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North Star: Saint Herman of Alaska

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North Star: Saint Herman of Alaska

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In 1794 a group of Russian Orthodox missionaries landed on Kodiak Island, Alaska, with the intent of preaching to the native Americans, baptizing those who would accept the Christian life and developing for them both academic and agricultural schools. Of this initial effort there survived one monk, Father Herman, who lived among the Aleut people for forty some years and earned the loving nickname of Apa, or “grandfather.” Father Herman had a fiery temperament and was often heatedly involved with local authorities concerning the rights of the local natives, who were constantly violated by explorers and foreign authorities. Father Herman’s gentle admonition, sense of humor, strict asceticism and care for the physical needs of the natives left a memorable legacy.

In this charming volume, author and illustrator Dorrie Papademetriou captures the divine spark that shone in the monk Herman and reflects it across the pages. The world of Apa and the Aleuts comes alive in illustrations of northern lights, Kodiak bears, giant cabbages and angel’s wings. Best of all, readers are warmed by the words of this human heart aflame with divine love.

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