Prince Demetrius of Gallitzin (1770-1840), or “Father Smith,” as he was known on the eighteenth century American frontier, was one of the glories of early Catholicism in America. Though a prince by birth, Demetrius discreetly concealed the glory of his earlier life that he might better lead his adopted spiritual children to the glory of eternal life. For more than four decades, he humbly provided for the spiritual needs of courageous pioneers scattered throughout the Allegheny Mountains of central Pennsylvania. For this reason he is affectionately remembered as “The Apostle of the Alleghenies.” His missionary colleague and protege, Father Thomas Heyden of Bedford, Pennsylvania, offers this touching but brief memoir culled from a treasure trove of documents entrusted to his care following the death of Father Demetrius.
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