Olga Michael

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Matushka Olga Michael (February 3, 1916 – November 8, 1979), also known as Olinka, was a priest's wife from Kwethluk village, on the Kuskokwim River in Alaska.


Matushka Olga was a Native Alaskan of Yup'ik origin. Her husband was the village postmaster and manager of the general store, and later archpriest, Fr. Nikolai Michael. Serving her community not only as a priest's wife, but also as a midwife, Matushka Olga gave birth to and raised several children, many of whom she gave birth to without the aid of a midwife of her own.

Matushka Olga was known for her empathy and caring for those who had suffered abuse of all kinds, especially sexual abuse. While her family was poor, she was generous to those who were poorer, often giving away her children's clothes to the needy. She was also known for her ability to tell when a woman was pregnant, even before the woman herself had missed her period.

When Matushka Olga reposed, many people from miles around wanted to come to her funeral, but since it was November, the winter weather made it impossible. But a wind from the south brought warm weather, thawing the ice and snow to make the trek to Kwethluk possible. When the mourners exited the church to take her body to the graveyard, a flock of birds followed. The ones who dug her grave found that the ground, too, had thawed. The evening after her funeral, the normal harsh winter weather returned.

Potential Glorification

Olga receives veneration in the region in which she lived her earthly life, and personal veneration from many Orthodox women touched by her life story. It is said that she has appeared in the dreams of the faithful, sometimes alongside the Mother of God. As of yet, she has not been formally glorified by any jurisdiction.

External Links

Blessed Olga of Alaska: Northern Light of God's Holy Church includes icon-style egg-tempera paintings of Matushka Olga suitable for personal veneration