Foundation for chapel of St. Herman of Alaska laid on Valaam (+ VIDEO)

Valaam, Russia, May 28, 2018

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America’s first saint and great enlightener, St. Herman of Alaska, is being honored at his home monastery of Valaam in northeastern Russia.

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The foundation stone for a new chapel in memory of the ascetic missionary saint was laid and blessed on Valaam on Thursday, on the day when the Church commemorates two other great enlighteners—Sts. Cyril and Methodius, the Enlighteners of the Slavs, the monastery’s official website reports.

Igumen Methodius served a moleben and blessed the beginning of the work on the 46-ft. chapel, and then, together with the donors Andrei and Alexei, lowered the foundation stone of the future chapel and a capsule with a letter of commendation into the ground.

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St. Herman is rightly called the enlightener of America, and even an equal-to-the-apostles. The humble Valaam monk, who desired nothing but the desert life, was destined to become the head of the Russian spiritual mission in America. Living out the rest of his days in a foreign land, he proved by his personal labor that it is not money or power or authority that overcomes, but love, meekness, and patience. He taught true Orthodoxy to both the local tribes and the Russian industrialists who were developing new territories, sometimes to the neglect of the people. Having no other support except his fiery faith, St. Herman would repeat, “I am the lowest servant of the local peoples and a nurse.”

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