View more saints

Saint Herman of Alaska

About Saint Herman of Alaska

Saint Herman of Alaska stands as a testament to the Orthodox Christian faith's enduring spirit and its ability to touch the farthest reaches of the world. A humble monk, his love for God and people laid the foundations of Orthodoxy in the North American continent.

Feast Day

December 13

Birth Place

Serpukhov, Russia

Born

1756

Reposed

November 15, 1837
Saint Herman of Alaska

Photo credit to

Uncut Mountain Supply

Early Life and Education

01

Early Life and Education

Born around 1750 in Serpukhov, Russia, little is known about Herman's early years. Drawn to monastic life, he entered the Monastery of Valaam on Lake Ladoga, near Finland. Here, he spent years in prayer, asceticism, and service.

02

Ecclesiastical Career

In 1793, Herman, along with a group of monks, was chosen for a mission to evangelize the native peoples of Alaska, then a Russian territory. The mission was based on Kodiak Island. While the larger mission faced its share of challenges, including tensions with Russian colonial authorities, Herman stood out for his unwavering commitment to the Aleut people's spiritual and material well-being.

He did not just share the Christian faith; he also defended the native peoples against colonial abuses, advocated for their rights, and became a beloved figure in their communities.

Later, Saint Herman moved to Spruce Island, a small island near Kodiak, which he called "New Valaam." He lived a life reminiscent of ancient Christian hermits – simple, filled with prayer, and marked by great miracles and prophecies. Despite his secluded life, he remained a spiritual beacon for the Aleuts and other native tribes, often offering counsel, education, and aid.

Ecclesiastical Career

Later Life and Canonization

03

Later Life and Canonization

Saint Herman reposed in the Lord on December 13, 1837. His sanctity was recognized by the native peoples immediately, with many regarding him as their intercessor in heaven. It was only in 1970 that the Orthodox Church of America canonized him, officially recognizing his sainthood and designating him as the patron saint of North America.

04

Legacy

Saint Herman of Alaska's legacy is profound. His life serves as a shining example of genuine Christian love, missionary zeal, and profound humility. Today, he remains an inspiration for Orthodox Christians across North America and the world, reminding them of the faith's universality and transformative power.

To delve deeper into the inspiring life of Saint Herman of Alaska, we invite you to browse our collection here. Discover the journey of a humble monk who became the beacon of Orthodoxy in the New World.

Legacy

Relics

Where are the relics of Saint Herman of Alaska

The relics of Saint Herman of Alaska are interred on Spruce Island, Alaska, at the chapel dedicated to his memory. Saint Herman was initially buried there, and his grave has since become a place of pilgrimage for Orthodox Christians and others. Spruce Island is where he carried out much of his missionary work and where he reposed in 1837. The island remains a significant spiritual site, and many make pilgrimages there to venerate Saint Herman and seek his intercessions.

Other Saints from this region

Saint Sebastian Dabovich

Saint Sebastian Dabovich

Welcome to the page of St. Sebastian Dabovich, the first American-born Orthodox saint. Born in San Francisco in 1863, he devoted his life to establishing the Orthodox Church across the United States. Known for his missionary zeal and pastoral care, he tirelessly worked to serve the faithful until his passing in 1940. Glorified as a saint in 2015, his legacy continues to inspire. Visit his relics at St. Sava Serbian Orthodox Church in Jackson, California, and explore his enduring spiritual journey.
Read More
Saint John Maximovitch of San Francisco

Saint John Maximovitch of San Francisco

Saint John Maximovitch, often referred to as Saint John of Shanghai and San Francisco, is one of the most beloved figures in modern Orthodox Christianity. A bishop, wonderworker, and ascetic, his life was marked by profound piety, unwavering faith, and a deep love for all, especially the suffering and needy.
Read More

Written Works

Credit card mockups
Subscribe to receive news, articles and more from the Orthodox Calendar Company
Thanks for joining our newsletter.
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
History of Orthodoxy in the United States

Eastern Orthodoxy in the United States: A Vibrant Tapestry of Faith in a Melting Pot of Traditions

Uncover the vibrant tapestry of Eastern Orthodoxy in the United States, a country where this ancient faith has carved out a distinctive identity within its melting pot of religious traditions. With a history that spans more than a century, Orthodoxy in America reflects a rich blend of cultures, ethnicities, and traditions from around the world.
Orthodox Church

Amazon Kindle - Digital

Download the 2024 Lives of the Saints Calendar

This 365-page daily calendar book features the life of an Orthodox saint, insightful teachings from the Saints and elders of the Church, a list of all commemorations for the day, Gospel and Epistle readings, fasting guidelines, and references to feasts. The stories include the lives of Greek, Russian, Georgian, Romanian, Ukrainian, Serbian, English, Celtic, and American saints.

Download Now