Cathedral of St. Matrona of Moscow in Miami was founded in 2011. This is the first Cathedral in America named after the great and beloved Russian saint.
The first Divine Liturgy took place on December 25, 2011. From that day on, the life of prayers began under the protection of Saint Matrona.
On February 12, 2012, with the blessing of Metropolitan Hilarion, the First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, the Vicar of the Eastern American Diocese, Bishop Jerome (Sho) of Manhattan, arrived at the opening of the church and donated the relics of the heavenly patroness of the church, Saint and Blessed Matrona of Moscow on behalf of Metropolitan Hilarion. The parishioners began to receive, and are still receiving St. Matrona’s blessed and wonderful help. This is confirmed by numerous testimonies of miraculous healings and other cases of God’s help, which constantly take place in the church through the prayers of St. Matrona, or Matronushka as Russians call her.
The parish newspaper “Orthodox Florida” has been published and distributed since then throughout the state of Florida free of charge.
Soon the number of parishioners began to increase, and the church could no longer accommodate all the believers. It was necessary to purchase a new and larger church that could accommodate a larger number of parishioners.
On December 1, 2012, Metropolitan Hilarion gave the parish invaluable relics, such as a piece of the relics of St. Nicholas the Wonderworker and an icon of the Blessed Matrona of Moscow, which were given to him earlier by His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia.
On December 1, 2013, a ceremony of the opening of a new church containing the relics of 115 saints of God took place. The large ark for those relics was specially made for the church by the sketches of the warden Ivan (Belya). The relics of the holy saints of the Far and Near Caves of the Kiev and Pechersk Lavra and the New Martyrs were given by the head of the delegation of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, Metropolitan Philip of Poltava and Mirgorod (Osadchenko) with the blessing of His Beatitude Metropolitan Vladimir of Kiev and All Ukraine (Sabodan, +2014).
On December 22, 2014, to mark the 700th anniversary of the birth of St. Sergius of Radonezh, Metropolitan Hilarion of Eastern America and New York gave the icon containing the relics of St. Sergius to the church.
In August 2015, after four years of fundraising and negotiations for the future acquisition of a new church, a historic cathedral with adjacent buildings and territories was purchased in Dania Beach. The cathedral on site has been operating since the founding of the city in 1906. Thus, prayer has not been interrupted here for more than a century, and it is providential that Saint Matrona chose this place for herself. It was a real miracle that through the prayers of Saint Matrona, the clergy and parishioners, it was possible to buy the new premises for the church several times cheaper than the bid.
Numerous and complex repairs and decorating works had to be completed from the moment of acquisition to the moment of grand opening,
On December 12, 2015, the grand opening and consecration of the new Cathedral of St. Matrona of Moscow in Miami took place. It became the largest Orthodox church in Florida. It won’t be an exaggeration to say that the day of the consecration and opening of the new church was a historical event in the life of the city, region and the Church. The festive service, which included the consecration and the Divine Liturgy, was led by the First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, Metropolitan Hilarion of Eastern America and New York. He was co-served by 7 bishops and more than 30 clergymen who arrived from different parts of the American continent as well as from many other countries of the world. On this day, the Cathedral was visited by about 700 people. The spiritual joy of the Orthodox people was strengthened by the arrival of miraculous Theotokos of Kursk Found Among the Roots, also known as Kursk Root Icon of the Sign (Panagia), the main icon of the Russian Diaspora which is considered to be a guide for itinerants and protector of immigrants. The atmosphere in the church was joyous and enthusiastic as the Orthodox people of Miami finally got the opportunity to pray in such a large and spacious cathedral with numerous relics in it, for which they dreamed for more than four years. The local authorities of Hallandale Beach (Miami) declared December 12 the holiday of the Church of St. Matrona of Moscow.
On December 25, 2016, to mark its 5th anniversary the Florida’s largest church was awarded the status of a cathedral.
After numerous renovations and decoration of the interior, the cathedral acquired the appearance of a traditional Orthodox church. The situation with the external appearance of the cathedral was a bit more complicated because it was a former Protestant church, and it was crowned with a spire. According to the Orthodox tradition it should have a dome. The first domes adorned Miami Cathedral in 2018 when the two golden onion-shaped domes were installed above the side entrances. In 2020, a central dome was manufactured and delivered to replace the spire.
An original solution was found for the iconostasis. Florida has a very humid climate, which is why termites eat up all wooden structures over time. Therefore, the iconostasis was made of a special type of porcelain in accordance with the old Russian designs.
In 2016, the Continuous reading of the Incessant Psalter began at Miami Cathedral. It remains the only site in America so far for that. Thanks to the readings, many people came to the church and to God, many started praying, helping others and volunteering for the Church.
In 2016, St. Helena Children’s Parish School was organized and has been operating since at the St. Matrona Cathedral.
Today, the Cathedral of St. Matrona of Moscow in Miami is the spiritual center of Florida. Under the arches of the church, all the nationalities of the region unite in common prayer: Russians, Ukrainians, Belarusians, Moldovans, Georgians, Serbs, Romanians, Spaniards and, of course, Americans, who praise the All-Merciful God for His inexhaustible bounties sent through the prayers of St. Matronushka in many voices. Orthodox people come to attend the church services not only from Miami, but also from all over the state and even from outside. For many people it takes 4-5 hours to get to the Cathedral, and for some it even takes 10-12 hours. Coming from afar, people see the beauty of the Cathedral, they feel its spirituality and hear the prayer, perceiving God’s grace in there.
Relics of the Miami Cathedral
The Reliquary with two pieces of the relics of St. Matrona of Moscow, the heavenly patroness of the Cathedral; the Reliquary with the relics of St. Nicholas the Wonderworker (this saint protects children, patronizes sailors and travelers); a unique Reliquary with the relics of 115 saints including: St. Tikhon, Patriarch of Moscow; St. Prince Daniel of Moscow, Noble-born and Right-believing; St. Prince Alexander Nevsky; the fathers of Kiev and Pechersk Lavra; Sts. Adrian and Natalia; St. Grand Duchess Elizaveta Feodorovna; St. Herman of Alaska; St. Job of Pochaev; St. Kuksha of Odessa; St. Luke, Bishop of Simferopol and Crimea, the Blessed Surgeon (Voino-Yasenetsky); St. Ignatius of Rostov; St. Theodosius of Chernigov; St. Nifont Bishop of Novgorod; St. Simon of Suzdal; St. Alexis of Carpatho–Russia; St. Anastasia of Kiev; an icon with the relics of St. Sergius of Radonezh and many others.
Rector: Archimandrite Alexander (Belya).
Cathedral address: 113 S. FederalHwy, DaniaBeach, FL 33004. Open daily from 10:00 am to 7:30 pm. Web: stmatrona.com