Rod Dreher: Dallas Has A Saint

Archbishop Dmitri of Dallas (1923-2011)

Archbishop Dmitri of Dallas (1923-2011)

Source: The American Conservative

By Rod Dreher

Above is an image taken today of the incorrupt body of Archbishop Dmitri of Dallas. He died in the summer of 2011, and was buried unembalmed, according to Orthodox tradition. On Friday his body was disinterred for transferral to his new tomb in St. Seraphim Orthodox Cathedral in Dallas, which was his own. When the cemetery personnel opened his coffin, they found Vladyka Dmitri incorrupt.

That is to say, his body had not decayed. He has been buried for four and a half years under the Texas ground, and his body looks like it did the day he died.

This is a miracle. In Orthodox and Roman Catholic Christianity, it is seen as a sign that the deceased was, and is, a saint. If you read The Brothers Karamazov, you may remember that whether or not the deceased Elder Zosima was incorruptible was a feature of the narrative.

In Dallas today, they found their incorruptible. I don’t suppose a soul who knew Vladyka Dmitri is surprised. I knew him in the last five years of his life. What a dear and holy man he was. He had an important part in my own coming to Orthodoxy. In the summer of 2005, broken and grieving over years of scandal and corruption in the Catholic Church, my wife and I began attending St. Seraphim Cathedral. We did not intend to convert to Orthodoxy; we simply wanted to be in a place where we could be confident the real presence of Christ was in the Eucharist (Catholic doctrine recognizes the validity of Orthodox sacraments), the liturgy was reverent and beautiful, and we could worship without being so overwhelmed by anger.

After a couple of visits, we received an invitation to a party at the Archbishop’s house, after the Dormition feast. I felt divided about this. For one, I didn’t want to go to a fancy archbishop’s house. For another, I had had enough of bishops and archbishops, men who had wrecked the Catholic Church. I didn’t want to get mixed up with an Orthodox one.

But we went anyway, showing up on a rainy August afternoon at the address on the card. It turned out to be not a palatial residence, but the modest two-story woodframe house behind the cathedral. Could this house, with the paint peeling, really be where the Archbishop of Dallas and the South lives? I knocked on the door, and in we walked, with our kids.

The house was jammed with people from the congregation. There were Russians and other Slavs, and Americans too. You could hardly move for all the people. Every inch of counter space in the kitchen was filled with dishes bearing up Russian food. At the far end of one counter was a gorgeous flan, made by Vladyka Dmitri himself. He loved to cook.

There he was, sitting at the table, his long, Gandalf beard resting on his black cassock. His eyes twinkled. He greeted us kindly. Later, we watched him remove himself to a side room where kids were playing, sit down on a low couch, and talk to them like they were his own children. He was 82 years old then, and was to those children a kindly grandfather figure.

“Come see this,” Julie said, pointing to Dmitri among the children. That’s not something we were used to seeing.

A short while later, in the kitchen, a Russian and a Ukrainian poured vodka shots for themselves and for me, and raised a toast to the Archbishop. “To Vladyka!” we said, then downed the vodka. Meanwhile, the ceiling began to leak in the poor old house. We chose to ignore it, because it was time to bless the food. Everybody became quiet as Vladyka turned toward the icon and began to pray.

It was a family dinner. That’s how it struck us. Archbishop Dmitri, born Robert Royster in Teague, Texas, was the opposite of everything I had come to expect in a bishop. He was humble and kind and gentle. He loved his people, and his people loved him. I remember thinking how good it would be to be led by such a man.

One day a few years later, after had become Orthodox, we were at Forgiveness Vespers, the pre-Lenten ritual that all Orthodox parishes do in which each parishioner must ask each other for forgiveness, and then offer it in return. Watching that tall, elderly archbishop bow before our three year old daughter Nora and ask her forgiveness — it took my breath away.

Nora did not know it at the time, but it was a saint of God who did her that honor.

Here’s what will happen today in Dallas:

On Saturday morning, March 5th, 2016 His Beatitude, Metropolitan TIKHON, will preside at the Divine Liturgy in St Seraphim Cathedral at 9:30 AM. Following the Divine Liturgy a Pannikhida will be served, after which we will solemnly process around the cathedral carrying the coffin of Archbishop Dmitri and place it over the prepared crypt in the Memorial Chapel. After the final litany, we will lower the coffin containing the body of Archbishop Dmitri into his final earthly resting place.

Holy Dmitri of Dallas, pray for us. I am sure that official canonization procedures will soon be underway. What a blessing he was to all of us who knew him.

A saint. Our Vladyka. What a gift.


  1. Fr. Michael Molloy says

    Glory to God in His Saints!

  2. George, there’s no mention of this on the report of the re-interment. Why?

    • George Michalopulos says

      Dunno. Honestly.

      • My priest was there at the re-internment liturgy and he said that no one during the liturgy or afterwards said anything about Vladyka Dmitri’s body being incorrupt. The first he heard of it was on reading accounts on the internet after he had returned home from Dallas. I only met Archbishop Dmitri three times and can’t say that I knew him well , but based on what I know of him and my general impression upon meeting him I would not be at all surprised to hear that he is a candidate for being a Saint , but I think maybe Rod Dreher jumped the gun on this . (Frankly, I’m predisposed to believe this, so I’m not being a skeptic, but I think I’d like to hear more from those who were there. Was Rod Dreher there ?

        • George Michalopulos says

          David, I don’t know who your priest was but several other priests were already commenting about the possibility of his incorruption even before Vespers started. (His body had been brought back to the Cathedral around 2pm and Vespers didn’t start until 6:30.)

          First a little back story (which will be more fleshed out in a later article): There were about a dozen people to greet his body and one of the witnesses who had taken off his old vestments and helped dress him in his new set came up and told me: “You may rest assured that his remains are incorrupt.” He thereby began showing me photos on his smartphone and to my eye they appeared as such.

          I then went to another witness who was there as well and I pressed him. He assured me that Vladyka was indeed incorrupt.

          I then saw another friend who was actually at the exhumation and he showed me several photos from his smartphone as well as a video. The video shocked me. It looked as if Dmitri was asleep. He was completely recognizable. He showed this to others as well and then five minutes later I took one of my friends to look and we were told that from that point, he couldn’t show anyone any more.

          It seems that there is a temporary embargo on viewing more photos/videos. I imagine that there was an embargo on conversation as well.

          That may explain why your priest heard nothing. In my quarter, the buzz was palpable. At the last minute, word was so pronounced that people showed up from out of town for liturgy on Saturday morning.

          More to follow.

          • A Non-mouse says

            Why did they even open the casket at all. And why the redress in new vestments? Seems it would be a gruesome business after only 4.5 yrs in the grave. By who’s authority did they do so? All I know is the Synod is quite miffed about it and you may lose your episcopal candidate over it, as he would have been the one in charge I presume.

            • George Michalopulos says

              That’s a good question. The only answer I can proffer is that we here in the South have been guided to think along the lines of his sanctity, from the inception of his episcopate to the establishment of this diocese, throughout the terminal stages of his earthly life and in the aftermath of his burial.

