Father Demetrius Augustine Gallitzin

Father Demetrius Augustine GallitzinAlso known as

  • Apostle of the Alleghenies
  • Augustine Smith


Born to the nobility, the son of Prince Dimitri Alexeievich Gallitzin, Russian diplomat. He was baptized Greek Orthodox, but through the influence of his mother, he joined the Catholic Church in 1787 at age 17. He travelled to Baltimore, Maryland, leaving on 18 August 1792 and arriving on 28 October; he travelled under the name Augustine Smith. One of the first seminarians in Saint Mary’s in Baltimore, he was ordained in 1795; he was the first priest to receive all orders in the United States. In 1799 Father Demetrius moved to McGuire’s Settlement in the Alleghenies, erecting a small log church where the town on Loretto, named by him, grew up and became the first English speaking Catholic settlement west of the Allegheny Front; he remained there 41 years. He received no salary, spending what he received of his inheritance to develop the colony spiritually and industrially. He was one of the first in the United States to defend the Church through his writings, and most are still available today. Vicar-General of Western Pennsylvania in 1827, he refused to allow the proposal of his name for the sees of Bardstown, Cincinnati or Detroit. His Cause for Canonization has begun.



  • 6 May 1840 in Loretto, Pennsylvania of natural causes
  • on the centenary of the Loretto mission, a bronze statue was erected over the rough-hewn monument marking his grave

MLA Citation

  • “Father Demetrius Augustine Gallitzin“. CatholicSaints.Info. 16 April 2015. Web. 30 November 2021. <>