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Monastery Feast Day, 2019

Today our brotherhood celebrates the Patronal Feast of our monastery. Thirty-three years ago the beloved and ever memorable Archimandrite Dimitri (Egoroff) of Santa Rosa, CA tonsured Father Paul and me as Orthodox monks, having embraced Orthodoxy after many years as monks in the Eastern Catholic Church. Guided and inspired by Father Dimitri’s kind and prayerful spirit, and a wisdom and holiness gained through his many years of monastic struggle, our brotherhood was planted on the firm ground of the Russian monastic tradition.

It was thirty-three years ago we chose to place ourselves under the banner of the All-Merciful Saviour, and the protection of the Holy Virgin. We chose Saint John the Wonderworker of Shanghai and San Francisco, as our patron, seeing in him the sanctity, simplicity, and holiness that we’d found in our blessed Father Dimitry of Santa Rosa, California.

It was thirty-three years ago that All-Merciful Saviour Monastery was founded, and thirty-one years ago that, after a six month search, we moved the monastery from a working class neighborhood in Richmond, CA., to Vashon Island, with the blessing of our bishop.

It has been a journey filled with poverty, suffering, and persecution, yet because of these experiences, the monastery has risen like a phoenix. Planted like a garden in the midst of a beautiful forest, on an island, in the Salish Sea of the Puget Sound region of the State of Washington, we look in wonder at all God has given us.

For all this we offer our heartfelt thanks, and “to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, to God who alone is wise, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen (I Timothy 1:17).”

The actual Feast Day of the monastery was this past Wednesday, but because I was in Alaska, we chose to commute the celebration to Saturday, August 17th. To our friends and benefactors, we want you to know how grateful we are for your financial and prayerful support.

With love in Christ,
Abbot Tryphon


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The Relics of the Righteous Anna visit the Monastery from Mt. Athos

The monastery was greatly blessed on the First of July when Archimandrite Cherubim (Apostolou), a member of the Theophileon Brotherhood of the Skete of St. Anne on Mt. Athos, visited bearing the relics of St. Anna, the mother of the Theotokos, and to whom the Skete of St. Anne is dedicated.

One of the elders of the Theophileon Brotherhood was Hieromonk Anthimos who reposed in 1996, and whom Fr. Cherubim had the great blessing to have had as his confessor. Elder Anthimos is considered to be one of the most recently identified “saints” of the Athonite peninsula. His relics are enshrined within their chapel, dedicated to the Feast of the Presentation of Mary to the Temple, commemorated on November 21.

The Skete of St. Anna is the oldest and the largest Skete of Mount Athos, remaining in the spiritual care of the Great Lavra. It is located on the southwestern shore of the peninsula, situated some 500 meters up on the cliffs above the sea. The Skete is accessible either by boat, one hour from the port of Daphne, followed by a climb of over 2,000 steps from the sea floor (approximately one hour hike) or by foot, a six and a half hour hike from the aforementioned monastery.

The Main Church (also known as the “Kyriacon”) of Saint Anne’s Skete on Mt. Athos

This was not the first visit of Archimandrite Cherubim to our monastery; he visited some thirty years ago or so as well, when we were just beginning to lay down the first roots of the monastic life here, and blessed us with some relics of four saints he had brought from the Holy Mountain.

We were truly blessed to venerate and pray before the grace-filled relics of St. Anne herself, but also to have the opportunity to be breathe in some of the cool and refreshing “spiritual oxygen” (as St. Paisius of Mt. Athos called it) from one of the monks of the Holy Mountain – sometimes the simple kindness and love of a fellow Christian (and monastic!) engaged in the same struggle is enough to strengthen one to continue carrying one’s Cross.


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Monastery gardens and environs in bloom….

Between celebrating the Apodosis of Mid Pentecost yesterday and with the month of May almost at its end we are nearing the end of the season of Spring, and the flowers at the monastery are blooming everywhere, especially including the foxgloves.

Went around the monastery this morning to take photos of the various blooms for all to see, selecting areas around the courtyard, the gardens and the outlying areas among others. ˆˆ


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