The Life and Achievements of Innokentii, Preacher of the Gospel in the Aleutian Islands


This hagiographical text tells the story of the life of Father Ioann Veniaminov (1797‒1879), who later became Saint Innokentii of Alaska. Veniaminov was one of the greatest of the Russian Orthodox missionaries to Russian America. In 1823, he volunteered to go to Alaska as a missionary and settled with his family at Unalaska, where he established a church and began his study of local languages. He created alphabets for several native languages and translated religious texts. In 1840, following the death of his wife, Veniaminov took the monastic name Innokentii and was made bishop of the newly created Diocese of Kamchatka, the Kuril Islands, and the Aleutians. He served in that position until 1867, when he was appointed Metropolitan of Moscow and Kolomenskoye, the second highest position in the Russian Orthodox Church. He was canonized by the church in 1977. Published in Saint Petersburg in 1914, the text was compiled by E.A. Sysoev from a longer biography of Veniaminov by Ivan Barsukov. It is preserved in the collections of the National Library of Russia and was digitized in the early 2000s for the Meeting of Frontiers digital library project.

Last updated: December 11, 2017