Category: Saints


Five American Orthodox Priests Who Might Be Saints


Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us… (Hebrews 12:1) One of the most exciting things about studying...

W.J. Birkbeck on St. John of Kronstadt


W.J. Birkbeck was a living bridge between Orthodoxy and Anglicanism at the turn of the last century. An Englishman, he fell in love with Russia and spent huge amounts of time there, developing contacts with pretty much every major figure in the Russian Orthodox Church. He visited monasteries and village...

Conference on St. Tikhon at Jordanville


On October 9-10, Holy Trinity Seminary in Jordanville, NY is hosting a conference on the life and times of St. Tikhon, the great Russian bishop in America and later Patriarch of Moscow. I'm one of the speakers (on St. Tikhon's interactions with the other Orthodox ethnic groups in America), but...

Who was St. Tikhon?


Full name: Tikhon Bellavin Dates: 1865 to 1925 In America: 1898 to 1907 Who was he? Head of the Russian Archdiocese in North America at the turn of the 20th century, and later Patriarch of Moscow during the Bolshevik Revolution and its bloody aftermath. He was known for being a...

St Raphael’s Original New York Chapel


St Raphael Hawaweeny arrived in New York City in 1895, and he immediately established a chapel for his growing community of Arab Orthodox Christians. The chapel was located at 77 Washington Street in Manhattan, right next to the Syrian Maronites' own chapel. The Orthodox chapel, called St Nicholas, was a...

A Timeline of the Life of St Raphael


A Brief Timeline of the Life of St Raphael Hawaweeny 1860 - Born in Beirut in November (family returned to Damascus the next year) 1874 - Tonsured reader 1877 - Worked as a middle school and 5th grade teacher (1877-79) 1879 - Tonsured a monk; appointed assistant to Patriarch of Antioch...

Who was St. Raphael under — Antioch or Russia?


Who was St. Raphael under? It depends partly on whom you ask, and it also depends on when you ask. In 1895, when Archimandrite Raphael Hawaweeny came to America to oversee the Syro-Arabs, he was most definitely under the Russian Church. In fact, at the time, he was on the...

The Battle of Pacific Street, Part 3: Gunshots


As we've been discussing in detail, in September 1905, New York's Syrian community was on the brink of war. On one side were the Orthodox, who rallied around their bishop, St. Raphael Hawaweeny. The saint himself opposed violence -- both violent acts and violent words -- but his attempts to...

The Battle of Pacific Street, Part 2: Eve of the Battle


In our last article, we left the two New York Syrian camps -- Orthodox and Maronite -- on the brink of war. Each side's partisan newspaper attacked the other, and the Maronites took particular aim at St. Raphael, the Orthodox bishop of Brooklyn, accusing him of all sorts of outlandish...