              It was almost as if we “knew” something was afoot with this hierarch. Just like the way that you “know” that you’re going to get married you’re going to have children and they in turn will get married and give you grandchildren. It’s not a sure thing by any means but certain things are “expected.”

              For some reason we in the South –almost to a man I would say–somehow expected that we would exhume him and translate his relics to the cathedral which he built. That’s the only way I can wrap my head around the entire events of last weekend.

            • Dear Non-mouse:

              The answer to your question is provided by Subdeacon and iconographer Vladimir of the Cathedral in the article above.

              In Christ,
              Nicole C

            • They were always planning to bury Archbishop Dmitri in the church, it just took a long time to make the arrangements and build a chapel for the purpose. So His Eminence was laid to rest in a temporary grave at Restland Cemetery until the chapel was ready for him to be buried in. State law required them to give him a new coffin which necessitated opening the old one. That is when they saw his remains were intact.

              Since the gold vestments Archbishop Dmitri had been buried in were soaked by water that had leaked into his burial vault and coffin, and his intact body could withstand a change of clothes, they replaced the gold vestments with his red ones.

              The entire disinterment and re-interment process took place with Tikhon’s knowledge and involvement, so it is unlikely that Fr Gerasim would be blamed for anything.

              The Synod may be trying to embargo the evidence about the condition of Archbishop Dmitri’s remains, but they can’t force the witnesses to forget what they saw. And if the Synod tries to bring the Diocese of the South to heel, I’m sure that will be difficult… for the Synod.

  3. Pat Reardon says

    A true λογος παρακλησεως in these troubled days. Thank you!

  4. St Dmitri of Dallas pray for us !

  5. George Osborne says

    Holy Archbishop Dimitri….pray to God for me a sinner.

  6. Monk James says

    Just as when ikons weep with human tears or exude fragrant oil, we don’t know immediately just what it means when an exhumed corpse shows no signs of decomposition.

    In Athos (as in most of Greece) the dead are routinely disinterred and their bones reverently transferred to a much smaller place of rest more convenient for the rest of us, since there isn’t an endless amount of land available for cemeteries there.

    But an intact body is usually regarded as some sort of problem unless the incorrupt status of some corpses is supported by a great many other signs of those decedents’ holiness, especially by their reputations for being saints while still among the living . In any event, local church authorities decide what to do with the remains.

    Ecclesial processes concerning our recognition of saints go on from there, but those protocols weigh freedom from bodily decay among many other considerations. It’s helpful for us to remember that the flesh of many saints was absorbed by the Earth, as we all expect to be, regardless of the funeral industry and their expensive chemicals and underground vaults.

    So let’s not be too proud, or gloat over the possible revelation of another american saint. At least not yet.

  7. Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says

    Rod–a small semi-correction. There is much more to the glorification of a Saint in the Orthodox Church than the incorrupted state of someone’s remains! Saints are traditionally canonized on the basis of veneration by the Faithful. St John of Shanghai and San Francisco was canonized on many bases–chief among them the miracles of healing attributed to his holy intercessions before and after he fell asleep. Many such healings were attested and they have continued until today. Incorrruption, however, is not as vital as thought to be byDostoevsky (no Church Father, after all, but a master of fiction) and others . It is well-known that even in today’s Greece, the remains of faithful departed are ROUTINELY dug up after a long period, and the bones are washed off with holy water and wine, and then the bones are placed in a vault or ossuary, especially on the Holy Mountain. If, however, remains are found to be “incorrupt” they are hurriedly and urgently re-buried for this is seen as an ADVERSE sign! [The simpler folk believe it to be a sign of vampirism!]
    Disinterment, like that of dear Ever-Memorable Archbishop Dmitri, is TRADITIONALLY undertaken AFTER the witness of the Faithful to miraculous intercessions and cures, etc, makes the disinterment a LAST STEP, not a first step, in Glorification of a Saint.
    Unfortunately Many believe the OCA is almost desperate to “come up with” an American born Saint. Ever-memorable Metropolitan Leonty has also been a hoped-for object of such canonisation for some time: Some say they observed him levitating in prayer while still amongst us! I was Vladyka Dmitri’s spiritual son as long ago as 1961. I would be very grateful to learn of any miracukous healings,etc, based on his prayers and accompanied by responsible testimony/verification. Again “incorrupt remains” MAY or may not serve as “supplemental support” for the glorification of a Saint in the Orthodox Holy Tradition!

    • George Michalopulos says

      Your Grace, you are generally correct regarding the necessity of local veneration by those who knew him best. (In this case the Diocese of the South.) To which I answer ever since the time of his repose he has been the object of veneration. Indeed, there have been reports of sightings through visions as well as healings. Also icons have been produced of him, including the frescos on the western wall of the memorial chapel in which he was finally laid to rest.

      I’m sure more stories will be pouring in over the next couple of months.

      • Really it boils down to what the synod wants to do. And that’s the rub, isn’t it?

      • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says

        Well, one parish in Florida had an icon of ever-memorable Fr Schmeman! New Skete has wall icons of, among others, RC Oscar Romero! I look forward to learning more of the miraculous healings attested to by George and attributed to answered prayers to Archbishop Dmitri!!!

      • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says

        George, as you know, I became then Fr Dmitri Royster’s spiritual son for about three years beginning in 1961. We remained close friends from then until his falling-asleep. He ordained me to the Diaconate in 1971 and was one of those that participated in my elevation to the hierarchy in 1987. I have mixed feelings about the present movement to advocate his glorification as a Saint. For HIS sake, I hope patience will prevail. You must know that not everyone who knew him was positive about him as a person and Christian. There are, in fact, several persons still alive who were once close friends and associates of his that did a complete “about-face”. This breathless and hasty de facto declaration of his sainthood now may bring some of these people and their stories into public view and this will not redound to his benefit or anyone’s salvation and may even doom the process to failure! I urge you and others who venerate him to be patient and deliberate. IOW, you have no idea what you may have stirred up! Metropolitan Tikhon gave a superb sermon at the recent excavation and re-interment. Surely, His Eminence must rejoice in that…let’s not push a process which, in being premature, has the opposite result of hat was said with the best of intentions by Mr Dreher and others!
        George! Remember how happily you declared that ROCOR had received Metropolitan Jonah when they had not done so? Now “Rod” has announced a Glorification and you have published it!

        • George Michalopulos says

          I’m sure you’re right. Then again Ss Peter and Paul don’t appear to have reconciled before their respective martyrdoms. Or Peter and Barnabas for that matter. We are all fallen, even the saints.

    • Gail Sheppard says

      He may not have been a saint, Your Grace, but that doesn’t mean he’s not a Saint. Many Saints were NOT saints! In fact, NO Saint was a saint. They were/are human, after all.

