Bogus aristocrats and Orthodox saints

At the very end of the 19th century, a fellow going by the name “Theodor O’Brien MacDonald, Baron de Stuart” appeared in New York City. His second and third names notwithstanding, the “Baron” claimed to be the son of a Russian general. He left Russia, so he said, because he wanted to leave the Orthodox…

This week in American Orthodox history (March 12-18)

This week is a busy one: March 14, 1767: Philip Ludwell III, the first Orthodox convert in American history, died in London. Decades earlier, in 1738, Ludwell had joined the Orthodox Church in London. He was just 22 at the time, and was a rising star in the Virginia aristocracy. Remarkably, the Russian Holy Synod…

Eulogy for St. Nicholas of Japan by St. Alexander Hotovitzky

St. Nicholas Kasatkin, the missionary bishop of Japan, died 100 years ago today. He was remarkably well known in America, where both secular periodicals and Russian Church publications chronicled his ministry. The official newsletter of the Russian Mission was the Vestnik, known in English as the Russian Orthodox American Messenger and edited by Fr. Alexander…

Fr. Ilia Zotikov: A Hieromartyr in a File Drawer

One of the little mysteries I’ve been meaning to research for some time has a bit of a family connection.  This past week, I finally had the opportunity to delve into it, and the results were far different than I ever anticipated. My great-grandparents were married on May 2/15, 1908 at St. Nicholas Russian Orthodox…

St. Alexander Hotovitzky on the New Year

Editor’s note: Last year, we reprinted St. Alexander Hotovitzky’s 1902 reflection on the New Year. It was originally published in the January 1902 supplement to the Vestnik (Messenger), of which he was the editor. With New Year’s Day coming this weekend, we’re reprinting the reflection again: Again I stand on the threshold of a New Year.…