Food for Hungry People Lenten Appeal, 2013
His Eminence Metropolitan Philip addresses the faithful at the start of Great Lent:
Beloved in the Lord,
Greetings and blessings to you as we enter this most holy season of prayer, fasting and almsgiving.
During this time of the Great Fast, we once again turn our attention to the Food for Hungry People Program of the Fellowship of St. John the Divine. For almost 40 years this campaign has had a tremendous impact throughout the world to help alleviate hunger and the numberless tragedies caused by poverty. With several tragic events that continue plaguing our world including, but not limited to, the recent war in Syria, the natural disasters that wreak havoc on our own continent like Hurricane Sandy and others, we depend on your support to help the victims of these man-made and natural tragedies. Such things, in addition to worthy charitable causes have been the main recipients of the Food for Hungry People program over the years.
St. John Chrysostom, perhaps the greatest preacher in the history of the Church, once said: “Although fasting is more difficult than this, nothing is so strong and powerful to extinguish the ﬁre of our sins as almsgiving. It is greater than all other virtues. It places its lovers by the side of the King Himself, and justly. For the effect of fasting is conﬁned to those who fast, and no other is saved thereby. But almsgiving extends to all, embracing the members of Christ, and actions that extend their effects to many are far greater than those which are conﬁned to one.” Through your generosity to the Food for Hungry People campaign, you embrace the world with the love of Christ, saving yourself as you literally save others.
We urge you, during this season of prayer, self-discipline and fasting, to be very generous in your contribution to this campaign. As we practice the virtues which cleanse our souls, let us not forget or refrain from the “greatest of the virtues.” As important as prayer and fasting are, they are of no avail to us if we fail to give to those in need.
Asking the Almighty God to bless you as we begin our journey to Pascha, we remain,
Your Father in Christ,