Antwerp, Belgium, October 28, 2021
According to the desire of the vast majority of parishioners, a new church in the Belgian city of Antwerp has been consecrated in honor of St. John (Maximovitch) of Shanghai and San Francisco, who served as Archbishop of Brussels for 13 years.
The church was consecrated over the weekend by His Eminence Archbishop Simon of Brussels and Belgium of the Moscow Patriarchate, followed by the Divine Liturgy and a festive trapeza, reports the diocesan website.
A particle of St. John’s relics was brought from San Francisco especially for the consecration.
The spacious Church of the Nativity of Christ in Antwerp is currently undergoing extensive restoration. The newly consecrated Church of St. John thus provides the local faithful with a place to worship while renovation continues.
The choice of St. John as the church patron is no coincidence, given that he once served in Brussels, and there are still people in Belgium who knew the Holy Hierarch. Moreover, the report notes, at the VII World Congress of Compatriots Living Abroad recently held in Moscow, a proposal was raised to make St. John the patron of the entire Russian diaspora.
And a year ago, Abp. Simon conducted a survey of all diocesan parishioners, who overwhelmingly chose St. John as the patron of the new church.
A church in honor of St. John is also under construction in Kiev.