Wednesday, October 1, 2014

President Grant and the Athonite monk

(Notes on Church History) - In 1869, a priest from Mount Athos paid a visit to the sitting President of the United States, Ulysses S. Grant. At least, that’s what was reported on the front page of the Aug. 18, 1869 issue of the North American and United States Gazette (published in Philadelphia):

The Rev. Father Christopher, a Greek priest from Mount Athos, has lately called upon President Grant. He is said to be a very learned man, and full of enthusiasm for his church and convent.

I haven’t been able to find any other traces of this Father Christopher. In 1869, there was very little in the way of Orthodoxy in the United States. Outside of Alaska, the only two parishes were in New Orleans and San Francisco, and both were brand new. Neither had a priest from Mount Athos (or named Father Christopher, for that matter). There was also the crazy Fr. Agapius Honcharenko, who had come to New York in Dec. 1864, but by 1869 he was in the San Francisco area...
Complete article here.

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