Archpastoral Letter of His Beatitude, Metropolitan HERMAN on the Day of
July 6, 2004
To the Very Reverend and Reverend Clergy, Venerable Monastics, and Faithful
of the Orthodox Church in America
Dearly Beloved in the Lord:
As we look back to the first half of the Twentieth Century, we are reminded
of the many cruelties that were inflicted upon innumerable innocent victims
as a result of political upheaval around the world. We recall, most
especially, those people of all faiths and confessions who suffered
unthinkable persecution in concentration camps.
Among those who suffered in the concentration camps that were established
during the First World War were the Lemkos. It was because of their
Orthodox Faith that many were confined to these concentration camps. The
most infamous of the camps was Talherof, which was located in Austria.
Although they comprised only a small percentage of the general population,
the majority of those imprisoned at Talerhof were Lemkos. It is unclear how
many actually lost their lives in Talerhof; however, those who survived
also suffered greatly. These included the wife and son of Saint Maxim
Sandovich, who was martyred in Gorlice in 1914 and was canonized by the
Polish Orthodox Church in 1994.
The first Sunday of August of each year has been designated as a day of
special prayer and remembrance for those Orthodox Christians who lost their
lives at Talerhof. I once again invite you to participate in this annual
commemoration by offering special prayers for the victims of Talerhof-as
well as all those who have suffered for the Orthodox Faith-on Sunday,
August 1, 2004.
May all those faithful Orthodox Christians who have given witness to Christ
throughout the centuries continue to intercede for us. Following their
example, may we also remain faithful to Christ and His Holy Church.
With love in Christ,
Archbishop of Washington
Metropolitan of All America and Canada
-Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â¬ 2004 Orthodox Church in America
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