      Every time Archbishop Dmitri’s name is mentioned, the Faithful venerate him (this began long before his death, George); just like they’re doing now. It is the great love and respect of the Faithful that MAKES a Saint a Saint. The synergy between the Faithful and the object of their love creates the miraculous. Incorruptible remains is, perhaps, the first manifestation in Archbishop Dmitri’s case. Other miracles may very well follow.

      Interestingly, the OCA has unwittingly contributed to this phenomena, which is probably the LAST thing they intended to do. I suspect God had His hand in this. By not replacing Archbishop Dmitri, they’ve inadvertently created an environment where the Faithful are in a perpetual state of mourning. If the OCA wants to keep the South engaged, they’re going to have to find someone like Archbishop Dmitri (Abbot Gerasim is the obvious choice; why they don’t get this is a mystery) who can garner the same kind of love and respect. If they don’t, the South will threaten to secede from the Union (OCA). . . again.

      • George Michalopulos says

        That’s an interesting point, Gail. One I never thought of. It’s possible that because our Diocese has been widowed for so long, our veneration for Dmitri has only intensified and thus our prayers and love may be working in synergy with the Holy Spirit to keep his relics intact.


      • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says

        Gail, you referred more than once to “THE Faithful.” That’s misleading and untrue. You should correct that to “MANY OF THE FAITHFUL” or even better, “MANY OF US FAITHFUL.

        • Gail Sheppard says

          Thank you, Your Grace. I see your point; however, I can’t quantify it. It may be many. It may be just a few. I also can’t say “many of us Faithful,” because I’m not one of them. (Unfortunately, I never had the pleasure of meeting the man and until the Church tells me he is a Saint, I really can’t venerate him.) However, I CAN say those who do venerate him are “the Faithful,” however few or many of them there are.

          • Michael Bauman says

            Gail, unless I am mistaken the Church does not tell anyone who is a saint. Saints are reveled within the Church by the grace of the Holy Spirit and recognized by the veneration of her people.

            There are some who are so obvious that almost all see immediately like St. John of San Francisco. With others it takes time, still others are miraculously revealed while some remain known only to God.

            My home parish was instrumental in general recognition of St. Raphael of Brooklyn. A proto-icon of him was placed on the western wall of our sanctuary and our assistant priest at the time wrote the official Vitae. We did that because St. Raphael has always been a part of our parish. The last of our parishioners who met him in person just recently reposed. St. Raphael sent us our first priest and he has worked a number of healings among us for instance.

            No one here waited for a hierarchical word on the matter of whether or not St. Raphael was a saint. Perhaps a similar course of events around Abp Dimitri will occur. I am hopeful that it will.

      • Priest Justin Frederick says

        Gail Shepherd: Christ was human too. Sin is not an inherent part of human nature. We do not sin because we are human. The old excuse for sin and failure “I’m only human” is a terrible blasphemy against God who made man in His own image. Sin is a corruption of human nature, a parasite on it, not an inherent part of it.

        • M. Stankovich says

          Fr. Justin,

          This is a very important point you make. Fr. Alexander Schmemann was a very “visual” person. He picked up on a TV commercial in the late 1970’s, early 1980’s, for FedEx, where the company slogan was, “When it absolutely, positively has to be there overnight,” juxtaposing a smiling Fedex delivery person appearing at the Boardroom door to applause, and (as Fr. Alexander described him) “some poor little fellow, hat in hand, appearing too late to a dark & empty Boardroom.” Schmemann’s dialog had the poor fellow, eyes averted, quietly say to the Lord at the Judgement, “Pardon me, Lord. I am only human.” And the Lord responded, “Who told you this? I created you in our image & likeness to be the king and priest of all creation, and to share all of eternity in this Kingdom prepared for you. Who told you this?”

    • Your Grace,

      I agree with you. Perhaps for the first time. : -)

  8. For a quarter of a century Archbishop Dmitri was my Bishop, my example, my teacher, and my friend. Words cannot describe my joy.

  9. M. Stankovich says

    I must agree with Vladyka Tikhon regarding the Byzantine treatment and reverence paid to the bones of the departed, particularly those thought to be the glorified. In fact, for a considerable period of time, some Byzantines argued at Lesser Councils that incorruption was “unnatural.” The acknowledgement of glorification, I believe, is as Vladyka Tikhon has wisely noted, based on diverse testimony, and as Mr. Michalopulos accurately points out, one recollection often moves the Holy Spirit to reveal many more. I agree with Mr. Michalopulos that this is but the beginning.

    • George Michalopulos says

      Thank you Dr S for pointing out the historical anomalies regarding the phenomenon of incorruption and how the Church has been reticent. We would all be wise to step back, take a deep breath and reflect on the events of last Friday and Saturday.

      The reason I and so many others in the South choose to believe that Dmitri’s incorruption is indicative of sainthood is because of the great love we had for him, he had for us and of course his phenomenal evangelical career.

  10. I’m not sure if this is a miracle of incorruption or just a case of his being unearthed too soon. As much as I loved Archbishop Dmitri and would be thrilled if it was revealed at some point that he is a saint, I think Rod was a little quick in his conclusions. He at least should have put a question mark at the end of the title. Was Archbishop Dmitri’s wooden coffin in a polymer grave vault? A friend who works at a cemetery said those vaults are meant to be both airtight and water tight so that the coffin and body are protected even if unembalmed.

    • George Michalopulos says

      Neither his vault nor his coffin were air-tight. In fact, water had seeped in and drenched his vestments and body.

      • Sub-Deacon Gregory Varney says

        George we sons and daughters of the church have to be very careful about this. It is in the hands of God and the synod. It is not wise for laymen to proclaim saints. Many times Saints will proclaim themselves with miracles and deeds. St. John Maximovich is not just a saint for the Russian Diaspora but for all. The miracles were there for all to see. People who are out there saying these things should take great care as to not interfere in the works of the church. Archbishop Dmitri tonsured me Reader in Holy Trinity Cathedral in 1969. So I would be most happy when the church declares this and not laymen. At this point we should pray for the soul Of Archbishop Dmitri and not to him. He would be horrified at such a thought.

        • George Michalopulos says

          Subdeacon, please note that I have not proclaimed the Venerable Dmitri to be a saint. Nor can I. (Although I personally believe him to be such.) The title and story are Rod Dreher’s and his alone.

          You may ask at this point why I re-posted it. Personally, I wasn’t going to publish anything about this event until I got back home and pored over my notes and collected more stories and photos from the actual participants. (There were seven in all.) I also wanted to respect the embargo against publishing any of the photos I had seen Friday evening. However as I was driving to the Cathedral Saturday morning, my editor called me and told me that a “very good story by Rod Dreher” had already been published on his blog and that he had sent it to my -mail. I pulled over into a parking lot, whipped out my Android and answered my g-mail. I scanned the story, saw that one of the photos had been used, and so I said “go ahead and put it on Monomakhos.”

          Rod had his own sources in Dallas, which should not be surprising as he used to live there and attend St Seraphim’s and anyway, he’s a journalistic big-foot. Personally, I can understand why the Synod would want there to be an orderly process and the viral transmission of the dozens of photos over the internet would interrupt this.

