October 2, 2017
✠ The Holy Hieromartyr Cyprian
Beloved in the Lord,
“Lord of the Powers be with us; for in times of distress, we have no other help but You. Lord of the Powers, have mercy on us.” –Troparion from the Great Compline
We are shocked and saddened by the violence that occurred in Las Vegas, Nevada last night, October 1, 2017, where people enjoying an outdoor music festival were confronted with rapid gunfire, killing at least 58 and wounding over 500 more. This senseless act has shaken our entire country and is now sadly the largest mass shooting in the United States.
I have been in contact with the parish priest in Las Vegas, Father John Hondros, who informed me that he is aware of parishioners that were in attendance at this concert but, by God’s grace, they are all are safe. I have also learned that faithful from parishes in other parts of the Metropolis were in attendance and, thankfully, they are also among those not injured in this attack. First responders from our clergy, in partnership with the International Orthodox Christian Charities, are en route to offer their support during this most difficult time.
There are also several Las Vegas parishioners affiliated with the police and fire departments, as well as crime scene investigators, who have been working throughout the night and will continue to labor over these next several days while this situation is brought under control. Our prayers are with them for God’s strength as they continue to serve the community with valor and selflessness.
The parish of Saint John the Baptist Greek Orthodox Church will gather in prayer at 5:00 p.m. this evening to offer a Trisagion for those whose lives were lost, along with a Paraklesis Service for those who have been injured as well as for the peace and protection of their city, our country and throughout the world. If you are in the Las Vegas area, I encourage you to join with the community in prayer. For those located elsewhere in the Metropolis, please pause and take a moment to offer personal prayers for all those affected by this violence.
The Greek Orthodox Metropolis of San Francisco offers our deepest condolences to all those who are mourning the loss of loved ones, and we pray for the eternal rest of those who perished. We also ask God to bring healing to all those injured, and to grant His peace and comfort to the injured and their families, the musicians, and all those in public service who risked their lives for the safety of others.
With Love in Christ,
+ G E R A S I M O S
Metropolitan of San Francisco
Photo courtesy of Bill Hughes/Las Vegas News Bureau