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FRAMINGHAM, MA: June 5, 2009
The Parishioners of the Community of St John  Make a Pilgrimage To Their Heavenly Protector 

From May 22-26, 2009, a group totaling 25 persons, parishioners of the Community of St John of Shanghai and San Francisco in Framingham, MA, led by Hieromonk Roman (Krassovsky) of Holy Trinity Monastery in Jordanville, NY, made a pilgrimage to San Francisco. 

During their trip to California, the pilgrims visited the Cathedral of the Icon of the Mother of God “Joy of All Who Sorrow,” where they all prayed during Divine Liturgy and communed of the Holy Mysteries of Christ. At the end of Liturgy, Fr Roman performed a moleben before the relics of St John. The adults and children all made prostrations before his relics, each having something to ask of the holy man in their prayers. Then they were told of the podvigi and glorification of St John, and given a tour of the Cathedral and its high school. The pilgrims saw the old crypt of the saint and venerated many holy icons. 

The pilgrims also visited other churches and parish families, and were met everywhere with joy, hospitality and warmth. 

The Hermitage of St Tikhon of Zadonsk made a great impression on them: everything virtually breathed with the presence of St John. The photographs they were shown came to life: St John, his desk, his icons, the remarkable portrait of him, wherever one looked, Vladyka’s gaze was met…  

In the Old Holy Virgin Cathedral, the pilgrims venerated the mantle of Vladyka with spiritual trembling and awe. 

The final day of their visit to California, the pilgrims crossed the famous Golden Gate Bridge at 6:30 am and headed along the beautiful but somewhat dangerous road to Fort Ross. This is a remarkable place: many felt that they landed in a piece of Russia and that they stood upon Russian ground, with a church, a Russian cemetery, where every wooden edifice was built without a single nail… Right beside Fort Ross is the Pacific Ocean and a lagoon where 200 years ago, Russian sailors made landfall. Divine Liturgy there was remarkable (it is only celebrated there twice a year); clergymen bring the sacramental items and icons with them. After Liturgy was a procession of the cross and a pannikhida at the Russian cemetery, followed by a bountiful trapeza luncheon, during which children and adults both performed, singing Russian songs, wearing traditional costumes, performing Russian dances… The members of St John Community also sang Russian songs…  

With a sense of inner peace and joy, which only happens upon contact with something holy, the pilgrims finally left California. 

A more detailed account of the event will be posted at: www.parishofstjohn.com.