          That being said, I know what I saw and experienced over that 36 hour period and that is why I am willing to write my recollections quickly. Know this however: as this story continues to come out, I checked with multiple sources about the condition of his body.

          Again, whether that means he is a saint or not I leave it up for the Holy Spirit to decide. I believe him to be but I could be wrong. Having said that it is an uncontested fact that he has become the subject of veneration ever since his death and even before. The outpouring of grief at his death and the hundreds of mourners over the three days of funerals, presided as they were by many bishops (one of them from another jurisdiction), attest to the respect and admiration accorded to him for his life’s work.

          • Sub-Deacon Gregory Varney says

            George one thing you might start posting is a chronicle of miracles and deeds as which happened in the life of ST. John Maximovitch. Bishop Sava of Edmonton did this even I believe while St. John was alive. I may be mistaken. I have heard through some people that that Metropolitan Tikhon has asked some people to stop this talk and even asked that it be removed from their Facebook pages. Remember when talk came of Vladyka Johns canonization there was enormous opposition. However the miracles continued and keep continuing. Have a blessed Lent. Happy Maslenitza.

            • M. Stankovich says

              I also think it is important to note that, unlike the Baseball Hall of Fame, there is no time constraint in the canonization process. This also should remind us that “canonization” is simply the Church placing the name of the newly acknowledged Saint among the names of the known Saints; canonization does not “make” Saints, but only acknowledges what the Holy Spirit reveals. Obviously, there are Saints of every generation that are totally anonymous to us – thereby supporting the statement of Mr. Katsarellis – but received into the ranks of the Saints because, “He that is faithful in that which is least. is faithful also in much.” (Lk. 16:10, cf. Matt 25:23, “You have been faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things: enter you into the joy of your lord.”).

              I remember someone, in some forum, inquiring if anyone knew of a saint who was a married priest serving a local parish. No one – including myself – could name one, yet the faithfulness necessary is continuously seen in our lifetime. To that end, I strongly disagree with the idea of “non-interference,” that it is the sole responsibility of the hierarchs to determine this process; while I do understand that the decision for canonization is ultimately a hierarchical decision, more often than not, the local veneration of a person believed to a Saint began the canonization process. Suggesting prudence is one thing, attempting to “moderate” the personal piety of local veneration is shortsighted and bound to cause conflict.

              Finally, having supported Vladyka Tikhon’s point that “evidence” suggesting canonization can be very diverse, I was reminded of one reason I believe that Bishop Basil (Radzianko) will one day be canonized: his friends. Three of Vladyka Basil’s friends – Sts. John Maximovich of San Francisco, Nikolai of Žica, and Justin Popovich – were themselves canonized as Saints. Ironically, Bishop Basil submitted a statement to the ROCOR bishops investigation the miracles of Abp. John, that his wife had received a miraculous healing at the hand of St. John. I offer, by way of analogy, the conclusion of Prof. SS Verhovskoy regarding St. Basil the Great: “Both his parents and both his siblings were Saints. I would think it would be much easier to be a saint himself, given the circumstance.” And there you have it.

              • Fr. Philip says

                Regarding a married parish priest acknowledged and named as a saint, how about St. John of Kronstadt?

                • Monk James says

                  Fr. Philip (March 10, 2016 at 6:22 am) says:
                  Regarding a married parish priest acknowledged and named as a saint, how about St. John of Kronstadt?

                  Not unreasonably, people have reservations about Fr John Sergiev’s holiness. Mostly, they want to know how his mistreatment of his wife might comport with any idea that he might be a saint.

                  This fundamental flaw of his, based on his lying to her in order to be ordained, is not outweighed by his purported miracles. After all, as St Paul observes, ‘even Satan can appear as an angel of light’.

                  Sorry to appear so cynical, but our recognition of saints is a very serious business. Our OCA still hasn’t addressed the case of ‘Peter the Aleut’ of whose very existence there is no record, not even among the Aleuts whose long tradition of oral history would surely have remembered him and his remarkable story, just like St Herman. But there seems to be no ‘there’ there….

                  Can we unsaint ‘Peter the Aleut’ now and still retain anything of our OCA’s credibility as a church? Or will we keep him on the books just to save face? And what will the church of Russia do about Fr John Sergiev now that they don’t have to please a tsarina?

                  • Priest Justin Frederick says

                    No record? Really? What then is this? I have in my possession an English translation of a Russian document described thus (I am not at liberty to post the document, but you may wish to inquire of the translator, Reader Isaac Lambertson, or track down the reference yourself). Perhaps you want more, but there does appear to be ‘something’ there.

                    Affidavit of Ivan Kiglay, fur-hunter from Kodiak Island, of a fur-hunting crew of the RAK [Russian-American Company], in reference to the capture by the Spanish in 1815, in California,& concerning their Spanish captivity, & the death of Chukagnak [St. Peter the Aleut],and his own escape to the island Il’mena [San Nicolas]a native of Kodiak Island,[Fort] Ross, May 1819

                    The original of this affidavit is in the handwriting of I. A. Kuskov, the
                    administrator of Fort Ross in this period, with notations in another hand. It is preserved in the Manuscript Division of the Russian State Library, Collection 204, Carton 32, File 39, Item 1, pp. 1-2 obverse. The text of this document has been transcribed, annotated and printed in the Russian-language book Russia in California: Russian Documents on the [Fort] Ross Colony & Russian-Californian Relations, 1803-1850, comp. & ed. Istomin, A. A. ,
                    et al., Vol. I (Moscow: Nauka, 2005), pp. 318-320.

                • Saint Yacob in Alaska

              • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says

                Michael, I believe that with Archbisop Dmitri AS WELL AS with Bp Basil Rodzianko, it would be well to wait until most people who knew him PERSONALLY were dead. This is to preserve the wonderful memory so many have of him and to avoid learning of the kind and strength of what might be considered “bad” reminiscences–contraindications of sanctity. In that vein, on Facebook I recently read a homosexual’s retort to Fr Hans’s old saw about “Its Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve,” The guy said , “And it’s homo sapiens; not hetero sapiens!”
                If Metropolitan Tikhon tried to prevent haste, that’s good.

                • M. Stankovich says

                  I agree, Vladyka Tikhon, that discernment is paramount, and hasty decisions are, more often than not, regrettable. Nevertheless, recall the closing of the Gospel of John: “And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written.” (Jn. 21:25) Obviously, St. John implies there were witnesses (sharers, partakers) of each of these “things” which Jesus said or did.

                  Add the fact that the Scripture was not written & available for 30+ years following the Ascension, and you are left with a Church relying solely on “reminiscences” of members who heard the good news of our salvation from the Lord himself. They were contemporaneous, inspired witnesses whom the Lord indicated as, “He that has seen me has seen the Father.” (Jn 14:9) This became the framework for the “patristic” tradition in the church, “joining with the fathers before us…” Likewise, already in the early church, the lives of the martyrs & the saints were circulated among the faithful, and the liturgy was celebrated over the buried remains of the martyrs to sustain, strengthen, and reassure the faithful.

