The Cathedral of the Mother of God “Joy of All Who Sorrow” of San Francisco

21 July, 2015

The Cathedral of the Mother of God “Joy of All Who Sorrow” of San FranciscoThe Cathedral of Our Lady “Joy of All Who Sorrow” of San Francisco is the main church of San Francisco and Western American Diocese of ROCOR. Today that is a spiritual center of ROCA on the West Coast, as well is one of most known city buildings.


The Orthodox parish of San Francisco was founded in 1927. In 1960s the old church on Fulton Street became too small to receive under one roof all the faithful. Thus, it was decided to build a new spaciousness stone church on Geary Boulevard. The laying of foundation stone was performed on 25 June 1961.

Future construction of Holy Virgin Cathedral “Joy of All Who Sorrow” is related to a name of great holy man of XX century, who at the same time was the ruling bishop of San Francisco Diocese – Archbishop John (Maximovitch). In 1962 he arrived to the last place of his ministry in West America. One year he was a Vicar of aged and pretty sick Archbishop Tikhon (Troitsky), and after hierarch’s death St. John became the ruling bishop.

The construction works were finished in 1964. Five golden domes with the massive crosses crowned the majestic building. The famous iconographer of St. Trinity monastery of Jordanvill father Cyprian (Pyzhov) was responsible for painting works of interior of the Cathedral. Facade is decorated by a few vast mosaics: the icon “Joy of All Who Sorrow” is above the main entrance, to the right from the main entrance – the images of St. Basil the Great, St. Gregory the Theologian and St. John the Chrysostom; to the left from the main entrance – the images of Spyridon of Trimythous, St. Cyril of Alexandria and St. Athanasius the Great.

The Great Office of consecration was performed in 1977.

The Cathedral of San Francisco became the place of conducting of several memorable events in life of ROCOR. For example, here took place the festive glorifications among the saints of St. Herman of Alaska (1970) and Archbishop of San Francisco and Shanghai John (1994). In 2006 under the arches of Cathedral took place IV All-Abroad Sobor of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad.

Present day

The holy relics of St. John of Shanghai and San Francisco are in the Cathedral of Our Lady “Joy of All Who Sorrow”. Every single year on 2nd June, in the Day of his Remembrance, this church becomes the center of popular feast.

The Divine Liturgy is celebrated in the Cathedral for every day. Three choirs are organized for vocal accompaniment of the worships.

Under the cathedral are: St. John Orthodox Academy (founded in 1994), Cyril and Methodius High School (it is here since a foundation of the parish) and the sisterhood of Virgin Mary.

The Cathedral of the Mother of God “Joy of All Who Sorrow” of San Francisco обновлено: September 18, 2015 автором: maximus