Tubabao Island, Philippines, December 6, 2022
On Thursday, December 1, the foundation stone for a new church in the Philippines was laid and consecrated.
Soon there will be a Church of St. John (Maximovitch) of Shanghai and San Francisco, who is greatly beloved in the Philippines, both for the time he spent there and for the miracles he continues to work there.
The service was celebrated by the secretary of the Russian Church’s Diocese of the Philippines and Vietnam Hieromonk Kornily (Molev) with several other local priests, the diocese reports.
On the same day, a ceremony was held to raise state flags and lay a wreath in memory of the Russians who found refuge on the island. The event was attended by the Russian Ambassador and other Russian and Filipino officials and residents.
The diocese established a medal in honor of St. John in February of this year, given to clerics, monastics, and laity for their labors and services to the Orthodox Church in pastoral ministry, theological, academic, and administrative activities, the revival of spiritual life, the restoration of churches, missionary, charitable, social and educational works at the diocesan level.
The great wonderworker took a large group of orphans who were 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. And on November 1, 2020, the extremely powerful typhoon Goni abruptly lost power and went south, thereby not destroying Manila, immediately after a moleben was served to St. John at a local parish.
In August 2019, Guiuan, in the Eastern Samar Province of the Philippines, officially established July 2 as St. John of Shanghai and San Francisco Day on the municipal level.
Read more about the connection between St. John and the Philippines in the article, “When the Philippines Welcomed Russian Refugees.”