Cause for the Canonization of 

Servant of God 

Demetrius Gallitzin

"Apostle of the Alleghenies"




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How is one declared a saint?



Former priest at Church of St. Patrick up for sainthood

by Staff Reports

Cumberland Times-News - 8 April 2007

CUMBERLAND If Catholics in the Altoona-Johnstown, Pa., Diocese get their way, a priest who once served as pastor at the Church of St. Patrick in Cumberland will become a saint.

The effort is officially known as the Cause for the Canonization of Servant of God Demetrius Gallitzin and was launched March 12 to a standing-room-only audience at the Basilica of St. Michael the Archangel in Loretto, Pa.

His many travels through mountain country on behalf of his church and his faith brought Gallitzin the name Apostle of the Alleghenies. He also was pastor at St. Joseph in Taneytown.

A Web site devoted to the canonization effort is at

Monsignor Thomas Bevan, current pastor at the Church of St. Patrick, told The Catholic Review that the parishioners are very proud that one of their former pastors is up for canonization. Gallitzin was pastor of the Cumberland church from 1790-1795.

Bevan, a church historian, said that Gallitzin attempted to hide his aristocratic past by assuming the name John Smith on occasion, concerned that his royal upbringing would keep him from being accepted.

The parish center at St. Patrick was recently renamed for Father Gallitzin.

Because there has been no objection to the canonization attempt from the Vatican, Gallitzin may be referred to officially as a servant of God.

He will be referred to as venerable once it can be proven that he lived with heroic virtue.

The next step would be beatification and will require proof that one miracle has taken place because of intercessory prayer in his name. Proof of a second miracle would allow sainthood.

Joseph V. Adamec, bishop of Altoona-Johnstown, has asked for the submission of any useful information of miraculous intervention on the part of Gallitzin. The contact is

Gallitzin was born at The Hague on Dec. 22, 1770, and died at Loretto on May 6, 1840.

His father, Prince Demetrius Gallitzin, was the Russian ambassador to Holland and had served the same role in France. The son was baptized in the Greek Orthodox Church and, when 17, became a Catholic.

After becoming a priest, Gallitzin exercised his ministry in Baltimore and in the rural missions of Pennsylvania and Maryland.