Former priest at Church
of St. Patrick up for sainthood
by Staff Reports
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 www.demetriusgallitzin.org.
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
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
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Gallitzin was born at The Hague on Dec. 22, 1770, and died at Loretto on May 6,
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.