St. Protomartyr Juvenaly of Alaska
Hieromonk Juvenaly (secular name is Jacob Govorukhin) was born in 1761 in the family of facility workman in Ekaterinburg. In youth he worked on local factories, just like his father before him. In 1791 Jacob decided to go to Valaam monastery.
Soon he was tonsured to a monk and ordained to priesthood. Jacob was gifted novice and after two years since he had come to monastery he was included to Northern America missionary group for preaching the Gospel to residential population.
Arrived clergymen were very zealous and for two months they traveled all over Kodiak Island, using boats. They baptized all people and monk Juvenaly taught the theology and crafts to a youths.
In 1975 more than 700 Chugach people were converted to the Orthodoxy. In 1796 fr. Juvenaly’s missionary area became wider and he arrived to Alaska.
The missionaries baptized 6740 Aleuts and performed 1573 wedding ceremony as a whole.
St. Juvenaly finished his life martyr. But there are a few versions of his death.
For a long time it was thought that the missionary was killed near Iliamna Lake, Alaska. He was tortured by local shamans who were disgruntled by his successful missionary service.
St. Juvenaly gave no resistance to the torturers and was captured, blessing them.
There is a version that St. Juvenaly was killed near the mentioned above lake, by the Yupik tribe, presumably because they were afraid of strangers. Afterwards that tribe became Orthodox believers.
According to another version based on protopriest Mikhail Oleksa’s report, fr. Juvenaly was killed by the Eskimos hunters 200 km to the West from the lake.
Hieromartyr Juvenaly of Alaska was canonized in 1980. His relics were never found. The Day of his Remembrance is on 2 May.