Western American Diocese
Western American Diocese
Patronal Feast Day of Holy Virgin Cathedral in San Fransisco

Holy Virgin Cathedral, named in honor of the Holy Icon of the Mother of God "Joy of All Who Sorrow," will celebrate its annual Feast Day. His Eminence KYRILL Archbishop of San Francisco and Western America presiding.

Schedule of Divine Services

Friday, November 5th:
Eve of Cathedral Feast Day
Vigil at 6:00 pm

Saturday, November 6th:
Greeting of the Bishop and Divine Liturgy from 9:00 am

Holy Virgin Cathedral
6210 Geary Blvd
San Francisco CA 94121


A Brief History of Holy Virgin Cathedral
• Holy Virgin Cathedral was founded in 1927 by His Grace Bishop Apollinaris and a group of believers who wished to remain faithful to the traditional Orthodox canonical order. The first church was housed in a store on Sacramento Street.

• From 1930 to 1965, church services were held at what is now known as the “Old Cathedral” on Fulton Street. This church was purchased from the Episcopal Community and was converted for Orthodox worship. The Old Cathedral continues to exist as an independent parish of our Diocese to this day.

• As was discussed in previous articles, with the arrival of St. John (Maximovich) in San Francisco, the construction of our Cathedral was completed. On the Triumph of Orthodoxy (first Sunday of Great Lent) in 1965, the first Liturgy was celebrated in the new Cathedral—the Holy Virgin Cathedral, Joy of All Who Sorrow.
About our Icons
The “Joy of All Who Sorrow" is a miraculous icon revered in the Orthodox Church. The icon depicts the Mother of God surrounded by people overwhelmed by ailments and sorrows, and angels doing good deeds on Her behalf. On our Cathedral icon, the Mother of God is depicted with a scepter (a symbol of power) in her right hand, while She hands over bread to the hungry ("feeder of the hungry”) with her left hand. It is interesting that the icon contains many inscriptions listing various unfavorable circumstances in which people find themselves, as well as illustrating the Mother of God’s help in these circumstances. Those praying in front of this icon often stop in front of it for a long time, analyzing these inscriptions (see the image of the fragment of the icon in the middle of this article).

One of our Cathedral icons is a version of the icon "Joy of All Who Sorrow with ‘Groshiki’ (copper coins)”, (see this icon at the end of this article). These “Groshiki" have been stuck to the paint layer as a result of a fire. The veneration of this version of the icon began after a severe thunderstorm in St. Petersburg and the surrounding areas on July 23, 1888.  Lightning struck the chapel with the icon in it, scorched all the walls and other icons and the offering plate was completely broken. Despite the lightning and fire, the “Joy of All Who Sorrow” icon miraculously survived, but twelve “Groshki” from the broken offering plate were attached in different places around the icon.

Troparion for the Icon "Joy of All Who Sorrow"
Below please find the Troparion as we sing it in our Cathedral. It is easy to remember, and the phrases from this Troparion are easily recognizable in the inscriptions on the icon. Many who pray in front of our icon use this Troparion as their personal prayer, because the words of the Troparion are often in tune with the circumstances that brought people to church to pray. We sing this Troparian when there is a service in the main altar and it is also appropriate to say it at the entrance to our church.
 Tone 2

Thou art the joy of all that sorrow and the Protectoress of the oppressed, feeder of the hungry, consolation of travelers, haven for the tempest-tossed, visitation of the sick, protection and aid of the infirm, staff of old age, O all-pure Mother of the Most-High God. Hasten, we pray, to save thy servants.
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