Saturday, May 07, 2005

St. Alexis Toth

Today the Orthodox Church commemorates St. Alexis Toth, a saint of the late 19th, early 20th Century. The following image, troparion, and information regarding his life is from comeandseeicons.com:


(Tone 4)
O righteous Father Alexis,
Our heavenly intercessor and teacher,
divine adornment of the Church of Christ,
Entreat the Master of All
to strengthen the Orthodox Faith in America,
to grant peace to the world
And to our souls great mercy.

St. Alexis was born in Austro-Hungary on March 18, 1854 to a poor Carpatho-Russian family. He was married and they had a child. He was ordained to the priesthood in the Uniate (Eastern Rite Catholic) Church on April 18, 1878. His wife and child died shortly after that, while he was serving as a parish priest. In October 1889, Alexis was appointed as priest of a Uniate parish in Minneapolis, Minnesota. When he presented his credentials to the American Catholic archbishop, he was treated with open hostility. He knew his rights under canon law, so he convened a meeting of eight of the ten Unia priests in America at Wilkes-Barre who petitioned the bishops of Eastern Europe to aid them, but they would not. He feared deportation and told his congregation that he should just return to Europe. They said "No". They had been under foreign domination long enough. They told Father Alexis to go to the Russian Orthodox bishop. Bishop Vladimir came to Minneapolis and on March 25, 1891, received Father Toth and 361 parishioners into the Orthodox Church of their ancestors. The parishioners regarded this event as a new Triumph of Orthodoxy, crying out with joy: "Glory to God for His great mercy!" That is St. Mary's OCA. The Saint went on to form or lead back to Orthodoxy 16 additional communities. He traveled to Southern New Jersey to try to regain his health in late 1908. Then he returned to Wilkes-Barre where he was confined to bed for his last months. He reposed on Friday, May 7, 1909. His relics were laid to rest at St. Tikhon's Monastery in South Canaan, Pennsylvania.

4 comments:

pete said...

Is this church still in Minneapolis? I've never seen it before, and I've lived here since 1997.

Fr Joseph Huneycutt said...

Though I couldn't receive the icon you posted of St Alexis, I do know this: He was a tad chubby. And I, for one, wish the Church had more chubby saints. :)

Christ is Risen!

David Bryan said...

Pete,

Click on the following link to St. Mary's Orthodox Cathedral (OCA) in Mineappolis.

Father, bless.

Indeed, He is risen!

I know, right? Wouldn't that be great?! I know the fathers and mothers in monasteries are living the "angelic life," but it'd really be nice to see at saint with a potbelly.

pete said...

Ah...no wonder I've never seen it. I've been to that very neighborhood many times (excellent Polish deli relatively close by) but it's a bit off the main thoroughfares.