                  It seems to me, then, reasonable and prudent to encourage and catalog direct, contemporaneous witnesses (and I mentioned previously, as an example, the wife of later Bishop Basil received a miraculous healing at the hand of Blessed John Maximovitch) all the signs [σημεῖα] (Mk. 16:17) that will accompany the Saints. In the end, we trust the that Holy Spirit will reveal the truth.

          • A Non-mouse says

            George Michalopulos says:
            March 7, 2016 at 12:05 am
            Subdeacon, please note that I have not proclaimed the Venerable Dmitri to be a saint. Nor can I. (Although I personally believe him to be such.)

            George, all due respect, but you just contradicted yourself.

            • George Michalopulos says

              Not at all: I did not “proclaim” Archbishop Dmitri of Dallas to be a saint. I asserted it. And I believe it to be the case. It’s my opinion that such is the case.

              Only the Church can proclaim him to be a saint.

              • A Non-mouse says

                Your opinion is your opinion, but when you express it by shouting it loud on the internet for all to see, it’s a proclamation. It may not be official but it is a proclamation. You have proclaimed him as your own personal saint and by proxy with your online influence on the readership in this forum, encourage others to do so.

                • George Michalopulos says

                  Valid point. For me, personally, the proclamation of his sanctity is a done deal, as it is for many, many others in the DOS (and beyond). But isn’t that how saints are recognized?

                  Example: I’m pushing 60 and remember the tardy canonization process of St Nektarios of Aegina. I can remember a time when he was on the calendar only as a black-letter, then about 20 years ago it became a red-letter day. Now churches and missions are dedicated to him and his icon is literally everywhere in churches all over the world. This begs the question: from his death in 1920 to about 1970, an “underground” (for want of a better word) cultus grew up around him, based on miracles associated with him but also with a rediscovery of his writings and hymnography. To his devotees, it seemed impossible to believe the calumnies which the Church of Alexandria (and then the Church of Greece) hurled at him.

                  So yeah, it took the better part of half a century to canonize him –which is a good thing–but it in no way obviates the fact that from almost the moment of his death, he was the object of veneration by a significant group of dedicated Orthodox Christians.

  11. Fr. Hans Jacobse says

    George, I can’t speak to the debate about Abp. Demetri’s presumptive Sainthood but I do recall a story about him that impressed me.

    A man who was in my GOYA group many years ago married and moved to Dallas. After his parents died he went to the Dallas Cathedral to ask for a Memorial. He told me that a Bishop answered the door and they went right into the Church and did the memorial right then. I thought he was mistaken about it being a bishop. “Bishops don’t do that,” I said. “It must have been a priest.”

    He was insistent it was a bishop but I went on believing he was mistaken. I had no idea who Abp. Demetri was. I was in the GOA and that was my world for the longest time.

    Years later when I heard other stories about Abp. Demetri, and after I met him (the only time) and heard him preach (brilliant sermon BTW), I decided that my friend was probably correct and I was wrong.

  12. Carl Kraeff says

    Glory be to God! Although I am not one, I know many folks who knew Vladika Dmitri of blessed memory well and I have long sensed their sincere hope that he will be glorified one of these days. That said, I hope and pray that Blessed Mother Olga of Alaska will also be glorified. Her canonization is long overdue. Below is a helpful link.

    • Lola J. Lee Beno says

      I, too, pray that she will be canonized. Why that hasn’t yet happened, only God knows.

  13. Tommy Katsarellis says

    People, understand, a saint is anyone who is with God. We in the Church on earth and in heaven are the “saints.” + Dimitri by his life here on earth was a “saint” and is truly with God. A body non-corrupt or miracles are just God’s way of showing us that this person is truly in the Kingdom of God and assures our faith. For Orthodox Christians, this shouldn’t be something astounding, but the norm. We are all the “saints!”

    • Michael Warren says

      That’s a very Protestant understanding of sanctity and I wish it were true but we are sinners and the Saints are the ones who have finished the race and have been transfigured in the GOD man.

      I am overjoyed that GOD’s mercy has glorified +Archbishop Dmitri. I look forward to the Church recognizing his sanctity. My hope is that other Saints of North America also be recognized. Let us endeavor to learn if +Metropolitan Leonty, +Archbishop Arseny, Fr. Dimitri of Santa Rosa, Matushka Olga, Fr. Seraphim of Platina, ROCOR +Archbishop TIKHON of San Francisco and perhaps ROCOR Metropolitans +Philaret and +Anastassy and GOA +Archbishop Michael have left signs of their heavenly intercessions behind for us.

      +Holy Hierarch Dmitri of Dallas, pray to GOD for us!

      • Michael Bauman says

        Mr. Warren, you seem to be incapable of disagreeing with anyone without some attempt to demonize the person with whom you disagree. It is not a trait that is supportive of actual dialog or learning. It is simply invective.

      • Tommy Katsarellis says

        Dear Michael Warren: My post is not a “very Protestant understanding of sanctity,” but an accurate, Orthodox theological understanding of “The Church.” If you don’t know what you are talking about, don’t post. Please read the Scriptures and Fathers!

        • Michael Warren says

          You are mistaken in 1). Your appraisal of me. 2). Your appraisal of yourself.

          I am familiar with Scripture, the Holy Fathers and Orthodox theology, and I have demonstrated it. The language you used was Protestant. And it hinted at a lack of understanding of purification (katharsis), illumination (photisis) and deification (theosis). It seemed grounded in Protestant notions of eschatology. Universal Sainthood is not a doctrine of the Orthodox Church. We are all called to be Saints. Not everyone becomes a Saint.

          • Tommy Katsarellis says

            Acts 9
            [13] But Anani’as answered, “Lord, I have heard from many about this man, how much evil he has done to thy saints at Jerusalem;
            [32] Now as Peter went here and there among them all, he came down also to the saints that lived at Lydda.
            [41] And he gave her his hand and lifted her up. Then calling the saints and widows he presented her alive.
            (One of many references in the NT referring to those IN THE CHURCH, believers in Jesus Christ as “the saints.”

            Again, you do not know Orthodox theology regarding the “Church” nor Scripture. Anyone in the Church can sin and negate themselves from God’s Grace, but us sinners in the Church who follow Christ are given the foretaste of the Heavenly Kingdom NOW. WE are the saints. We are the Church militant and we will ALL be in the Church triumphant if we stay true to following Christ.

            • Michael Warren says

              That’s a Protestant reading of Scripture. It is not Orthodox. I knew this is where you were going to start. Lutherans and Calvinists interpret the word “agii” this way as it appears in Scripture. It literally means “holy ones.” It refers to those reborn in CHRIST by Holy Baptism within the Church living in HIM. The word in this context is predicated on the notion of living as the Body of CHRIST in CHRIST and not sinning in fidelity to CHRIST within HIS Church. But it does not mean directly Sainthood, an eschatological reality, in this context. It means leading a holy, virtuous life which can lead to the eschatogical reality of Sainthood after our deaths. By living holy lives in the Church, we are giving foretastes of holiness by grace, but that is not Sainthood, but a foretaste of holiness.

