the map of Valaam in Karelia there appeared a new object – chapel in the name of the monk Herman of Alaska, a simple monk who became the head of the Orthodox spiritual mission in Alaska in the late eighteenth century.
As reported in the Valaamo monastery, this mission marked the beginning of the spread of Orthodoxy in America. August 9, the 50-year anniversary of the canonization of Saint Herman of Alaska mission, the chapel will be consecrated.
Spiritual mission, which included monks from the Valaam monastery, was established in 1793 and was named the Kodiak (with its center on Kodiak island). Herman (in the world Egor Popov) was then a simple monk, it remained in Alaska, when in fact became the head of the mission. He rejected the offer for ordination to the priesthood, and then the Archbishop, saying, “I am an inferior servant of the local peoples and the nurse”.
Herman has quickly earned the respect and love of the local population of the Aleuts. He was particularly fond of children. Herman taught not only the faith but also living skills, in particular horticulture. And when in 1819 in Alaska got a severe flu epidemic, Herman constantly visited the sick, helped them.
Now in Alaska, nearly 90 Orthodox parishes. In many villages up to 100 percent of the population – Orthodox.
– I did not feel in another country, it felt like spiritually I’m still in Russia. The local population of Alaska was very receptive to Orthodoxy and the faith they kept, – said one of the current monks of the Valaam monastery Hierodeacon Herman, who had been in Alaska.