St. Herman of Alaska



  1. Students should be able to name Herman and the state of Alaska.
  2. Students should know he lived on Spruce Island.


Possible Lesson Plan:

  1. Open with prayer.


  1. Tell the stories of St. Herman of Alaska and St. Peter the Aleut:

St. Herman was a monk of Russia. Like Nicholas in Japan, Herman wanted to serve the people of Alaska. He traveled on a sailing ship to Kodiak, Alaska; the land was beautiful with the snow-covered mountains and children playing on the beaches. Herman wanted to teach them all about Jesus and His love for all people, even the people of Alaska. He learned their language (Who else have we studied who did this?) and put the prayers of the church into their language so they could understand them. He built a church at Kodiak. But, then a great sickness came – the flu. Herman helped the people, but still many died. Many children were left as orphans. What could he do to help them?

Herman, the monk, moved to Spruce Island. Spruce trees are big and beautiful evergreen trees that grow in the far north. He built an orphanage and a school for the children who had lost their parents. Little children especially loved Herman. He taught them to love Jesus. When the children saw a great wave coming in from the sea, a tidal wave, they ran to “Apa” Herman, “Grandfather” Herman. Herman took his icon of the Theotokos to the beach and placed it in the sand. He told the children that the huge wave would stop there – and it did! Herman was one of the first saints of the Alaskan church.

            One of the Eskimo boys who heard about Jesus from Herman was named Chunuknuk. When he was baptized, he was given a new name, Peter. Peter learned about God and loved Him with all his heart and soul and mind. Peter also learned from his father and grandfather how to hunt and fish from his little kayak. He even hunted whales!

            Peter went with the Russian fur traders to far-off California, hunting sea otters. There, he was captured by people of another religion who tried to make him change his faith. They even cut off his fingers. But Peter would not deny his Church and faith. Finally, they killed Peter; he was the first martyr of North America. (Do you remember what a martyr is?)


Add St. Herman of Alaska to your timeline.


  1. Feed the Elephant True/False Questions:


                                    True                                                     False

Herman was from Russia.                                           Herman was from Greece.

Herman traveled to Alaska.                                        Herman traveled to Japan.

Herman lived on Spruce Island.                                 Herman lived on Oak Island.

Peter was an Eskimo.                                                  Peter was from Russia.

Peter was a martyr.                                                     Herman was a martyr.


  1. Herman’s message was one of love. Sing “Jesus loves me” and “Jesus loves the little children”. The children loved Jesus; they also loved Herman. The sisters of the monastery in Ellwood, PA, have also written a song about St. Herman, sung to the tune of the popular St. Nicholas song. Try a couple of verses:

  1. Make the Alaskan child: See next page. If you want, use a bit of fake fur and cotton balls to make the parka more realistic.


  1. Close with prayer: Lord, help me to love all Your children, even the unlovable ones.