“How can I tell about this? How can I express in human words the light and joy experienced —as a gift, unmerited, truly by the grace of God—by the hundreds of people who travelled to far-off Alaska for the glorification of the righteous Elder Herman?”
Protobresbyter Alexander Schmemann
Our blessed Saint Herman never started his journey over two hundred years ago, with the hope that one day hundreds of clergy and faithful would be glorifying his accomplishments, or that one day thousands of people would be venerating his relics, or even naming Churches after him. No. He started his journey with Christ as his only hope, and that he could truly bear witness to this eternal “light and joy”. That same divine “light and joy” that Fr. Alexander (and hundreds of thousands of people around the world) did, and now experience in our faith in Jesus Christ, and prayers to Fr. Herman.
Although it would have be truly beautiful to have been there for that momentous, or to even make a pilgrimage to Spruce Island in Alaska (may the Lord bless that we can do this one day); yet this “light and joy” in the presence of St. Herman, ‘s relics and throughout those services, as described by Fr. Alexander is something that is eternally revealed to us. This “light and joy” that he experienced at St. Herman’s Glorification was not a singular event or epiphany, rather it was a realization of the abiding presence of the Holy Spirit, manifested by those men and women (the Saints) who throughout all the ages, shone with forth the divine light of Tabor, in the witness of their faith. Even in the wilds of Alaska, with our Holy Father Herman, and here at our little Church in Manitoba in front of His Icon.
It is with the eyes of faith that we behold this “light and joy” that Fr. Alexander and those with him beheld, The light of Christ that illumes the darkness of our hearts, and the boundless joy of “peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness” in the Holy Spirit (Gal. 5:22). By the prayers of our beloved intercessor and friend, St. Herman of Alaska, may our eyes of faith, behold such a splendor and wonder of the Lord’s mercy and grace that radiates throughout our continent, country, province, city, and parish.
Blessed Father Herman pray to God for us!