Saint Martyr Peter the Aleut of Alaska and San Francisco, California, USA (+1815)

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ALASKA OF MY HEART

Saint Martyr Peter the Aleut of Alaska

and San Francisco, California, USA (+1815)

The holy martyr Peter the Aleut (or Cungagnaq in his native tongue) was a native aleut of Kodiak Island, Alaska.

When missionaries came from Russia, the Aleutians were baptized by the hundreds, and at baptism he was given the name Peter. St. Peter is believed to have been baptized by Saint Herman himself, since he knew the Holy Saint personally.

In 1815 a group of Aleut seal and otter hunters, including Peter, were captured by Spanish sailors while on an excursion near fort Ross. The Roman Catholics took them to Mission Dolores in San Francisco for interrogation, as they were angry with the Russians for encroaching on “their territory.” With threats of torture, the Roman Catholic priests in California attempted to force the Aleuts to deny their Orthodox faith and to convert to Roman Catholicism.

 

When the Aleuts refused, the priest had a toe severed from each of Peter’s feet. Peter still refused to renounce his faith and the Spanish priest ordered a group of California Native Americans to cut off each finger of Peter’s hands, one joint at a time, finally removing both his hands. They eventually disemboweled him, crowning his life with martyrdom. They were about to torture the next Aleut when orders were received to release them under escort to their monastery in Monterey.

Upon receiving the report of Peter’s death from Simeon Yanovsky, St. Herman back on Kodiak Island was moved to cry out, “Holy new-martyr Peter, pray to God for us!” Peter the Aleut was formally declared a saint as the “Martyr of San Francisco” in 1980. We have the account of St. Peter’s martyrdom from Simeon Yanovsky as related him by St. Peter’s cellmate who escaped torture. Simeon Yanovsky ended his life as the schemamonk Sergius in the St. Tikhon of Kaluga Monastery), and is the author of The Life of St. Herman of Alaska.

Source:

http://oca.org

OCA – ORTHODOX CHURCH IN AMERICA

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The Holy Baptism of Jon Gissel in Denmark

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ORTHODOXY IS LOVE

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The Holy Baptism of Jon Gissel in Denmark

On May 31, 2015, Pentecost Sunday, at a Romanian parish of Eastern Orthodox Church in Copenhagen, Denmark, the Danish professor of Byzantine History at the University of Copenhagen, Jon Gissel, baptized Orthodox Christian, after nearly three years of spiritual catechism. God bless him!

Source:

http://basilica.ro/sarbatoarea-rusaliilor-la-copenhaga-107193.html

BASILICA NEWS AGENCY

Fr. Pierre Haab, Switzerland: His long journey from Roman Catholicism, Buddhism and Hinduism to Orthodoxy

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EDELWEISS OF MY HEART

Fr. Pierre Haab, Switzerland: His long journey from Roman Catholicism, Buddhism and Hinduism to Orthodoxy

Aviv Saliu-Diallo, Pierre Haab

Fr. Pierre Haab, a Swiss former Roman Catholic who was disappointed with his religion and was carried away by Buddhism, Hinduism and other screamingly “fashionable” Eastern teachings and who is now a subdeacon of the Orthodox Cathedral of the Exaltation of the Cross in Geneva, speaks about his conversion to Orthodoxy.

* * *

—Can you tell us a few words about your family, education and the story of your conversion to the Orthodox faith?

I was born in an under-developed, impoverished, hungry country where the sky is permanently overcast with dark clouds—of course, in the spiritual sense. I am speaking of Switzerland, and especially of the city of Geneva—the center of world freemasonry and finances, the stronghold of obscurantist heresy, and a materialistic megalopolis that is enjoying the lulling, stable comfort that easily protects it from the numerous everyday tragedies of humanity.

My parents raised me in the Roman Catholic faith that they had inherited from their ancestors, for which I am extremely grateful to them; they implanted the fundamentals of Christian Revelation in me from childhood—namely faith in God, the doctrine and the necessity of prayer.

We were a practicing Catholic family. We attended Mass on Sundays and major Church feasts, and prayer was a part of our daily life (at least it was so for the first ten years of my childhood). My father, a journalist, devoted his professional life to the protection of the oppressed and justice. As far as my parents are concerned, they did their best to provide the continuity of religious education in our family.

As for the Church, though in my case the more precise name was “Papism”, the situation was different. As a child (in the 1950s) I felt comfortable in that religious environment; for example, I had no problem with prayers in Latin. Although for me faith was “the faith in obedience,” I used to ask many questions, and the adults—my parents and priests—were unable to answer them. And if they did answer me, they did it with a smile and condescendingly, thinking that I was trying to get to the core of the matter too seriously. They gave me to understand that performing the morally required duties was enough for me. And I decided that I would get the answers to my questions later through my independent, in-depth research and analysis of the primary sources, where the morals come from. Judging by my childhood memories, I always had a thirst for truth.

So I was waiting for some changes, when, at the very dawn of my youth, a crucial event happened in the West—a real revolution in Papism (which is still going on today). I mean the Second Vatican Council of 1962. Over a short span of several months (or, in some cases, two to three years) a whole set of rules which had been shaped in the living daily reality of Western Christianity formany centuries, were abolished, declared invalid and obsolete and even partly prohibited; in the twinkling of an eye this heritage was declared the lifeless and dusty relics of archeology. For example, thenceforth during the Mass the officiating priest and the altar were “turned around” and must face toward the congregation; the use of Latin—the centuries-old language of Western liturgies—was banned; the Sunday Mass was moved to Saturday evening—in order to give believers the opportunity to go skiing or sleep more on Sunday morning; the cassock (or soutane)—a non-liturgical garment traditionally worn by Catholic clergy—was declared “unnecessary”; all fasts (the Eucharistic fast, Lent and fasting on Fridays) were abolished; the sacramental wafers are distributed among the faithful by lay people (of both sexes) to “assist” the priest in his “work” and so on.

