of Alaska, Innocent 
Search Timelines:

Time Period
8/26/1797  - 3/31/1879
Description
Innocent of Alaska, known at the time as Veniaminov, departed from Russia to the Aleutian Islands in 1823 as a missionary. While conducting his missionary work, Veniaminov engaged in studies of several local languages, eventually translating portions of the Bible and the Divine Liturgy into Aleut as well as penning a vernacular catechism, Indication of the Pathway into the Kingdom of Heaven. Like his predecessor, Herman of Alaska, Veniaminov was an advocate of education for the natives.

In 1840, Veniaminov became a monk and took the name Innocent. He was named the Bishop of Kamchatka and the Kurile and Aleutian Islands that same year and became Archbishop in 1850. As bishop, he oversaw the geographic expansion of Orthodoxy throughout Alaska as well as a sharp increase in the number of Orthodox priests and new conversions. Eighteen years later, he became the Metropolitan of Moscow. He was canonized in 1977.
Browse Related Timeline Entries
Narrative
Saint Innocent of Alaska was born John Popov in Irkutsk in 1797 and changed his last name to Veniaminov, the name of the local bishop who he wished to honor, in 1814. A married Orthodox priest from Russia, Veniaminov departed for the Aleutian Islands as a missionary in 1823. While conducting his missionary work, Veniaminov engaged in studies of several local languages, eventually translating portions of the Bible and the Divine Liturgy into Aleut as well as penning a vernacular catechism, Indication of the Pathway into the Kingdom of Heaven. Like his predecessor, Herman of Alaska, Veniaminov was an advocate of education for the natives. In addition to his educational, linguistic, and missionary activities, Veniaminov also become a noted naturalist, which brought him fame in Russia.

Following the death of his wife in 1840, Veniaminov became a monk and took the name Innocent. He was named the Bishop of Kamchatka and the Kurile and Aleutian Islands that same year and became Archbishop in 1850. As bishop, Innocent oversaw a significant geographic expansion of Orthodoxy throughout Alaska as well as a sharp increase in the number of Orthodox priests, including among natives and creoles, and significant success in gaining new conversions. Eighteen years later, he became the Metropolitan of Moscow, in which position he served until his death in 1879. He was canonized in 1977.
Religious Groups
Timeline Entries for the same religious group Eastern Liturgical Family (Orthodox)
Eastern Liturgical Family (Orthodox): Other ARDA Links

Photographs

Innocent of Alaska icon- Internet Archive- image by aeons.ro (CC BY-ND 3.0)

Innocent of Alaska icon- Holy Trinity Orthodox Church- photo by Corielle Stickles

Innocent of Alaska portrait- Internet Archive- from Innokentii, Mitropolit Moskovskii i Kolomenskii by Ivan Barsukov

Innocent of Alaska portrait- Library of Congress, LC-USZ62-132144

Innocent of Alaska relics- Wikimedia Commons- photo by Lipsio (CC BY-SA 3.0)
Book/Journal Source(s)
Erickson, John H., 1999. Orthodox Christians in America. New York: Oxford University Press.
FitzGerald, Thomas E., 1995. The Orthodox Church. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press.
Web Source(s)
http://www.asna.ca/alaska/
This website includes a collection of Alaskan Orthodox texts in the Aleut, Alutiiq, Tlingit, and Yup'ik languages, several of which were written by Saint Innocent of Alaska.
Web Page Contributor
William S. Cossen
Affliated with: Pennsylvania State University, Ph.D. in History

Bookmark and Share