The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light: they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined. Isaiah 9:2
On this date in 1794, the light began to shine in the darkness. To a land that previously had not known Christ, the light of Orthodoxy was carried forth by the mission from Russia, which included Saints Herman and Juvenaly, the martyr.
The arrival in Kodiak of the first formal Orthodox mission, known as the “Kodiak Mission” was the longest missionary journey in the history of the Orthodox Church.
In spite of deprivation, martyrdom, shipwreck, harsh climate, lack of support of the local Russian administration, the mission grew and was well respected by the native population.
O holy illuminators of America, intercede in our behalf.
The Saints of America:
The icon includes the following:
1. St. Herman of Alaska
2. St. Peter the Aleut
3. St. Juvenaly, martyr of Alaska
4. St. Jacob of Alaska
5. St. Innocent, Equal to the Apostles and Enlightener of North America
6. St. Tikhon, Patriarch of Moscow and Enlightener of North America
7. St. Nicholai of Zica and South Canaan
8. St. Alexis of Wilkes-Barre
9. St. John of Chicago, missionary to America and first hieromartyr under the Bolshevik yoke
10. St. Alexander of New York, missionary to America and new martyr of Russia
11. St. Raphael, Bishop of Brooklyn
12. St. John of Shanghai and San Francisco, the Wonderworker