Talk:Herman of Alaska

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Untitled[edit]

I Hope its ok, I Added the Kontakion to St Herman, I Just Got it E-mailed to Me and Thought it Should be Here

Clarification needed[edit]

What is a "staretz"? It's used twice in the end of the article, but I don't think that the layperson reading the article would know what it means. --Eddylyons 20:43, 1 December 2006 (UTC)

A staretz or starets is an Elder or spiritual advisor. There is a Wikipedia article about it here: Starets. MishaPan 18:30, 1 December 2007 (UTC)

The date of his repose is inconsistent. At the time of his death, the New and Old calendars were 12 days apart. Since then, they have drifted only 1 more day (in 1900). If he died December 13 New Calendar, that would be December 1 Old Calendar. He would then be celebrated on December 13 New Calendar and December 1 Old Calendar (which occurs December 14 on the New calendar). If he died December 13 Old Calendar, that would be December 25 New Calendar. He should then be celebrated December 25 New Calendar and December 13 Old Calendar (which now occurs December 26 on New Calendar). Old and New Calendar celebrations should be only 1 physical day apart, not 12 or 13. 74.93.67.113 (talk) 21:53, 23 December 2008 (UTC)

No, sorry, that's not it at all.
His date of death was misreported initially as 13 Dec 1837 (so it was off by more than a year). The date got into his official hagiography, and the date of commemoration was entered into the Church rolls as 13 Dec. (How he also came to be remembered on 12 Dec, I don't know.) There it remained until the error was discovered and the death revealed as 15 Nov 1836. Now the Church commemorates his death on Nov 15. But he is still remembered on 13 Dec, along with other American saints, especially those of his community.
It should be noted that Alaska belonged to Russia at the time St Herman lived there. It was not bought by the US until October 1867. And since Russia used the Julian calendar until 1918 (just after its revolution), all the dates mentioned here are Julian calendar dates. Alaska moved over to the Gregorian calendar upon its purchase by the US. And, it may be noted, it also moved across the International Dateline at that time, east side (day later) to west side (day earlier).
Orthodox who still use the Julian calendar (including the Russian Orthodox Church) observe these times on 15 Nov, 12 Dec, and 13 Dec in the Julian calendar. These dates coincide with 28 Nov, 25 Dec, and 26 Dec in the Gregorian calendar (during the 21st century). Since they are fixed-date observations rather than moveable-date (tied to Pascha), Orthodox who use the revised Julian calendar observe on 15 Nov, 12 Dec, and 13 Dec on that calendar, which happens to coincide with the Gregorian calendar, and occur 13 days earlier than for old calendar users. Evensteven (talk) 03:29, 17 December 2016 (UTC)

Spruce Island or Kodiak?[edit]

The first line says he died on Kodiak, but the infobox says Spruce and the body text appears to imply the same thing. Which is it? Lockesdonkey 16:34, 28 May 2007 (UTC)

For heaven's sake, it was easy enough to check and fix... TCC (talk) (contribs) 22:14, 28 May 2007 (UTC)
He died and was buried on Spruce island. Later on, his relics were removed to Kodiak, in Holy Resurrection Cathedral there, and that is where many come to venerate him today. It is much more accessible than his monastic retreat on Spruce Island, where the bay on which it is located is subject to fierce tides and waves and is often impassable even today. Evensteven (talk) 03:35, 17 December 2016 (UTC)

Herman?[edit]

I think the correct name would be "German", as "Herman" is German name while "German" is Roman name. I see it unlikely he had German name. Also his name is written "German" ("Герман") in Russian.--Dojarca (talk) 18:01, 19 December 2007 (UTC)

Yes, but /Г/ is often transliterated to /H/ in English, and "Herman of Alaska" is how he is generally known in English; "German" is not a very common personal name in English, or a liturgical one either.Skookum1 (talk) 02:49, 3 January 2009 (UTC)
IMHO there is no doubt it's right to keep original 'Herman' spelling as it has already been included in holy memories of St. John Maximovitch, Fr. Seraphim and others. 'Herman' is more acceptable even for a Russian eye than somewhat ambiguous 'German'. B7elijah (talk) 20:51, 9 August 2011 (UTC)
"Герман" (German) is the name he took when he was tonsured in Finland, written in Russian characters because he was of Russian background and affiliated with the Russian Orthodox Church. The name is essentially a translation into Russian from the Greek name, Γερμάνος (Yermanos). In Russian, the letter Γ is always pronounced with a sound like a hard G in English, such as in "goat". But Greek phonetics indicate that sound only in certain letter combinations. Its Γ is also softened in sound when an ε (epsilon, or e) follows it, just as in English we use the soft G in "gentle" or "general". It likewise softens in all the Latin languages of Europe, but in Italian and French, it comes out similar to the soft English G. However, in Spanish and Portuguese, the sound softens to what English phonetics would write as an "H": "hair-mahn". So, the name certainly moved around among the nations, and the G spelling remains connected to its Greek Γ origins, but its pronunciation changes as it moves from language to language. I suspect that it came into English through Spain or Portugal, and hence retained their "H" pronunciation, and hence underwent the spelling transition to "Herman" also. It is unrelated to Deutschland (Germany) or its language. Evensteven (talk) 23:37, 16 December 2016 (UTC)

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