On Saturday September 5, the Administrator of the Patriarchal Parishes in the USA, His Grace Bishop John of Naro-Fominsk participated in the events surrounding the Canonization of Sts. Sebastian and Mardarije in the Serbian Orthodox Cathedral of St. Stephen in Alhambra, CA. In the early 20th Century, Sts. Sebastian and Mardarije were Serbian pastors and missionaries here in the United States.
The triumphant events began with the celebration of the Divine Liturgy presided by His Holiness, the Archbishop of Peć, Metropolitan of Belgrade and Karlovci, Serbian Patriarch Irinej. His Holiness was co-served at the triumphant Divine Liturgy by guest hierarchs: the head of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese in America, Archbishop Demetrios of America; the Administrator of the Patriarchal Parishes in the USA, Bishop John of Naro-Fominsk; Archbishop Kyrill of San Francisco and Western America (ROCOR); vicar of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church in the USA, Canada and Australia, Bishop Daniel of Dragovitia; head of the Georgian Apostolic Church in North America, Bishop Saba; Archbishop Benjamin of San Francisco and the West (OCA); Archbishop Alejo of Mexico City and all Mexico (OCA)and as well as hierarchs of the Serbian Orthodox Church in Serbia and the United States: Bishop Longin of Novo-Gracanica; Bishop Mitrophan of Eastern America; Bishop Justin of Zica; Bishop Gregory of Herzegovina and Bishop Maxim of Western America.
Before the start of the Divine Services, the Act of the Holy Synod of the Serbian Orthodox Church was read aloud proclaiming the canonization of Sts. Sebastian and Mardarije. Immediately after, the Troparion was sung aloud as the Holy Icon of the saints was brought out of the Altar.
At the conclusion of the Divine Liturgy, His Holiness delivered a sermon describing the spiritual podvig of the saints and their spiritual ties to the Russian Orthodox Church.
Later, a festal banquet was held at the Diocesan Center commemorating the visit of the Serbian Patriarch. During the banquet greetings were read aloud from the various Orthodox jurisdictions in the United States. On behalf of the Russian Orthodox Church, His Holiness Patriarch Irinej was greeted by His Grace Bishop John.