Moscow, June 16, 2017
St. Alexis Toth arrived to the United States from the Austro-Hungarian Empire in 1889, and now a piece of St. Alexis has returned to his native land. During the celebrations of the 113th annual Memorial Day Pilgrimage at St. Tikhon’s Monastery in Waymart, PA, His Beatitude Metropolitan Tikhon had the blessing of gifting a particle of the relics of St. Alexis to Archimandrite Pimen (Matsola) who was visiting from the Western Ukrainian Diocese of Khust and Vinohradova, reports the Orthodox Church in America.
Archimandrite Pimen, the dean of the Monastery of the Archangel St. Michael, visited the holy sites of America from May 22 to 31 with the blessing of Metropolitan Mark of Khust and Vinohradova. The main purpose of his visit, according to the Pilgrimage Center of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, was to visit St. Tikhon’s Monastery, where the incorrupt relics of the Carpatho-Russian St. Alexis Toth are kept. The Khust Diocese is located near the Slovak and Hungarian borders, the area where St. Alexis was born and ministered before coming to America.
Noting that American Orthodox Christians have traveled abroad for many years to venerate the relics of the saints, it is “something wonderful to see pilgrims from Europe coming to America to venerate our saints!” said an elated Met. Tikhon. Archimandrite Pimen received the gift at the Divine Liturgy on the occasion of the anniversary of St. Alexis’ glorification, which took place at St. Tikhon’s on May 29, 1994.
The relics of St. Alexis were delivered to Ukraine on May 31, and will be carried in the traditional diocesan procession on August 20. After that, the relics will be exhibited for veneration in Sts. Cyril and Methodius Cathedral in Khust.
Fr. Pimen also had the blessing of traveling to San Francisco to venerate the relics of St. John Maximovitch, and to visit the Old Russian Cathedral where the saint’s mantia is kept. He also visited St. Herman’s Monastery in Platina, CA to venerate the grave and visit the cell of Fr. Seraphim Rose, as well as St. John’s Monastery in Manton, CA.
St. Alexis was a Uniate priest from the Austro-Hungarian Empire, assigned to serve a parish in Minneapolis in 1889. Upon arrival in America he found the Latin bishop quite hostile to Catholics of the Byzantine Rite, and found himself without a parish. By God’s providence this led to his reception into the holy Orthodox Church on March 25, 1891, after which he worked tirelessly, delivering fiery sermons throughout all of America to bring thousands of Uniates into the true Church. He reposed in 1909, being laid to rest in the monastery cemetery at St. Tikhon’s. Seven years later his body was relocated to a special crypt built behind the Church. Today his relics lie in a reliquary on the right kliros in the monastery church, where all are welcome to venerate and pray to this faithful missionary of Orthodoxy in America.