18th century Russian bell in California

Yesterday, Isa Almisry made a great comment full of fascinating links and references. One of the most intriguing is this one, on a Russian bell housed at the Mission of San Fernando el Rey de Espana, located 40 miles from San Pedro (where St. Peter the Aleut was reportedly captured): A hundred-pound bell was unearthed…

Primary sources on St. Peter the Aleut

Given the recent discussion about St. Peter the Aleut, I thought it might be worthwhile to publish some of the primary sources we have for his story. As I explained on Monday, there are four main sources: The 1819 transcript from the deposition of Keglii Ivan, the only known eyewitness to St. Peter’s martyrdom. The 1820 report…

Is the St. Peter the Aleut story true?

Well, this has been interesting. Last week, I posted a link to an article Fr. Oliver Herbel wrote, entitled, “St. Peter the Aleut Did Not Exist.” As you can imagine, this sparked a very strong response from many readers, who challenged Fr. Oliver on several points. Some took issue with his historical arguments, while others…

The first churches of Portland

It’s been a week since we last posted new material, and for that, I apologize. I’ve been in Portland with my wife and kids, visiting the in-laws. Portland has a rich, fascinating Orthodox history, and I plan to discuss it in detail in future articles. In the meantime, I thought I’d share a few of…