The St. Hermione Home: A 2,000 Year Old Tradition Continues
On Oct. 3, 2020, a beautiful and sun-filled day that can only be described as “Χαρα Θεου», a longtime dream became a reality. His Eminence, Metropolitan Alexios of the Holy Metropolis of Atlanta officiated an Agiasmo and a Groundbreaking ceremony for the site of the future St. Hermione Home.
His Eminence was assisted in the blessing by Fr. Vasileilios Tsourlis (Dean, Holy Trinity Cathedral/Charlotte), Fr. Robert Lawrence (St. Luke’s/Mooresville), Fr. Constantine Shepherd (Annunciation/Winston-Salem), Fr. Jonathan Resmini (Holy Trinity/Charlotte), Fr. Nektarios Karantonis (St. Nektarios/Charlotte), and Fr. Dr. Paul Tsahakis (Holy Monastery of Panagia Prousiotissa), as well as Gerontissa Agni and Adelphi Chrysovalantou (Holy Monastery of Panagia Prousiotissa). The faithful in attendance included supporters, benefactors, as well as future workers in this ministry.
The inspiration for the St. Hermione Home comes from the actual life of St. Hermione, one of the very first Holy Unmercenary Saints in the Orthodox Church, who lived in the first century AD. The daughter of St. Phillip the Deacon, St. Hermione trained in the medical arts. After accepting the admonition our Lord Jesus Christ as outlined in Matthew 25 to care for the “Least,” St. Hermione purchased a home and in it established both a medical clinic as well as lodging for the poor, the stranger, and the homeless. There, she healed all who came to her with illnesses of both body and soul. Like all of the Holy Unmercenary Saints, St. Hermione never accepted payment for her miraculous healings and offerings. She, as well as all of these special Unmercenary Saints, attributed these miracles to the Power of Jesus Christ, in whose Name these Saints healed.
After contemplating the life of St. Hermione, inspiration arose to emulate her ministry in Charlotte, NC. Thus, ‘The St. Hermione Home’ (SHH) is taking form. Its mission is to provide a loving and nurturing environment for pregnant women affected by homelessness. Additionally, SHH will offer spiritual support, vocational training with an emphasis on computer skills, parenting classes, as well as adoption services.
SHH is excited to announce a partnership with Shelter Health Services (SHS) located at the Salvation Army’s Center of Hope. SHS provides free medical care to all residents of the Center of Hope Shelter, and will provide both pre- and post- natal care to residents of SHH. This association with SHS is a continuation of the firmly established relationship between it and the Holy Unmercenary Medical Society (HUMS), a Ministry of the Holy Metropolis of Atlanta, whose members provide regular free medical/dental care.
While SHH is being developed as an independent 501c3 tax exempt entity, our beloved Metropolitan Alexios has designated it as a Ministry of our Holy and God-Protected Holy Metropolis of Atlanta. Actual construction of the home will begin by early 2021, with the expectation of welcoming our first residents later that year.
This Holy Icon of St Hermione that depicts both her original house of healing on her right, as well as the proposed home here in Charlotte on her left, was painted by our very own Sister Emily (Couchell) of the Holy Dormition Monastery in Rives Junction, Michigan. This Holy Image will greet all who enter SHH, and will serve as a visible reminder that one has entered a consecrated space set apart from “this world.”