Saint Herman is the Patron of Alaska and the Wonderworker of All America. Saint Herman came from a family of merchants of Serpukhov, a city of the Moscow Diocese, in the late 18th Century A.D.. His name before he was tonsured, and his family name are not known. As a monk of the Varlaam Monastery, he nearly died of a disfiguring illness, which was healed by the Theotokos after he fervently beseeched her intercession. This deepened his devotion to monastic obedience, and years later Herman was chosen to join several of his fellow monks on a spiritual mission to Alaska. He settled on SpruceIsland, which he called ‘New Valaam,’ and from there evangelised the local Aleutian people. Herman’s love for the newly converted people grew to the point of self-denial, and he ministered to their spiritual needs even through a terrible plague and other hardships.
His dedication to spreading the Gospel of Christ to the Aleutians bore great fruit. Among his spiritual children was St.Peter the Aleut (comemmorated Sept. 24/Oct. 7), who bravely suffered for Christ and the Orthodox Faith at the hands of Roman Catholics. God also granted St. Herman the Spiritual Gifts of wonder working and prophecy. Among these prophecies was that of his own repose on Dec. 12/25, 1837 A.D., and that of his continuing memory among the Orthodox.The flag of Saint Herman bears a black cross, recalling the heavy iron cross the Alaskan hermit wore chained under his clothing (a holy relic which is still preserved today in the Alaskan church that houses his relics). The black cross is emblazoned on a white field, to commemorate the snow-covered land of Alaska, in whose soil Saint Herman firmly planted the Holy Cross, as we hear in the Troparion hymn used on the feast day of the saint.
Saint Herman is commemorated on December 12/25.