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Pilgrims celebrate St. Herman on Spruce Island

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  • MIGREEK@aol.com
    _http://www.adn.com/2012/08/09/2580784/pilgrims-celebrate-st-herman-on.html_ (http://www.adn.com/2012/08/09/2580784/pilgrims-celebrate-st-herman-on.html)
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 11, 2012
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      Pilgrims celebrate St. Herman on Spruce Island


      By NICOLE KLAUSS
      Kodiak Daily Mirror

      (08/09/12 15:23:32)
      SPRUCE ISLAND, Alaska -- Pilgrims from across the world traveled here
      Wednesday to celebrate the 42nd anniversary of the canonization of St. Herman
      of Alaska.
      The annual pilgrimage drew around 100 people who arrived by boat to visit
      the holy site where Orthodox Christianity celebrates its roots in America.
      Bells rang as the Orthodox ministers arrived and made their way up the
      path to the St. Herman's Chapel, followed by the crowd of pilgrims.
      St. Herman was part of the Russian mission that came to Kodiak in 1794. He
      helped convert the Native population to Christianity, but eventually came
      into conflict with the Russians about their treatment of the Native people.
      As a sort of exile, he moved to Spruce Island where he lived a monastic
      life in the early 1800s.
      "St. Herman who lived here on Spruce Island is a Saint who is known
      throughout the Orthodox world," Archbishop Benjamin Peterson of San Francisco and
      the West, and acting Diocese of Alaska, told the Kodiak Daily Mirror
      (http://is.gd/7jJJTb). "I think a lot of people feel connected to him because
      he's closer to our time. He's not really a remote figure."
      St. Herman was canonized in 1970, and is buried in Kodiak. He was the
      first Orthodox saint in North America.
      The divine liturgy lasted about two hours and included prayer, Scripture
      readings, a sermon and communion. Twelve members of the St. Seraphim of
      Sarov Orthodox Church in Kalskag led the choir services; it was the group's
      first time on the pilgrimage.
      After the divine liturgy, some pilgrims paid tribute to St. Herman by
      visiting his original grave site located underneath the chapel.
      Pilgrims also visited the St. Herman's spring to drink fresh holy water,
      and the homes and grave sites of Father Peter Kreta and Rev. Archimandrite
      Gerasim Schmaltz, the men who came after St. Herman and carried on his
      legacy.
      Bishop Nikolai of Salavat and Kumertau, head of Bashkiryan Metropolia in
      Ufa, Russia, traveled from Russia with eight other pilgrims.
      "This holiday is very important, not only for Alaska or for Kodiak, but
      for Christians from all over the world," he said. "You can see that today.
      It's amazing because it's a very small place."
      People in attendance were from Russia, the Czech Republic, Slovakia,
      Mexico, Pennsylvania, Missouri, California, Alaska, and other places in the U.S.

      Metropolitan Christopher, Archbishop of Prague and the head of the
      Orthodox Christian Church in the Czech Republic and Slovakia was supposed to be in
      attendance, but had to return home due to a death in the church.
      After the divine liturgy, the pilgrims had a picnic on the beach before
      heading back to Kodiak.

      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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