Synod of Bishops Proclaims First Female Orthodox Saint in North America: St. Olga the Matushka (Priest’s Wife) of Alaska
Dr. John G. Panagiotou – OCP News Service – 12/11/2023
Chicago – USA: On November 8, 2023, the OCA Synod of Bishops issued a proclamation making Olga Aresamquq Nicholai Michael of Kwethluk, Alaska, the first female Orthodox saint in North America. Born on February 3, 1916, Olga was a matushka (priest’s wife) who was of Native Alaskan ethnicity hailing from the Yupik tribe. Her husband was Archpriest Nikolai O. Michael. Matushka Olga was a midwife who was known for her piety and love. She particularly is known for her ministry to women who had suffered emotional, physical, and/or sexual abuse of any kind. Matushka Olga fell asleep in the Lord on November 8, 1979, at the age of 63. His Grace Bishop Alexei Trader of Alaska presented her case for canonization to the Holy Synod writing, “The first peoples of Alaska are convinced of her sanctity and the great efficacy of her prayers.”
The date of commemoration of St. Olga the Matushka of Alaska will be November 10.
OCP News Service