Guiuan, Samar, Philippines, August 29, 2019
One of the greatest hierarchs in the history of the Orthodox Church will now be officially celebrated annually in the Filipino municipality of Guiuan.
The great wonderworker St. John (Maximovitch) of Shanghai and San Francisco took a large group of orphans under his care to Tubabao Island after communist rule came to China in 1949. His flock lived in an international refugee camp that he blessed every night.
The local Filipinos still remember St. John as a holy man who protected the island from typhoons during his time there.
According to a report on the site of the Philippine Mission of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, the Sanguniang Bayan (Legislative Council) of Guiuan, the municipality to which Tubabao Island belongs, approved a petition from local Orthodox representatives to officially mark July 2 as St. John of Shanghai and San Francisco Day.
“We are currently praying and working hard on making the 2nd of July Saint John of Shanghai and San Francisco Day recognized in the whole Philippines. Keep praying for it,” stated Hieromonk Felipe Balingit, who addressed the Legislative Council on the matter.
In 2014, the Mayor of Guiuan offered his support for the rebuilding of the Chapel of the Iveron Icon of the Mother of God, built on the site where St. John used to serve Liturgy, which was destroyed in a typhoon in November 2013.
There is a church dedicated to St. John in the village of Santa Maria on the island of Mindanao, pastored by Fr. Silouan Thompson.