September 24, 2020 – The Feast of All Saints of Alaska

            On this day we celebrated the Feast of All Saints of Alaska, the patronal feast of the chapel here at St. Herman Seminary.  We gathered on this beautiful day together to give thanks to God. We thank Him for blessing the Seminary with our connection to these wonderful Saints.  The work done by these Saints helped to lay foundation for our Orthodox Church in Alaska, and this blessing they received from God to bring the Word continues to bear fruit to this day.

            We ask for the prayers of St. Herman who endured many trials to help God’s children on Kodiak Island.  Taking in orphans and helping to heal those who were ill.  We ask for prayers from St. Innocent who was the Evangelizer to the Aleut people, and from St. Juvenaly and his companion who ventured out to teach the Word of God to those sitting in darkness of paganism, and at whose hands brought St Jevenaly and his companion to Holy Matryrdom. We ask prayers from St Peter the Aleut who by his example through persecution teaches us to hold on to our faith with strength and Love, even unto earthly death.  We ask for prayers from St. Yakov who at one point would serve the Divine Liturgy in a tent and in such cold conditions and the chalice would be freezing.  May their prayers continue to be raised unto God for all of us.

            These are the saints who we see in the icon of All Saints of Alaska, but we also ask the prayers of those saints who served in Alaska as well, such as, Martyred Priest Vasily Martyz who served in the village of Afognak on Kodiak Island.  We ask prayers New Martyr Archbishop Seraphim of Uglich who also served in Alaska who later perished at the hands of the Bolsheviks. We ask the prayers of Blessed Mother Olga of Alaska whose life of humility and service to others in need continues to inspire and help those suffering not only from barrenness, but also alcohol and drug addiction.

             We also ask the prayers of Saints who are known only to God.  Those who continue to inspire us through their dedication and work for the building up of our Holy Church, those who served diligently as clergy, readers, choir singers, starostas, church school workers, and all those who quietly would teach by their living example of faith and Love.  Every Orthodox Christian can think back and recall someone who was inspiring to them, someone who gave us all the desire to serve as they have done.  These experiences and memories help us all to hear Christ say, “Come, follow me.” Mt 4:19

            Through their holy intercession, St. Herman Seminary continues to present the opportunity for those who heed the call of Christ, those who may follow the wonderful footsteps of these Saints. We all ask help of those who prepared the way for us, so that we can accomplish this task and help to prepare a path for those who will come after us heeding Christ command “…Feed my sheep.” Jn 21:17

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