Saint Herman was a Russian monk and missionary to the native Alaskan peoples. He was sent to Alaska with a group of ten monks in 1794. After a decade of work, Saint Herman became the head of the mission and was the headmaster of the school. He was greatly respected by the natives of Kodiak Island, but he desired to live as a hermit and moved to Spruce Island about 1817. But the Aleut natives loved him so much, they visited often and a settlement grew up around the New Valaam hermitage. Saint Herman reposed in peace on November 15, 1836.
Regarded by many as the patron saint of North America, Saint Herman is venerated by the Orthodox Church, as well as the Anglican Communion. He was glorified on August 9, 1970, and this is his primary feast day. He is also celebrated on November 15/28 and December 13/25.
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