Alexis Toth

Alexis Toth

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Alexis Toth

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Saint Alexis Toth (or Alexis of Wilkes-Barre; March 18, 1853, Kobylnice — May 7, 1909, Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania) was a Russian Orthodox church leader in the American Midwest who, having resigned his position as a Greek Catholic priest in the Ruthenian Catholic Church, became responsible for the conversions of approximately 20,000 Eastern-rite Catholics to the Russian Orthodox Church, which contributed to the growth of Eastern Orthodoxy in the United States and the eventual establishment of the Orthodox Church in America. He was canonized by the Orthodox Church in 1994.

Early life

Alexis Georgievich Toth was born to Father George and Cecilia Toth (or Tovt) on March 14, 1853, near Prešov in Zepes county of Slovakia (then a part of the Austrian Empire) during the reign of Franz Joseph. Having completed his primary schooling, he attended a Roman Catholic seminary for one year, followed by three years in a Greek Catholic seminary and additional time at the University of Prague, where he graduated with a degree in theology.

Toth married Rosalie Mihaluk on April 18, 1878, and was ordained to the priesthood in 1878 by Bishop Nicholas Toth, the Greek Catholic bishop of Prešov. Following the death of his wife and child a few years later, he served in local parishes, as a diocesian chancellor, and as professor and director at the Greek Catholic seminary of Prešov. In 1889, Fr. Alexis' bishop received a petition from the Ruthenian Greek-Catholic church in America, asking that...
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