Today in Catholic History – Prince Demetrius Augustine Gallitzin leaves Holland for the United States

On 18 August 1792, Prince Demetrius Augustine Gallitzin set sail from Rotterdam, Holland. He would arrive in Baltimore, Maryland on the 28th of October.

Though he was a Russian prince, Demetrius sailed under the name of Smith in order to reduce his expenses and for some time was known as Augustine Smith in the United States. Though he had been born Orthodox, through the influence of his mother he converted to Catholicism in 1787 and when he arrived in the United States he entered into St. Mary’s Seminary in Baltimore as one of its first students. He would be the first priest to receive all of his orders from tonsure to the priesthood in the United States.

Gallitzin would later travel to Pennsylvania, settling in the town he called Loretto which would become the first English speaking Catholic settlement west of the Allegheny Front. While Gallitzin was suggested for several episcopal positions in Pennsylvania and Ohio, he was never ordained to the episcopate. After his death he was named Servant of God.

Official website for the canonization of Father Gallitzin


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