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…

This week in American Orthodox history (March 5-11)

March 10, 1866: The future Archbishop Arseny Chagovtsov was born in Kharkov, in what was then the Russian Empire and what is today Ukraine. A widowed priest, he became a monk and came to America in 1903 to serve in the Russian North American Mission. He was instrumental in the establishment of St. Tikhon’s Monastery…

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…

This week in American Orthodox history (February 13-19)

February 14, 1872: Grand Duke Alexis of Russia, on a tour of the United States, visited New Orleans and met with representatives of the city’s fledgling Orthodox parish. The Grand Duke presented gifts to the parish, including, most likely, a gold-embossed Gospel book. 130 years later, the parish still has these gifts. February 14, 1959:…