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USA: OCA digitizes decades of periodical

27. Juni 2024

Nearly eight decades of issues of an early Orthodox periodical in America have been digitized and made available online for free. The Russian American Orthodox Messenger (Vestnik) was the official periodical of the Russian Orthodox Church’s diocese in America (and later of the Russian Orthodox Greek Catholic Church of America, which became the Orthodox Church in America in 1970).

The publication, which began in 1896, was largely in Russian, though at times featured English or bi-lingual material. It served as the main channel for Church information and official documents from the chancery, reports the Orthodox Church in America.

The Messenger’s first editor was St. Alexander Hotovitzky, until he left America in 1914. Having returned to Russia, he was martyred by the Soviet authorities in 1937. The next editor was Fr. Leonid Turkevich, the future Metropolitan Leonty, whom many venerate as a saint. Other notable authors include St. Tikhon, St. Raphael, St. Alexis Toth, St. John Kochurov, and others.

The periodical was published from 1896 to 1973, with two hiatuses due to financial troubles. In 1965, the English-language The Orthodox Church periodical was launched, and with a drop in the need for a Russian-language periodical, the Messenger was discontinued in 1973.

The digitalization project was the joint effort of the OCA, the St. Nicholas Russian Orthodox Patriarchal Cathedral in New York, and the New York Public Library. The nearly complete archive is available online from HathiTrust. (Quelle:, 14. Juni 2024)