Category: Saints


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...

The Battle of Pacific Street, Part 1: Trouble in Syrian New York


Editor's note: This is a slightly revised version of an article that I originally published back in 2010. It's also the first of a series of articles on the "Battle of Pacific Street," and its aftermath. And just in case you're reading this and don't know who St. Raphael Hawaweeny...

St. Raphael of Brooklyn on the Episcopalians


Today being the ninety-eighth anniversary of the repose of St. Raphael of Brooklyn (+1915), here is a pastoral letter he sent out in 1912 regarding relations with the Episcopal Church, mostly likely written on his behalf by Fr. Ingram Nathaniel Irvine. Thanks to Fr. Joseph Huneycutt of Houston for posting...

An Antiochian wedding at the St. Louis World’s Fair


(An earlier version of this post was published in 2010.) 108 years ago this week, in 1904, St. Raphael Hawaweeny, the Syro-Arab Bishop of Brooklyn, officiated at a wedding in St. Louis. The English bride and Arab groom had a rather romantic backstory, and the wedding took place at the imitation...

St Raphael Hawaweeny & Spanish language Orthodoxy in the Americas


St Raphael Hawaweeny was a native of Lebanon, who in 1904 became the first Orthodox bishop ordained in the new world. As Bishop of Brooklyn he had oversight over the Syro-Lebanese communities that were beginning to appear in the Americas in the early twentieth century and he worked tirelessly for...

Fr. Sebastian Dabovich & the mystery of St. Tikhon’s miter


In 2009, I wrote an article on the miter (crown) which Archbishop Tikhon Bellavin gave to Fr. Sebastian Dabovich at the Dabovich's elevation to archimandrite in 1905, and which Dabovich later auctioned off to raise money for the Serbian war effort in 1912. Today is the anniversary of Dabovich's birth,...

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...

This week in American Orthodox history (April 2-8)


April 3, 1904: On Palm Sunday, Fr. Nicola Yanney was ordained to the priesthood by St. Raphael Hawaweeny. Fr. Nicola was a young widower living in Kearney, Nebraska. His wife had died during childbirth in 1902, just days before  her husband's 29th birthday, leaving behind three other children. In August...