Saint Archbishop Aftimios Ofiesh

Saint Aftimios Abdullah Ofiesh was born in Lebanon and was originally a cleric in the Eastern Orthodox Church of Antioch. He came to the United States in 1905 and eventually served as Bishop of Brooklyn, New York, in the Russian Orthodox Church from 1917 to 1933, immediately succeeding Saint Rafael of Brooklyn. In the midst of the canonical disputes following the Bolshevik Revolution in Russia, he was commissioned to establish the American Orthodox Catholic Church under the auspices of Eastern Orthodoxy. He serves as the head of that church until his death in 1966.

In 1933, Saint Aftimios married Mariam, a parishioner of St. Mary's Syrian Orthodox Church in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. He was buried in Wilkes-Barre, and his widow wrote a biography of his life and career in 1999. Saint Aftimios became the Apostolic progenitor of several Orthodox and Old Catholic jurisdictions, including the United Roman-Ruthenian Church, around the world.