Saint Peter the Aleut was a student of St. Herman of Alaska, who was fiercely tortured and killed due to his Christian faith, thus he received the wreath of martyrdom. A group of indigenous people were fighting for their rights with the help of St. Herman against the colonialists.
Saint Peter was born at the end of the 18th century in Alaska, more specifically on one of the one hundred and fifty Aleutian islands. Life there was very difficult due to the extreme weather conditions. The country’s Christianisation began when Russian merchants settled there. At the same time, Russian missionaries preached the Divine Word as Saint Peter the Aleut did.
He grew up in a difficult social and economic situation and in extreme weather conditions, however, he was always modest and kind, he loved Jesus Christ and was baptised by Russian clergymen. He was working at a household Russian-American company, where he became aware of the world’s inequalities and of the exploitation of the workers by greedy wholesale merchants.
Around 1812, he accepted to be transferred to an area near San Francisco, due to his family’s financial situation. The area was inhabited by Spanish Roman Catholics, who oppressed the natives. They were fiercely tortured if they did not accept to convert to their religion.
St. Peter and his friends refused to flee. On the contrary, they were determined to support the natives and to convert them to the Orthodox Christian faith thanks to which they could live a life by the Grace of God. As a result, they were taken to prison and, on the orders of the inquisitor, they cut each finger of Peter’s hands, one joint at a time, and finally, they stabbed him to death. “I will remain steadfast in the Christian faith,” he repeated, as he was bleeding. He finally fell asleep to the Lord. The Orthodox Church commemorates him on the 13th of December.