St Raphael Hawaweeny
Our patron saint is St. Raphael of Brooklyn (born Raphael Hawaweeny) also sometimes spelled Hawaweeni.
Born: November 20, 1860 in Beirut, Lebanon to Syrian refugee parents.
Reposed: February 14, 1915 in Brooklyn, New York
Feast Day: February 27
He was a tireless pastor who traveled across the United States providing for the spiritual needs of thousands of Orthodox Christians who were suffering without spiritual nourishment and who were isolated from the Orthodox Chruch. The New York Times noted his arrival in 1895 calling him a “Damascus preacher” and highlighting the large number of people without spiritual guidance in their Christian faith in New York Syrian community. However, St. Raphael’s ministry went way beyond that community and he travel long distances as far as Canada and Mexico, encouraging, offering guidance, preforming baptisms, the liturgy and weddings not just for Syrians but for people of all different ethnic groups. He is the founder of 30 churches and as well as orphanages and schools for girls. He began a magazine and translated numerous documents.
Troparion of St. Raphael
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.
Father Raphael was glorified in 2000, the same year we really began to hold regular services.