Cause for the Canonization of 

Servant of God 

Demetrius Gallitzin

"Apostle of the Alleghenies"




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Saint Push Moves Ahead

by Susan Evans

The Tribune Democrat- 2 March 2007

LORETTO — The effort to canonize Prince Gallitzin will take another step forward with a ceremony scheduled for March 11 in Loretto, and the bishop is hoping for an overflow crowd.

Demetrius Gallitzin, the priest who brought Catholicism to this region, died in 1840 and was the first priest educated and ordained entirely in the U.S.

The diocesan drive for sainthood, in part spurred by Frank and Betty Seymour of Loretto, received a boost in 2005 when the Vatican declared that Gallitzin could now be referred to as “Servant of God.”

The next major step will be held in Loretto, with the March 11 opening session of what’s formally called the Diocesan Inquiry for the Cause of Canonization for Servant of God Demetrius Gallitzin.

Bishop Joseph Adamec will preside over the 3 p.m. session at the Basilica of St. Michael the Archangel and said he is hoping for a record attendance.

“This is a rare moment in the history of our diocese,” the bishop said in a release.

“My wish is that this occasion be recorded by history as one where the faithful filled the basilica to capacity. Such an outpouring will be of great assistance in proving the reverence that the Servant of God (Gallitzin) commands among the faithful to this day,” he said.

The procedure for the inquiry will be for the bishop to administer oaths to those who will be involved in the process. That will include the Seymours, who have chaired the diocesan task force for canonization.

They have spent years researching the life and times of Gallitzin, who was known as the Apostle of the Alleghenies.

The son of a Russian prince with Lithuanian roots and a German countess, Gallitzin gave up his wealthy heritage to serve as the only priest from Lancaster to St. Louis.

If the years-long drive for his canonization is successful, Gallitzin would become one of only a few with ties to the United States elevated to sainthood.

In 2004, a Russian television crew filmed a documentary about Gallitzin, which Roman Catholic clergy and area historians hope will assist the cause for his sainthood.

Locally, the Seymours have been scouring the area for artifacts attached to Gallitzin’s name, such as signatures, glasses, books or sacramentals to add to Gallitzin’s estate.

During his visit with Pope John Paul II in 2004, Adamec had the chance to praise the contributions of Prince Gallitzin, while putting in a plug for Gallitzin’s sainthood. Also as part of the process, Adamec has asked the bishops of Pennsylvania and New Jersey for their input.

The next step will involve forwarding the March 11 testimony to the Vatican as evidence in favor of Gallitzin’s sainthood.