Beloved Brothers and Sisters in the Lord,

“Violence shall no more be heard in your land, devastation or destruction within your borders; you shall call your walls Salvation, and your gates Praise.”
Isaiah 60:18

Whether random acts of violence or targeted attacks, the news of mass shootings has become all too familiar in our world. In the past few days, there were two such incidents in California, one in Monterey Park that claimed the lives of 11 people, and one in Half Moon Bay where seven people perished. Sadly, these are just two of 39 mass shootings that have occurred since the beginning of this year in the United States.

We pray for the repose of the souls of these innocent victims, and for the Lord’s comfort and peace for all those grieving the loss of their loved ones. We also give thanks to law enforcement who put themselves in danger for the protection of others, and for the first responders who offer their very best to provide lifesaving care for all those who are suffering from illness.

Be fervent in your prayers for “peace in the world” as we offer in every Divine Liturgy, and let us be vigilant in keeping aware of our surroundings, reporting any suspicious activity to the authorities, and always wearing the Cross of Christ to protect us.

With Love in Christ,
+ G E R A S I M O S
Metropolitan of San Francisco

Photo Credit: Allen J. Schaben-Getty Images