Via Dr William Tighe and John (of Ad Orientem), an essay by Raymond A. Bucko SJ of Creighton University, on St Peter the Aleut – a saint canonized by the OCA in 1980, who (along with Father Alexis Toth, canonized also by the OCA in 1994) for many American Orthodox, has become a sort of “icon” of anti-Catholic sentiment. A summary of Peter’s vita and his hymnography may be found here.
Father Bucko’s conclusion:
The icons of Peter the Aleut both reveal and conceal a series of often violent interrelationships generated on the colonial frontiers of Russia’s eastern colonial expansion. Ironically, the focus of the Icon, Peter himself, is the least credible instance of violence in the amazing nexus of relations, often violent, generated by the encounters among European and Native groups. This story of violence creates its own terror – that the account of even a single act of violence has the potential to epitomize, solidify, and perpetuate complex divisions and oppositions. Violence and terror – or rumors thereof – transform social realities. The question, a topic for another paper, is whether icons of violence can also heal, reconcile, and unite those wounded and separated.