Source: Religion Unplugged
August 12, 2022
Orthodox Christians in North America and around the world already are venerating the Alaskan matriarch for her care and concern for abused women.
In Kwethluk village near Bethel, along the Kuskokwim River in a remote southwestern part of this rural state, a small white clapboard Orthodox church is known for an Alaska Native who attended there. Her body in a nearby grave will be exhumed for keepsake as a relic — a practice usually reserved for saints.
Blessed Olga (1916-1979) is expected to become the first female Orthodox saint of North America, possibly as soon as 2023. Born Arrsamquq in the Yup’ik tribe, she’s considered a patron for sexual abuse victims, women who have suffered miscarriages and expecting mothers.
“She’s venerated not just here in Alaska but in the Lower 48 and also abroad now,” said Father Vasily Fisher, the dean of St. Herman’s Orthodox Seminary in Kodiak, Alaska, who was born in Kwethluk. “It’s safe to say it’s very close to her canonization. It’s quite sure.”
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