On the whole, it was an unhealthy thirst for changes. Continuity was no longer supported—it was seen as a sign of death. Instability became the norm, coupled with its main and inevitable consequence—the complacent confidence that thanks to our modern civilization we infinitely surpass all that Continue reading “Fr. Pierre Haab, Switzerland: His long journey from Roman Catholicism, Buddhism and Hinduism to Orthodoxy”

Lance Goldsberry, USA: Why I Became Orthodox – A Personal Story & Testimony

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USA OF MY HEART

Lance Goldsberry, USA:

 Why I Became Orthodox – A Personal Story & Testimony

From Roman Catholicism to Orthodoxy

Source:

http://journeytoorthodoxy.com

JOURNEY TO ORTHODOXY

On January 31st, 2010, one day after my 50th birthday, I was received into the Holy Orthodox Catholic Church of the East at St. Mary’s Greek Orthodox Church in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

I became Orthodox Christian after 20 years journey of studying Orthodoxy. I was raised Roman Catholic, and went to parochial school for 12 years. I am grateful for my Roman Catholic upbringing; I learned who Jesus was, I believe I knew the Christ, but I did not always follow Him in my life.

After wasting a few years in adolescence and young adulthood smoking marijuanna and living a generally aimless life, I had a “born again” experience through the Catholic Charismatic movement. It was real in the sense that I repented of my sins and re-directed my life to Christ, and gave up drinking and drug use.

Shortly thereafter, I began attending independent charismatic churches, and left the Catholic faith. The churches I went to were very fundamentalistic. I got burned out after spending a few years in one fellowship in particular, where the leadership of untrained ”elders” exercised a very authoritarian and spiritually abusive kind of authority. After a failed marriage, I tried a number of Continue reading “Lance Goldsberry, USA: Why I Became Orthodox – A Personal Story & Testimony”

Letter To A Roman Catholic Friend – Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA

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USA OF MY HEART

Letter To A Roman Catholic Friend

Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA

Source:

http://journeytoorthodoxy.com

http://journeytoorthodoxy.com/2010/05/letter-to-a-roman-catholic-friend-by-fr-gregorio-cognetti/

JOURNEY TO ORTHODOXY

Can one be Roman Catholic and Orthodox? I would like to share with you a brief letter that was published some time ago in an Italian Orthodox parish newsletter. Its author, Archpriest Gregorio Cognetti, is the Dean of the Italian parishes under the Moscow Patriarchate. This letter was generally liked by the Italian Orthodox converts, and also received a high degree of appreciation among some cradle-born Orthodox (it was, for instance, translated into Romanian); I hope it may be prove an interesting reading and a source of inspiration for all of you.

╰⊰¸¸.•¨*

Chapel Hill (U.S.), March 1982

Dear Bill,

Even though you never asked it directly, I feel from your words that you do not yet understand why I left the Roman Church to become Orthodox.

You were even a member of one of the least latinized Byzantine parishes, you seem to say, why, then?…

I guess I owe you an explanation, since, a long time ago, when we were both members of the Latin church, we shared the same feelings. These same feelings brought both of us to a Byzantine rite parish, and then myself to Orthodoxy. You could not have forgotten the criticisms that we moved to the Romans: the continual insertion of new traditions in place of the old ones, Scholasticism, the legalistic approach to spiritual life, the dogma of papal infallibility. At the same time we both reckoned the legitimacy and correctness of the Orthodox Church. A Uniate parish seemed the optimal solution. I Continue reading “Letter To A Roman Catholic Friend – Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA”

Video: Orthodox Church Plants Seeds in Moses Lake, Washington, USA

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WASHINGTON OF MY HEART

Orthodox Church Plants Seeds in Moses Lake,

Washington, USA

A Life Changed By Icons – Vasily Tomachinsky, USA & Germany

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HEAVEN ON EARTH – ORTHODOXY

A Life Changed By Icons

by

Vasily Tomachinsky, USA & Germany

Source:

https://journeytoorthodoxy.com

https://journeytoorthodoxy.com/2015/10/a-life-changed-by-icons/

JOURNEY TO ORTHODOXY

—Please tell us about your background and your journey to the Orthodox Church.

My name is Cliff (Isaac in Orthodox Baptism) Gardner, and this is my background. I was raised in a Protestant Southern Baptist family. We were in the military; my father was in the U.S. Air Force. I have four brothers, a family of five boys, and we moved all over the world. We lived most our lives in America and then in Germany, where I was as a teenager. No matter where my parents moved, they always found a Southern Baptist church, including in Puerto Rico, where I was born, and Germany, where our German pastor was Southern Baptist!

I grew up in Miami, Florida where my mother was from, so we moved back to Miami after my father retired from the Air Force. Miami is where I went to high school. It was when I was in the high school that I felt called to be a missionary. I wanted to be a Protestant missionary/Bible translator in Indonesia. So I went to a Bible school in Chicago called the Moody Bible Institute—a famous Bible school. I studied Bible-Theology/Greek; it was at Moody where I first started to interact with people from the Muslim world. I was very attracted to working with Muslims. I ended up going to the University of Illinois at Chicago where I Continue reading “A Life Changed By Icons – Vasily Tomachinsky, USA & Germany”