St. Herman of Alaska (1757-1836)
A monastic since age twelve in the wilderness of Sarov, he became close to Abbot Nazarius and followed the Abbot to Valaam, where St. Herman lived as a desert-dweller. St. Herman was sent with the Mission to America and, as a true disciple of Blessed Paisius Velichkovsky, practiced and spread the Paisian tradition in America. He even reposed on the same date as St. Paisius, November 15, and was buried a month later, on December 13, remaining incorrupted, as his young Aleut disciples testified. St. Herman combined apostleship and desert-dwelling, as well as a loving care for orphans and young people, thus becoming their patron as the first Orthodox saint of America. He taught the Jesus Prayer from his copy of the Philokalia in America, where he founded a New Valaam Monastery on Spruce Island, Alaska, where the monastic lamp is still burning. His repose in the Lord was that of a saint: he foresaw its day and time, and at the moment of his death a halo of Uncreated Light played about his head. The humble cell became filled with divine fragrance and, as the Scripture was read, his soul left his body. At this moment a pillar of light, above the location of the great saints repose was seen by natives watching at a distance.
Text from Valaam Patericon Book of Days