Archbishop Dmitri of Dallas
On March 5th, 2016 the holy relics of Archbishop Dmitri of Dallas and the South (Orthodox Church of America) were uncovered. Falling asleep in the Lord in the Summer of 2011, Archbishop Dmitri was buried unembalmed according to Orthodox tradition. Five years later, his body was disinterred in order to be transferred to a new tomb in St. Seraphim Orthodox Cathedral in Dallas, where he served as Archbishop. To the cemetery personnel’s surprise, the Archbishop’s body was found completely incorrupt and exhumed a sweet smelling fragrance. They said that his body had not decayed even one bit and he looked just like he did the day he died.
Although this is an evident miracle in the eyes of the Orthodox Church, it does not guarantee sainthood of the deceased. Having said this, not one of the people who knew Archbishop Dmitri were surprised at this event. He was known to many as a dear and holy man, converting many to Orthodoxy through his love and simple manner. He lived in a modest two-story house behind his beloved cathedral in which he invited both clergy and laity on great feast days, serving them as if they were his superiors.
“One memorable event”, a certain disciple of the hierarch narrates, “we were at Forgiveness Vespers, the pre-Lenten ritual that all Orthodox parishes do in which each parishioner must ask each other for forgiveness, and then offer it in return. Watching that tall, elderly archbishop bow before our three-year-old daughter Nora and ask her forgiveness — it took my breath away. Nora did not know it at the time, but it was a saint of God who did her that honour.” It is clear that this Archbishop indeed possessed the meekness and love of Christ Himself.
Having uncovered the fragrant and incorrupt relics of the holy Archbishop Dmitri, the following events took place in Dallas. On Saturday morning, March 5th, 2016 His Beatitude, Metropolitan Tikhon, presided at the Divine Liturgy in St Seraphim Cathedral, followed by a memorial service, after which the congregation solemnly processed around the cathedral carrying the coffin of Archbishop Dmitri and placed it over the prepared crypt in the Memorial Chapel. After the final litany, the coffin was lowered into his final earthly resting place.
What a blessing it is to have such holy hierarchs live in our times!
Source: April – May 2016 Lychnos Edition