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January - February 2012

ORTHODOX ANECDOTES: St. John Maximovitch

In the 1960s, when St, John Maximovitch was Archbishop at the Old Cathedral in San Francisco, he was shocked to see the number of women who came to church wearing makeup - and even to Holy Communion wearing lipstick.

Saint John decided he would solve the problem right away. Each Sunday, he stationed an acolyte with a pail of water, soap, and a scrub brush at the door of the cathedral, asking all the women wearing makeup to scrub their faces before entering the church.

If you visit the Old Cathedral in San Francisco today, you will no longer find Saint John there: his relics are in the New Cathedral, some distance away. Neither will you find the acolyte with the water pail.

Apparently, Saint John's plan must have worked.

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