Having celebrated the Sunday of All Saints, many Orthodox Churches now turn to remember the Saints that have shone forth from their region. In Ukraine (and parts of Canada) they will remember all the Saints that shone there, the same in Russia and Belarus etc.
But for us in North America we have a chance to offer thanksgiving for the Saints who ministered in the Old world, as well as in our midst.
The men and women who settled this continent, country, and province, who literally build our church a hundred years ago, sought to guarantee a future of peace and mercy, by making real the presence and work of the Holy Spirit in their lives. Some have been revealed by the Lord as Saints and intercessors (like St. Herman of Alaska, Alexis Toth, and Patriarch Tikhon) , some have yet to be formally glorified (like Metropolitan Leonty, Archbishop Arseny, and Matushka Olga) and some are unknown. But all of them, (from the greatest to the least, the famous to the unidentified) have given us something profound. Regardless if we are third generation Ukrainian, Russian, Romanian etc. Orthodox Canadians, or we are converts to Orthodoxy, we share the same faith, the same witness, and love of the Lord, and as “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever”, (Heb. 13:8) so is our faith in his saving grace revealed in our own homes.
Rejoice, O mountains of Pennsylvania; leap for joy, O waters of the Great Lakes; rise up, O fertile plains of Canada; for the elect of Christ who dwelt in you are glorified, men and women who left their homes for a new land!
With faith, hope and patience as their armor, they courageously fought the good fight. Comforted by the beauty of the Orthodox Faith, they labored in mines and mills, they tilled the land, they braved the challenges of the great cities, enduring many hardships and sufferings.
Never failing to worship God in spirit and truth and unyielding in devotion to His most pure Mother, they erected many temples to His glory. Come, O assembly of the Orthodox, and with love let us praise the holy women, men and children, those known to us and those known only to God, and let us cry out to them: “Rejoice, All Saints of North America and pray to God for us!” (Great Vespers for All Saints of North America)