This year is the 106th Anniversary of St. Alexis falling asleep.
The relics of St. Alexis Toth lie in the monastery church of St. Tikhon's and special services honoring him were held today.
O righteous Father Alexis, Our heavenly intercessor and teacher, Divine adornment of the Church of Christ! Entreat the Master of All To strengthen the Orthodox Faith in America, To grant peace to the world And to our souls, great mercy!
St. Alexis' life was one of struggle. His wife and child died in the year following his ordination to the priesthood. He accepted the challenge of being a missionary to America where in addition to the challenge of learning a new language he met opposition and hostility from the Latin Roman Catholic hierarchy who wouldn't allow him to serve the 'Uniates'. After prayer and soul-searching he turned to the Orthodox Faith of his ancestors and worked and travelled tirelessly across the country bringing Carpatho-Russian ('slavic') individuals and parishes into the Orthodox Church. He was present at the founding of St. Tikhon's Monastery in 1905 and was buried there in 1909.
Let us, the faithful, praise the Priest Alexis, A bright beacon of Orthodoxy in America, A model of patience and humility, A worthy shepherd of the Flock of Christ. He called back the sheep who had been led astray And brought them by his preaching To the Heavenly Kingdom! (Kontakion)
Among the struggles that St. Alexis saw faced by Orthodox in the New World was the challenge to keep their children in the Faith, a struggle that continues to this day. He wrote: "On Sunday and on holidays when you go to God's house bring your children. You should have noticed by now yourself that often they speak only English - cursing and using evil words - and they do not even know how to pray. They have no inkling about God or faith and the father and mother are to be blamed for that. Teach them to love God, the Faith, the Church and the nationality, and especially to pray!" (from Archpriest Alexis Toth, AARDM 1982)
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