Several themes emerge as the story of St. Raphael's life unfolds. 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 submissive attitude to the providence of God. And the third is his love for the people of God. Though during his lifetime he was neither 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.
Our Father among the Saints, Raphael (Hawaweeny), Bishop of Brooklyn, was the first Orthodox Christian bishop consecrated on American soil. Traveling throughout the continent in the first years of the 20th century, he founded thirty parishes in North America. His feast day is celebrated in the Antiochian Archdiocese on the first Saturday of November. St. Raphael, a man of angelic name and apostolic fervor, was influenced by many cultures. He was born and raised in the Middle East, educated by Greeks at Halki and by Russians at Kiev, and he spent the last nineteen years of his life as a missionary in North America.
In 2015, the Antiochian Archdiocese will celebrate the 100th Anniversary of the Falling Asleep of St. Raphael. The Archdiocese's Creative Festivals will feature the theme, "Good Shepherd of the Lost Sheep in America."
- Metropolitan Joseph's Jubilee Letter on the Repose of St. Raphael of Brooklyn
- Download Logos for St. Raphael 100th Anniversary Jubilee
- Order commemorative banner for St. Raphael Jubilee celebrations
- The Life of Our Father among the Saints Raphael Hawaweeny, published in the May 2000 issue of The Word following St. Raphael's glorification
- Biographical details of St. Raphael's life
- Services (Akolouthia) for St. Raphael (PDF)
- Photographs and Icons of St. Raphael
- Photographs from the Glorification of St. Raphael
- A miraculous intervention by St. Raphael in the life of an Athos monk
- Article on St. Raphael's relationships with the Antiochian and Moscow Patriarchates
- 1895 New York Times article about St. Raphael, written on his arrival in America
Today is the day we honor the holy hierarch Raphael! Who can describe his many sorrows and his many labors? Who can describe his many pains? He journeyed on land and on the sea, searching for his lost sheep, in weariness and in poverty, in sleeplessness, thirst and hunger. He became the good shepherd of the lost sheep in America, so let us cry out unto to him: O our Father, intercede for the salvation of our souls!
+ Praises at Orthros, Tone 5
Rejoice, O Father Raphael, adornment of the holy Church! Thou art champion of the True Faith, seeker of the lost, consolation of the oppressed, father to orphans and friend of the poor, peacemaker and good shepherd, joy of all the Orthodox, son of Antioch, boast of America. Intercede with Christ God for us and for all who honor thee.
+ Apolytikion, Tone 3