Friday, June 8, 2012

Gloria Leonidas
A Lovely, Giving, Generous Woman

I was privileged to be among eight Orthodox clergy who chanted the funeral service for Gloria Leonidas, a lovely woman, the mother of two daughters, a wife who was about to celebrate the twentieth wedding anniversary with her beloved husband, and an active volunteer leader in numerous organizations that raised money for charities. Gloria's crowning legacy will be remembered by many as Evergreen Health's annual Gala, which is responsible for raising over $7.5 million to support the care of the Eastside community.

Gloria was gunned down by the same deranged man who had murdered in cold blood four others in a local coffee house, just minutes before attempting to hijack her car in downtown Seattle, on the 30th of May. The sadness of this senseless act of violence was only compounded by news that the lost souls of Westboro Baptist Church (also known as the God Hates Faggots Church) were planning to picket the funeral, believing that God's vengeance against the State of Washington for having approved same-sex marriages, was behind the murders.

As Gloria lay dying from her head wound, in a massive pool of blood, a homeless man, Navy veteran Jason Yori, 58, ran up to her and cradled her head in his arms, and prayed for her. This touching image of true humanity, more than offset the evil hatred that was to be thrust in the face of the family and friends of Gloria, with the threat of disrupting the funeral by the Westboro Baptist hate group. Jason Yori was quoted as saying, "I didn't know anything about her, so I spoke to her as a human being who was in the wrong place at the wrong time."

Before the funeral was to begin, I stepped out onto the sidewalk in from of Saint Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church, to offer thanks to the police officers who were prepared to keep the hate mongers of Westboro at bay. What I saw was astounding. Three rabbis, a number of protestant ministers, and a huge number of Seattlites, all of whom had gathered in front of the church in solidarity with Gloria's family. They wanted to show by their prayerful, quiet, witness, that hatred would not dominate such a somber moment in the life of Gloria's family. To my knowledge, their witness to God's love and mercy, prevented the pitiful parishioners of Westboro Baptist, to even show up.

Please remember to pray for the soul of Gloria, and the Leonidas family. And please remember her priest, Father Photios Dumont, whose homily was one of the best I have ever heard, and the dear members of the parish, who have lost a great lady, friend, and sister.

With love in Christ,
Abbot Tryphon

Friday June 8, 2012 / May 26, 2012
Afterfeast of Pentecost. Tone seven.
Fast-free Week. Fast-free

Apostles Carpus of the Seventy and Alphaeus (1st c.).
Translation of the relics (1534) of New Martyr George of Kratovo and Sofia (1515).
Uncovering of the relics (1521) of Venerable Macarius, abbot of Kolyazin (1483).
Martyrs Abercius and Helen, children of Apostle Alphaeus (1st c.).
Venerable John of Psichaita the Confessor of Constantinople (9th c.).
New Martyr Alexander of Thessalonica, who suffered at Smyrna (1794) (Greek).
The Icon of the Mother of God of Seligersk-Vladimir.
St. Augustine of Canterbury, evangelizer of England (ca. 605) (Celtic & British).
New Hieromartyrs Milan Banjac and Milan Golubovic of Drvar, Serbia (1941-1945).

You can read the life of the saint in green, by click on the name.

Our thanks and gratitude to all of you who have contributed to the monastery through your generous contributions. May God richly bless you for your kindness, and support, of this monastery.
With love and blessings,
Abbot Tryphon

Donations can be made directly to the monastery through PayPal, or you may send donations to:

All-Merciful Saviour Monastery
PO Box 2420
Vashon Island, WA 98070-2420 USA

Romans 2:14-29

14 for when Gentiles, who do not have the law, by nature do the things in the law, these, although not having the law, are a law to themselves, 15 who show the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and between themselves their thoughts accusing or else excusing them) 16 in the day when God will judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ, according to my gospel.

The Jews Guilty as the Gentiles

17 Indeed you are called a Jew, and rest on the law, and make your boast in God, 18 and know His will, and approve the things that are excellent, being instructed out of the law, 19 and are confident that you yourself are a guide to the blind, a light to those who are in darkness, 20 an instructor of the foolish, a teacher of babes, having the form of knowledge and truth in the law. 21 You, therefore, who teach another, do you not teach yourself? You who preach that a man should not steal, do you steal? 22 You who say, “Do not commit adultery,” do you commit adultery? You who abhor idols, do you rob temples? 23 You who make your boast in the law, do you dishonor God through breaking the law? 24 For “the name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you,” as it is written.

Circumcision of No Avail

25 For circumcision is indeed profitable if you keep the law; but if you are a breaker of the law, your circumcision has become uncircumcision. 26 Therefore, if an uncircumcised man keeps the righteous requirements of the law, will not his uncircumcision be counted as circumcision? 27 And will not the physically uncircumcised, if he fulfills the law, judge you who, even with your written code and circumcision, are a transgressor of the law? 28 For he is not a Jew who is one outwardly, nor is circumcision that which is outward in the flesh; 29 but he is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the Spirit, not in the letter; whose praise is not from men but from God.

Matthew 5:33-41

Jesus Forbids Oaths

33 “Again you have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not swear falsely, but shall perform your oaths to the Lord.’ 34 But I say to you, do not swear at all: neither by heaven, for it is God’s throne; 35 nor by the earth, for it is His footstool; nor by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King. 36 Nor shall you swear by your head, because you cannot make one hair white or black. 37 But let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No,’ ‘No.’ For whatever is more than these is from the evil one.

Go the Second Mile

38 “You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ 39 But I tell you not to resist an evil person. But whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also. 40 If anyone wants to sue you and take away your tunic, let him have your cloak also. 41 And whoever compels you to go one mile, go with him two.


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  1. This story brought tears to my eyes. It is so tragic. But it is also inspiring - to read about such a woman, and the acts of solidarity that followed.

  2. This story brought tears to my eyes. Both for the tragedy and for the inspiration of this woman's life, and the acts of solidarity that followed.

  3. May Gloria's memory be eternal!

  4. Gloria Leonidas was the direct descendant of the American Revolution, the Confederate Veterans of the Civil War, and the American Colonists. Do not forget, she was involved in the relighting of the Statue of Liberty!