Father Herman was a monk at Valaam Monastery in Russia, and came to Alaska as part of a mission in 1793. The mission was sent to evangelize the native inhabitants of Alaska. He lived on Spruce Island, near Kodiak Island, in his hermitage for nearly forty years, outliving all other members of the mission team.
In Alaska, Father Herman's work on behalf of the orphans and poor of the Native community, and his extreme asceticism, won the admiration and love of this community. Largely because of his work and example, many converted to Orthodox Christianity. To this day the majority of the Aleut people (aboriginal inhabitants of the Aleutian Islands), and many of the Alaskan Indian and Inuit (the larger group of Alaskan Eskimos) peoples remain Orthodox Christians.
Much of this information on St. Herman was taken from the book, Saint Herman of Alaska. ©1970 by the Orthodox Church in America, Printed by Llewellyn Brothers, Inc., 23 S. Franklin St., Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. It is republished here by the kind permission of His Grace Archbishop Herman of Philadelphia and Pennsylvania, of the Orthodox Church in America.
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©1970 by the Orthodox Church in America (OCA). All rights reserved. Please contact the OCA for permission to mirror or use this document for anything but private, noncommercial purposes.