On Monday, February 27, Archbishop Elpidophoros of America delivered the benediction at a session of the California State Assembly, in the presence of Lieutenant Governor Eleni Kounalakis.
Archbishop Elpidophoros was introduced by State Assembly Member Diane Papan, after which the Assembly proceeded with its agenda for Black History Month.
“O God of our Fathers, we give thanks to You, for all the blessings in our lives. Finding ourselves in the midst of Black History Month, we pray for all those who throughout the years have suffered the effects of injustice and inequality. Grant wisdom and strength to all those who labor for freedom and justice for people of all races, creeds, and beliefs,” His Eminence said in the Benediction.
“As we gather in gratitude for the gift of freedom, exemplified within the walls of this temple of democracy – Enlighten our minds so that we may continue to recognize and act upon our responsibility and duty to secure the blessings of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness for all peoples – always working to create a more perfect union for all. And we ask, You O Lord to stretch out Your mighty hand and bless all those present here who represent the noble people of California. Guide and inspire them to always serve with honor and dignity – ‘grant that they may govern in peace, so that in their tranquility we all may live calm and serene lives. Through Your Grace, and love for humankind. Amen.”
Earlier that day, Archbishop Elpidophoros met with Lt. Governor Kounalakis and Assembly Member Papan, accompanied by Metropolitan Gerasimos of San Francisco. The Archbishop’s pastoral visit to the Metropolis of San Francisco, which began on Saturday, will continue through Friday, March 3rd.