              1). Sainthood implies an eschatological reality where upon one’s death one is United with CHRIST in the eschaton beseaching GOD’s mercy in the Church Triumphant for the People of GOD and all of creation. The Holiness of CHRIST becoming the eschatological reality which deified and deifies the Saint.
              2). The Particular Judgement occurs after our deaths. It is here that we receive a foretaste of heaven or hell and await the Last Judgement and the eschaton. Here, the foretaste, is a reality of the soul still awaiting the eschaton. Saints, however, already participate in the eschaton on our behalf receiving the Kingdom in CHRIST.
              3). Grace is freely given to make us holy, but by our free will we can refuse it, stand in its way, make it inoperable by sin, whereby it can recede. That is why we must purify our natures then illumine them in grace to become holy in deification in the GOD man, CHRIST out LORD and SAVIOR living in HIM by HIS LIFE in HIS Church.
              4). Man was created in the Image and Likeness of GOD. As a result of the fall the Image and Likeness are corrupted by sin leading to mortality. We renew our Image of GOD by rebirth in CHRIST the GOD man in Holy Baptism in the Church and become holy by living in CHRIST, living meaning our actions and energies in grace freely given (and rejected). The more our life is lived in CHRIST, it is sanctified in HIS Uncreated Energies, grace, becoming holy like unto CHRIST, and our Likeness to GOD is gradually restored and perfected.
              5). In the Orthodox Church, we understand the Scripture by living it. We appreciate its witness by learning the lessons of those who have lived it. We learn the Church’s witness of a given Scripture both by its living testament in the Tradition, ie the writings of the Fathers, the services AND by the Mind of the Church which imparts to us the fulness of Truth of grace fully given on the day of Pentecost. The Mind of the Church is the HOLY SPIRIT testifying one Truth in different languages to different peoples for all times and places. The Mind of the Church established the Scripture for the Church in the fourth century. Scripture then rightly shares its fully meaning in CHRIST in HIS Holy Church. That is why we seek the Church’s witness and counsel when we read and seek to conform ourselves to Scripture.

              Likewise, when we put forward our understandings of Scripture in the place of the Church’s witness by the HOLY SPIRIT, we witness ourselves and not the one Truth of the Church, witnessing ourselves, our words, in place of the WORD. That is the preaching of another christ, an overthrow of Scripture. That is heresy. This is principally why every Protestant is his own neo pagan truth and his own pope his own sect his own church living without the Truth, or with a fractured understanding of it, outside of the Church. Pride prevents them from the humility which is requisite for the HOLY SPIRIT to impart the Truth of the WORD for them in the Church.

              The Scripture is not a code of references for a religious game of proof and consequences. The Scripture is a holistic witness of the WORD in Life in HIS Church instructing us not in fragments but in the wholeness of the WORD in its fulness of Life, the Tradition, in the Church which imparts the WORD by the HOLY SPIRIT. The Truth then is imparted by a living reality in CHRIST in its fulness and not by cutting and pasting our understandings upon fragments.

          • A Non-mouse says

            Bravo! I think the kids have a word for this and it’s P’owned.

  14. Experiencing Archbishop Dmitri’s Last Week and Hours

    The liturgy today, August 28th, 2011, at St Seraphim’s Cathedral in Dallas culminated for me an amazing and transformative week in which I was blessed to be able to witness the repose of Archbishop Dmitri, who having set an example to all Christians on how to live a godly life, remained true to form and showed us how to fall asleep with happiness and peace in the sureness of his faith. This time was a remarkable blessing to all those who were able to witness it or hear about it.

    Having spent nights with him in his room and hospital over the past weeks I often saw and heard him late at night in his semi-consciousness pray aloud for those he knew. Many who spent time with him in these last days will attest to this fact. This was a constant prayer that went through the night when he had the strength to speak. He was never seen to show despair despite enduring an exhausting and sometimes painful deterioration in his health. When he had the strength and alertness to speak he wanted his spiritual children around him and took great joy in telling stories and listening to what others wanted to tell him. By God’s grace his loving and jovial manner remained with him to the end.

    When I saw him last Sunday, August 21st, Archbishop Dmitri had become exhausted after his stay in the hospital and had not had the strength or will to eat or drink. He was anxious and jittery in his bed and his speech was nearly incomprehensible. His doctor, one of his parishioners at St Seraphim’s who devoted large amounts of his time to caring for Vladyka, was there to help keep him comfortable and ensure that he was able to repose in his home. ArchbishopDmitri was extremely adamant on this point. By Monday morning his condition had declined further. He was either non-responsive or barely able to respond at all. An Unction service had been scheduled on Tuesday the 23rd, but due to his condition permission was given for another service to be conducted in his bedroom Monday afternoon. I have said what Vladyka’s condition was prior to the service. As the Unction was conducted those who were there witnessed Archbishop Dmitri slowly respond to the prayers and chants of the choir. He began opening his eyes and looking around. He began smiling. Eventually he could be heard singing. By the end of the service Vladyka’s melodious one-of-a-kind Texan voice was heard by all participating in the service. All were struck by his joyful recovery. This service was attended by over 30 people in Vladyka’s 2nd story bedroom next to the Cathedral. It was nearly 110 degrees that day and he had only one window unit and several fans in his room. The combination of body heat, candles, and incense brought the temperature of the room to around 90 degrees, but after standing witness to this remarkable transformation in our beloved Archbishop no one was greatly bothered by the discomfort. I stayed with Vladyka that night and realized how much he had recovered after seeing him ask for coffee and cough drops, two simple pleasures he loved.

    The next day Archbishop Dmitri was brave enough to be taken next door to the Cathedral for the previously scheduled Unction service, an exhausting experience for him but a gift to his spiritual children. As Fr. John Anderson said, the events that occurred at the beginning of this week were a blessing to all of us. He personally did not need to remain with us, but we needed him. Vladyka was always ready to leave this life, and in a way that I can only hope to achieve. Having a few more days with him and being able to witness his grace and joy as he left us was an experience beyond words.

    By Friday it was apparent that he would soon depart from us. His consciousness slowly slipped away. When I saw him Saturday morning he was virtually non-arousable. His breathing was regular but weak. He was not moving voluntarily. I left him around lunchtime with Metropolitan Jonah and Fr Seraphim Hipsh quietly praying over him. I returned that night at 9 to stay with him overnight. He was surrounded by those who loved him who quietly sat at his bedside while turns were taken to read the Gospels. He took shallow breaths and did not move. Through the course of the next few hours his situation remained the same. People who knew him or were inspired by him trickled in and out pray at his bedside. His room was dark and dimly lit. He was without any suffering. At midnight there were about 15 people left with Vladyka, including some who have known him and been close to him for decades. Fr Seraphim held Vladyka’s hand and stroked his head as others gathered around him. At midnight, which began th Dormition of the Theotokos, Bishop Alejo, who had been there since I arrived, stood and said some prayers for him in Spanish. Vladyka must have been overjoyed by this. For the next two hours Archbishop Dmitri remained the same, slowly breathing in the faint light of his bedroom. At 2 AM, he suddenly took a big breath, perked up his head and opened his eyes. I was sitting right at the foot of his bed and he looked right at me. He looked like he was about to speak. Everyone came to him immediately and put their hands on him. He slowly let out his breath and departed this life. As everyone held tightly onto him Fr Seraphim immediately began to pray. Archbishop Dmitri was completely at peace.

