God's power is made perfect in weakness!' (2 Cor. 12:9). And let us not forget that whenever insurmountable hardships are overcome; whenever turmoil is replaced by tranquility; whenever persistent doubts are put to rest; whenever something comes to be out of nothing at all -- there we can clearly discern the indiscernible Right Hand of God, we witness firsthand the unmistakable Will of God!
Yes, God's will directs the establishment of His holy monasteries -- these gardens of faith and virtue -- for wherever there is a monastic habitation, there God bestows His lovingkindness upon all who deserve His blessings and upon all those who do not. Beholding the glory of these habitations, even unbelievers discern God, and those who have forgotten Him and have fallen away from their faith return to their senses and feel His very presence..".
Bishop Raphael becamse Saint Raphael at St. Tikhon's Monastery on May 29, 2000. Read more about his life....
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