22 October, 2023
Yesterday, the Grand Chancellor of the Holy Orthodox Order of Saint George the Great Martyr, Archimandrite Maximos (Weimar) was able to speak to His Eminence, Archbishop Alexios by phone. Thank God, His Eminence is uninjured after the attack on St. Porphyrios.
He told Fr. Maximos that he had just finished a funeral for the victims of the bombing of Al-Ahli Hospital when the second attack hit. This is the attack that damaged St. Porphyrios Orthodox Church, which was sheltering more than 500 people. This attack killed 18 people – 17 Orthodox faithful, and one Muslim man who was the guardian of the church. The Archbishop personally performed their funeral on Friday, and they were commemorated in churches across the world this morning, and in particular, at the churches for which Archimandrite Maximos is responsible.
Fr. Maximos let Archbishop Alexios know that we are praying for him, and asked him, other than the money we are raising, what needs he has. First and foremost, His Eminence stressed that he and his community in Gaza need our prayers. He asked that we specifically urge American Christians to pray for them. St. Porphyrios Orthodox Church, he said, “is one of the great treasures of Christianity – as are the people who are suffering! It would be a great tragedy to lose this Church.” He stressed his pastoral responsibility to his people, telling Archimandrite Maximos that, even if he could leave, he would not consider it. “This is my portion,” he said. “If I am martyred, I will accept that, but I will not abandon my people when they are most in need of comfort and care.”
Archimandrite Maximos reminds us today that, in the United States especially, we have the opportunity to get up and go to church, and we often take this for granted. “Some of us travel very far to get to church, and some of us don’t travel at all. But we are all often worried about petty things.” Perhaps we didn’t get enough sleep. Perhaps we don’t have the right clothes, or we are bogged down with getting children ready, or our favorite sports team is playing. “Whatever our concerns are here, we are not being bombed in our churches as we simply seek comfort in Christ,” says Fr. Maximos. Archbishop Alexios stands as an example to all of us, faithfully leading daily services, comforting and sheltering his community, and refusing to leave them even when his own life is threatened. In the midst of what Fr. Maximos calls “incalculable suffering,” Archbishop Alexios is a shining example of true Christianity, true love, and true leadership.”
The Order of Saint George the Great Martyr is strongly committed to helping the suffering people in the Holy Land, which Konstantine Pandolfi, head of the Order, and Archimandrite Maximos were able to convey to His Beatitude, Patriarch Theophilos III of Jerusalem yesterday afternoon, who was delighted to hear this, saying: “I have been praying for a way to get these people the funds they will need, and now we have [The Order]!” His Beatitude blessed us all and thanked us for our efforts and prayers. We have made a commitment to faithfully aid and support the Christians in the Holy Land until the end of our days.
Please consider contributing to the Holy Order of Saint George’s fund to aid the suffering innocents in Gaza. For other ways to donate, please reach out to email@example.com