St. Xenia of St. Petersburg, Russia, the patron saint of finding lodging, employment and spouses, is now the patron saint of one of the newest Antiochian churches in Payson, Utah. Through her intercessions, more people will find their home in the true faith.
This vibrant church – the first in the Antiochian Archdiocese named for St. Xenia – features three golden onion domes topped with Byzantine crosses. Inside, new iconography of Christ’s Nativity and Resurrection adorns the walls, and the Theotokos “More spacious than the heavens” surrounded by the angels fills the apse. More icons are in the works.
The founding pastor, Fr. Justin Havens, along with the dedicated founding parishioners, the loving community of St. Xenia’s sister parish – Ss. Peter and Paul Church in Salt Lake City – built the new church temple from the ground up. They have several acres set aside for the future fellowship hall, Church School classrooms and administration building, and much more.
The parishes have baptized and chrismated hundreds of new Orthodox Christians in recent years, including en masse on Holy Saturdays. Fr. Justin has led a successful outreach to members of the Mormon (LDS) community, as he discussed in two Ancient Faith Radio podcasts. (part one) (part two) In fact, St. Xenia Church sits within eyeshot of the Payson Mormon Temple.
And now, St. Xenia Church welcomes everyone to celebrate their patronal feast day with them on Monday, January 24, 2022. Festivities begin with Great Vespers the night before. (Liturgical texts for January 23, January 24) Orthodox Christian clergy and laity from across Utah are already planning to be there. The celebration of the growth of Holy Orthodoxy in Utah County will be one to remember!