    Over the next hour Fr Seraphim prayed for Vladyka. I called Fr John Anderson who came immediately and performed a Panikhida with Fr Seraphim. Others who loved him came as well when they were notified. At around 3:30 Fr John and Fr Seraphim began to prepare the Archbishop’s body as a deacon and subdeacon read the Scriptures. I was blessed to be able to help with this, and will never forget how I was struck by the tremendous care and affection with which his body was handled. It was such a great testament to the immense love which we had for him. I also will always remember that despite having departed us hours earlier and having been sick for some time, Archbishop Dmitri’s body had a lively hue that I am not accustomed to seeing in the deceased. After he had been properly cleaned and dressed, people continued to trickle in to silently pay their respects to this godly man.

    I went home to sleep for a couple hours until the Liturgy. Besides the other things I have mentioned that will stay with me, I will also remember with happiness and tears Metropolitan Jonah’s homily, in which he charged us to keep Archbishop Dmitri’s memory eternal, and to model our lives after his example. The deacons’ voices cracked as they chanted prayers for his soul. There was sadness that we will not see Vladyka again in this world, but great rejoicing that God sent him to us and brought him back home.

    A friend asked me to write recollections down of what I witnessed over the past week, and I thank him for it. As I write this I’ve been eating a handful of Vladyka’s cough drops. That, combined with the smell of incense still on my clothes, is bringing tears to my eyes as I become nostalgic for my remarkable experiences with him over the past weeks.. I’ve only known him personally for a few short years. I was never able to witness the full force of his personality, but I was able to be transformed by the gravity of his influence. One did not need to know him on a deep personal level to be affected in this way. Just the way that he would smile at you as he walked through the crowd after the Liturgy on Sundays would make you want to follow him. I rejoice that I was able to be a part of the end of this great man’s life. He was truly an example of how we should live our lives in Christ. May his memory indeed be eternal!

  15. Having known His Eminence closely, I am the first to say that he was a man of great kindness, insight and example to others. He was a good man. Was he perfect, who is except our Lord Jesus Christ. Was he sinless, who is but our Lord. Was he a holy man? God knows and that is all that finally counts.

    When I read Mr. Dreher’s article it greeted me with a start. “Dallas Has A Saint.” That was a bold Headline, one that might have been too much too soon. I say that because those in the power rooms of the OCA have already tried to tamp down such expectations, those who, in fact, never knew His Eminence like those who worked with him, shared sorrow and joy with him, nor truly knew him as the man.

    Incorruption of body may be one sign of sanctity, or it may not. The remains of St. Seraphim of Sarov were not incorrupt, nor the remains of the last ruling family of Russia. Incorruption is not the only defining requirement of sanctity. Are there miracles attributed to the late Archbishop Dmitri? I suppose that depends on how one defines miracles. Is it a miracle that he oversaw the creation of a new diocese in America, a diocese that continues to set a standard in the OCA? Is it a miracle that his example brought countless numbers to embrace the One True Faith? Is it a miracle in a non-Orthodox land that, by His determinate faith, that locales with little or no Orthodox presence now have one? Time and God will judge. But, for those of us who knew him and worked with him, his sole vision was to establish a company of faithful who would stand fast and true against the changing tides of the time.

    And, if I may say, what other Diocese has set out as it primary goal than to bring Orthodoxy to the non-Orthodox? What Diocese made it is purpose but to do so? That is not to say that others have done good work, but what Diocese has accomplished it to the degree than his Diocese? In humility, I would suggest none because that was his charge in the creation of the Diocese of the South, and for that, he set a standard for others in America to follow.

    Perfection and sinlessness have never been the exclusive mark of sanctity in the Orthodox Church. How many people did St. Alexander Nevsky kill in his life? Was Tsar Nicholas Romanov a perfection in his disastrous decisions that led to the Bolshevik revolution? Yet these men, and the list can be expanded, in their time, have stood the test of time and inspection to be called Saints of the Church.

    If the Church is to be understood as a “Hospital” then His Eminence was the Chief of Staff of that Hospital in the Diocese of the South. He was charged with establishing that Hospital and he lived long enough to see that it would be well founded and be there for others who would flee to it for their healing and refuge.

    God knows all things and He knows whether, in time, us lowly and sinful people, whether of the jurisdiction called the OCA or not, with all its foibles and strengths, will call for his Canonization. That means little or nothing except in some formality of agenda. But for those of us who knew him, suffered with him and loved him, he will always be a great example of the Orthodox Christian life IN AMERICA. A life that should embody what Orthodoxy is challenged to be in America, reaching the non-Orthodox of this land while at the same time feeding Orthodox of different ethnic tongues, from Spanish to Russian, with the same conviction and love.

    We should all pray and decide, but above all else, pray for the soul and example of an Orthodox life, well lived and accomplished.

  16. Sean Richardson says

    I only had the pleasure of meeting Abp. Dmitri a couple times, and that was many years ago, and he impressed me as a man of power, wisdom and vision. He was very special and a most holy man.
    There could be one minor quibble with the article, however. When it says “…and was buried unembalmed, according to Orthodox tradition” it might be suggested that while it is true Orthodox patriarchs, bishops, monks, etc. were buried unembalmed in past centuries, that can be said of every saint and sinner, in every place on earth. No one was embalmed but a few members of the royal families in Egypt, and a few other places. Embalming is a modern practice, not an un-Orthodox practice. Perhaps the two should not be confused?

