Our Father Among the Saints Raphael Bishop of Brooklyn: Good Shepherd of the Lost Sheep in America

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In the last decades of the nineteenth century, America received into her open arms a steady flow of Syrian immigrants. These Syrians, Orthodox in faith and Arab in culture, left their ancestral towns and villages to seek new and brighter horizons for themselves in the New World. As their numbers increased in America, so too did their need for spiritual leadership. In their search for a spiritual leader, they learnt about a certain pious Syrian priest who was teaching as a professor of Arabic language at the Kazan Theological Academy in Russia. Through the auspices of their lay leader, Dr. Ibrahim Arbeely, the young priest was contacted with the request to come to America to serve as their shepherd and spiritual father.

This book presents the life, works and struggles of St Raphael Hawaweeny Bishop of Brooklyn, as well as the liturgical services and prayers that are dedicated to him. The book examines his life according to three key themes:

*The first is the mysterious way in which God led him from his native homeland to the shores of the American continent.
*The second is his obedient attitude to the Providence of God.
*And the third is his love for the people of God.

Though he was not a wonder-worker nor a clairvoyant elder, St. Raphael embraced a life of total abandonment of self for the service of God and his fellow man: a life of true spiritual asceticism. His message for us is as simple and profound as Christ's call to us: "If anyone would come after Me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow Me." As such St Raphael exemplified the image of a truly traditional Orthodox bishop. He received the faith from his forefathers and sought to faithfully hand that faith over to his spiritual children. He was a great man of prayer. He loved and lived the liturgical life of the Church, which was his spiritual support. Furthermore he did not try to innovate or change the Faith in Christ, but remain authentic to his vocation. Consequently he did not bring any agendas to his pastoral work or follow some sort of programme, but dedicated every thought and effort to the service of the faithful.

The legacy of his accomplishments is outstanding: he founded thirty parish churches, authored or translated fourteen books, including the Small and Great Euchologion, founded St. Nicholas Cathedral in Brooklyn, created and authored many articles in "The Word" magazine. But these accomplishments do not reveal the true sanctity of his soul nor do they give us the measure of the man. These are to be found rather in the lives of the people he led to Christ and His Church. Like Christ, his Chief Shepherd, St. Raphael laid down his life for his sheep.

Our Father Among the Saints Raphael Bishop of Brooklyn: Good Shepherd of the Lost Sheep in America

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In the last decades of the nineteenth century, America received into her open arms a steady flow of Syrian immigrants. These Syrians, Orthodox in faith and Arab in culture, left their ancestral towns and villages to seek new and brighter horizons for themselves in the New World. As their numbers increased in America, so too did their need for spiritual leadership. In their search for a spiritual leader, they learnt about a certain pious Syrian priest who was teaching as a professor of Arabic language at the Kazan Theological Academy in Russia. Through the auspices of their lay leader, Dr. Ibrahim Arbeely, the young priest was contacted with the request to come to America to serve as their shepherd and spiritual father.

This book presents the life, works and struggles of St Raphael Hawaweeny Bishop of Brooklyn, as well as the liturgical services and prayers that are dedicated to him. The book examines his life according to three key themes:

*The first is the mysterious way in which God led him from his native homeland to the shores of the American continent.
*The second is his obedient attitude to the Providence of God.
*And the third is his love for the people of God.

Though he was not a wonder-worker nor a clairvoyant elder, St. Raphael embraced a life of total abandonment of self for the service of God and his fellow man: a life of true spiritual asceticism. His message for us is as simple and profound as Christ's call to us: "If anyone would come after Me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow Me." As such St Raphael exemplified the image of a truly traditional Orthodox bishop. He received the faith from his forefathers and sought to faithfully hand that faith over to his spiritual children. He was a great man of prayer. He loved and lived the liturgical life of the Church, which was his spiritual support. Furthermore he did not try to innovate or change the Faith in Christ, but remain authentic to his vocation. Consequently he did not bring any agendas to his pastoral work or follow some sort of programme, but dedicated every thought and effort to the service of the faithful.

The legacy of his accomplishments is outstanding: he founded thirty parish churches, authored or translated fourteen books, including the Small and Great Euchologion, founded St. Nicholas Cathedral in Brooklyn, created and authored many articles in "The Word" magazine. But these accomplishments do not reveal the true sanctity of his soul nor do they give us the measure of the man. These are to be found rather in the lives of the people he led to Christ and His Church. Like Christ, his Chief Shepherd, St. Raphael laid down his life for his sheep.

Additional Information

Pages 153
Cover Soft
Width (mm) 140
Height (mm) 218

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