Getting to Know our Orthodox Christian Saints who Lived, Labored and Served in America


Source: Orthodox Christian Laity

Orthodox Christian Saints of North America

Orthodox Christian Laity starts off the New Year by introducing a new feature on the OCL web site:  Getting to Know our Orthodox Christian Saints who Lived, Labored and Served in America.  This feature is dedicated to celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the granting of the Tomos of Autocephaly to the Orthodox Church in America (OCA) in 1970.

It is time for the clergy and laity to come to realize that the American Orthodox Experience is unique. Our unique new world geography has helped us create a multi-cultural Orthodox presence here. Even before there was structured church life here (dioceses, etc.), our Orthodox people, by their presence and faith, were developing a unique Church.  Two hundred years later, we are a mature Church. We have seminaries, an educated clergy, and hundreds of church communities. Most importantly, we have American Saints, and it is time to know who they are.  All these factors make us a mature Church.  In every way, we are the sister church to the Churches that were once within the boundaries of the old Roman Empire.

The great challenge in America is that the governing structure of the Church is uncanonical.  In the United States, for instance, there are about 58 bishops who are members of 14 separate jurisdictions.  Some of them live in the same city, contrary to canon law.  For 11 years as an Assembly of Bishops, they have been trying to address this uncanonical situation but are at an impasse.  The solution is that the 58 bishops need to be one synod in the USA and elect their own head. They just do not seem to be able to overcome their ties to foreign patriarchates.  Nevertheless, this fact has not stopped the laity from developing a mature Church on the grassroots level, by cooperating on many levels.

To continue to grow in our maturation process, we need to learn more about our history as Orthodox in America.  We need to study the lives of the Orthodox Saints.  We will start by introducing each month the lives of one or more of our Saints who sanctified America by their presence, faith and witness of their lives dedicated to God. We pray that they intercede for us, so we become one unified Orthodox Church in America.

Following is a list of American Orthodox Christian Saints:

  • Alexander Hotovitzky
  • Alexis of Wilkes-Barre, leader of ex-Uniates into Orthodoxy
  • Basil Martysz, hieromartyr in Poland
  • Brendan the Navigator, leader of short-lived 6th c. Irish monastic community in Canada
  • Herman of Alaska, first missionary to Alaska
  • Innocent of Alaska, missionary bishop to Alaska
  • Jacob Netsvetov
  • John Kochurov
  • John (Maximovitch) the Wonderworker, Archbishop of Shanghai and San Francisco
  • Juvenaly of Alaska
  • Nicholas (Velimirović), bishop of Žiča, rector of St. Tikhon’s Seminary
  • Peter the Aleut, protomartyr of America
  • Raphael (Hawaweeny), vicar bishop of Brooklyn under Moscow Patriarchate
  • Seraphim (Samoylovich) of Uglich, missionary in Alaska and hieromartyr under the Soviets
  • Tikhon of Moscow
  • Barnabas (Nastić), the New Confessor, born in Gary, Indiana
  • Anatole (Kamensky) of Irkutsk, New Hieromartyr and Archbishop of Irkutsk
  • Sebastian (Dabovich), archimandrite, “Serbian Apostle to America”, first orthodox priest born in the USA
  • Mardarije (Uskokovic), Serbian Bishop of America and Canada

George Matsoukas

The following accounts are from the website of the Orthodox Church in America:

St. Alexander Hotovitzky
Missionary to America and Hieromartyr under the Bolshevik Yoke

Born: February 11, 1872 (Kremenetz, Volhynia, Russia)
Died: August 19, 1937 (Moscow)
Glorification Date: December 4, 1994
Commemoration Dates: December 4 (Glorification)

The Life of St. Alexander Hotovitzky
Liturgical Music Downloads
Icon of St. Alexander with scenes from his life
Life icon of St. Alexander scenes explained
Photos of the Glorification of St. Alexander

St. Alexis Toth (of Wilkes-Barre)
Confessor & Defender of Orthodoxy in America

Born: March 18, 1854 (Austro-Hungary)
Died: May 7, 1909 (Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania)
Glorification Date: May 29-30, 1994
Commemoration Dates: May 7 (repose)


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