  17. r j klancko says

    i saw the then bishop dimitri when he came to three saints in ansonia to try to quell some discontent and was totally unimpressed with his actions – he did not appear to be a leader nor saintly – totally unimpressive and the when biship job of blessed memory took on the task of calling the metropolitan on his malfesence and dimitri, nikon, and nathanel the three musketeers who supposedly knew what was going on but tacitly were silent, that was the nail in the casket that to me indicated that the three of them should be returned to layman status – i cannot call them bishops because it appeared that they were complicit with what was going on and to me in the business world this was reason for firing, in fact there is not reason in my mind that the metroplotitans were not defrocked – so now from my perspective dimitry does not deserve sainthood – albeit he did rally the troops in the south and helped to create a diocese that was ripe for organization just due to population changes – a task anyone schooled in organization building could have accomplished, and a task, that in truth our protestant friends, perhaps would have done 10 times better – just a perspective from a person seeing our churches dwindle and memberships fade away

    • M. Stankovich says

      r j klancko,

      I have twice related the story on this site of accompanying then Bishop Dmitri of New England, with my roommate, now Protodeacon Eric Wheeler, to a parish I did not name; since you named it, it was Ansonia, CT. It was very close to 1980, and we accompanied Bishop Dmitri to assist him in serving the first ever Liturgy of the Pre-Sanctified Gifts to be served in the Three Saints parish. This is, in my estimation, worthy of repeating, r j klancko, because the Three Saints parish was founded in 1895: no one had ever served the Liturgy of the Pre-Sanctified Gifts. Now, I am not exactly sure to what you refer when you say Vladyka Dmitri came to Ansonia to “quell some discontent” – I was not a member of the parish – but I do know that there was snow on the ground in Ansonia, CT that evening, yet the parish council forbid the heat from being turned on in that massive, cold church, and lights were allowed only in the altar. Perhaps thirty people came to the liturgy, and they told us parish council members were parked outside to see who attended. The choir was the rich bass of Bishop Dmitri, the tenor of Eric Wheeler, and me singing melody; very sufficient for the circumstance. If any of this troubled Vladyka Dmitri, he certainly did not show it. There was a meal following, after which Vladyka, coffee in hand, gave a thorough explanation and marked the significance of the Pre-Sanctified liturgy in the history & life of the church, as apparently there was some contention over the fact that the name of “Gregory Thialogos, Pope of Rome” was commemorated. Yikes! Could this be the source of the the nearly 100-year ban on the service? Vladyka was warm, kind, directive, and pastoral. He even offered to go outside and invite the “lurkers” in for coffee. You will pardon me, r j klancko, but at the time, the Ansonia parish was a haven of secularist disobedience and disrespect, with more piety to be found in the Moose Lodge. It is said “you will be known for how you treat your children,” and I would add, “and how you treat the anointed of God.”

    • Beloved Archbishop DMITRI was a pastor to everyone in his flock — a true Shepherd whose voice we knew and he knew each one of us. When we gathered together with him, one or many, we knew that we were with our Pastor — we never needed empty “words” to tell us so. It was so. And even now, we know that he is interceding for us in ways that humble us and tell us of his love and care and concern to bring the Gospel of Christ to all who will hear. Intercede for us, Vladyka.

    • Beloved Archbishop DMITRI was a pastor to everyone in his flock — a true Shepherd whose voice we knew and he knew each one of us. When we gathered together with him, one or many, we knew that we were with our Pastor — we never needed empty “words” to tell us so. It was so. And even now, we know that he is interceding for us in ways that humble us and tell us of his love and care and concern to bring the Gospel of Christ to all who will hear. Intercede for us, Vladyka.

    • Tommy Katsarellis says

      These bishops were not complicit, but until the full investigation took place, they could not voice what they new or did not know. What you don’t realize is that “saints” are normal, regular people. All of us in THE CHURCH are called saints. When God reveals that someone who has fallen asleep are certainly in His Kingdom, it is God’s way to strengthen our faith and proof of the life to come. + Dimitri is certainly in God’s Kingdom and he will be awaiting you & I when we arrive. Repent and do not judge your brother!

      • George Michalopulos says

        Very well said, Mr Katsarellis.

      • Michael Warren says

        Just to elucidate further, the Orthodox understanding of “Saints” and “Sainthood”:

        George Bebis, Ph D, GOA website

        The Saints of the Orthodox Church


        “It must be stated at the beginning that the only true “saint” or holy one (Hagios) is God Himself. The Bible states “For I am the Lord your God; you shall name yourselves holy and keep yourselves holy, because I am holy … ” (Levit. 11:44; 19:2 and 20:7). Man becomes holy and “sainted” by participation in the holiness of God.

        Holiness or sainthood is a gift (charisma) given by God to man, through the Holy Spirit. Man’s effort to become a participant in the life of divine holiness is indispensable, but sanctification itself is the work of the Holy Trinity, especially through the sanctifying power of Jesus Christ, who was incarnate, suffered crucifixion, and rose from the dead, in order to lead us to the life of holiness, through the communion with the Holy Spirit. In the Second Letter to the Thessalonians St. Paul suggests: “But we are bound to thank God always for you, brothers beloved by the Lord, because from the beginning of time God chose you to find salvation in the Spirit that consecrates you, (en agiasmo Pneumatos) and in the truth that you believe. It was for this that He called you through the Gospel we brought, so that you might possess for your own the splendor of our Lord Jesus Christ” (2: 13–14). …


        The ultimate goal of the saint is to imitate God and live the life of deification (theosis). St. Maximos the Confessor (seventh century) writes that the saints are men who have reached theosis; they have avoided unnatural development of the soul, that is, sin, and tried to live the natural way of life (i.e., living according to created nature), turning and looking always towards God, thus achieving total unity with God through the Holy Spirit (On Theology, 7.73).

        It may be stated here that the Saints are first of all “friends” of God. Secondly, through their genuine piety and absolute obedience to God, they pleased Him and have therefore been “sanctified” both in soul and body, and subsequently glorified in this world. Third, they have been accepted in God’s bosom after their passing from the world into eternal life. Fourth, many of them have been given special “grace” or “favor” to perform miracles either before their departure from this world or after. Fifth, they have been granted the special gift to pray and intercede for those still living in this world and fighting the “good fight” for the glory of God and their own perfection in Christ. This intercession springs from the fact that they also are part of the “Communion of Saints”. They share prayers and good works with Christians on earth and there is a constant interaction and unity between the glorified saints in Heaven and Christians who still live in the world. …”

  18. Michael Woerl says

    Saint Nicholas Planas was a married priest …
    The glorification of saints usually takes time. Saint John of Kronstadt, 56 years after his death; Saint Xenia of Petersburg, 175 years. Saint Jonah of Hankow, 69 years. Saint John of Shanghai, 29 years. Saint Seraphim Sobelev, 66 years.
    Mr Dreher’s “observations” are, indeed, premature.
    After the Archbishop Arseny fiasco, seems the OCA will be very cautious … and the canonization of anti-administration sentiment will undoubtedly not be looked at lightly.

  19. Michael Woerl says

    Saint Nicholas Planas was a married priest …
    The glorification of saints usually takes time. Saint John of Kronstadt, 56 years after his death; Saint Xenia of Petersburg, 175 years. Saint Jonah of Hankow, 69 years. Saint John of Shanghai, 29 years. Saint Seraphim Sobelev, 66 years.
    Mr Dreher’s “observations” are, indeed, premature.

  20. Wayne Matthew Syvinski says

    We don’t need “Santo subito” in Orthodoxy. We just don’t.

    • George Michalopulos says

      No, we don’t. That doesn’t mean that a popular, localized cultus, one which grows organically from those who knew him is wrong. In fact, I believe it’s the only way to recognize a saint.

    • Matthew:
      It’s all that disappointment you and Al Macek had for JPII. Maybe you’ll except, Santo di Dallas.

  21. Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says

    Congratulations on being sent a new ruling Bishop, someone you didn’t even have to go to the bother of nominating!!!!!!