On September 24, 1794, the first formal Orthodox Mission in North America was established in Kodiak.
A synaxis is a 'gathering' of a group of saints connected with a cerain place or event commemorated on the same day. Today the saints who are associated with the coming of Orthodoxy to America in the Russian colony of Alaska are commemorated.
The icon of the synaxis (from left to right) shows:
- St. Herman who arrived on September 24 and who fell asleep on Spruce Island in 1837
- St. Jacob who was the first native born Orthodox priest (+1864)
- St. Peter the Aleut who was a native convert martyed by Catholics in California (+1815)
- St. Juvenal who arrived wth St. Herman and was martyed by the local Indians in 1796
- St. Innocent who arrived in 1823 and did extensive evangelization and organizational work
Today is also set aside as the Feast Day of martyrs Juvenal and Peter.
These men and many others (hundreds had already be baptized by Russian laymen prior to 1794) through the guidance of the Holy Spirit laid the foundation of Orthodoxy in America.