Message of His Grace, Bishop Theodosius on the Canonization of Saint Herman of Alaska

Today is the Feast of the Orthodox Faith in North America.

Today we are summoned by the Holy Spirit Himself Who has sustained the memory of the simple monk, Herman, in the hearts of the Alaskan Orthodox faithful.

Today it is given us to see the undistorted image of God in the humble face of our brother, Herman of Alaska.

Beloved Brethren in Christ!

In Herman we recognize the beloved figure of the true Orthodox monk, a man of patience, joy and sobriety. A man of God, undaunted by the outrageous behavior of his countrymen, the monk Herman won the grudging respect of the secular officials of Russian America whose gross behavior towards God, towards the native Alaskans, towards themselves and each other, was courageously denounced by St. Herman.

A man of peace in the midst of terrible violence, the monk Herman grants us the image of the truly Christian response to the violence and spiritual collapse of our own age.

St. Herman, wonderworker of-Alaska and All America, spiritual physician, averter of disasters by prayer, teacher of the oppressed and their benefactor, pray now for the Orthodox Church in America, your spiritual child!

May Your truly wonderful example and Your truly effective prayers sustain our faith in purity, save us from the temptations of strange creeds and false idols, and strengthen us all for the time of testing which God in His mercy now grants us, His new Church.

Let us all seek and find in St. Herman of Alaska our true way in this time.

Let us seek out his prayers for us. Let us read and contemplate in the depths of our hearts the gracious life of our heavenly patron. May we rededicate ourselves now at this time of founding to the acquisition of the Holy Spirit which is the permanent goal of Orthodox life, as St. Herman’s contemporary and fellow-student, St. Seraphim of Sarov, taught.

And as St. Herman himself said, “From this time forth, from this hour, from this minute, let us love God above all.”


Bishop of Sitka and All Alaska

August 9, 1970

Kodiak, Alaska