Icon of St. Alexis of Moscow (16th c.)- S57


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Egg Tempera


Ryazan Regional Art Museum, Ryazan, Russia


Sirakh, David




16th c.


St. Alexis was born Eleutherius in Moscow around 1296 and was the son of the boyar Feodor Biakont of Chernigov.  In 1313, when Eleutherius was around 18, he entered the Epiphany Monastery in Moscow, whose renowned elders trained him in the art of serious monastic life?prayer, fasting, and vigilant awareness.  Asked by Metropolitan Theognostus to manage the ecclesiastic courts in 1333, he lived in the Metropolitan’s residence.   He was made the deputy for the bishop in Vladimir in northern Russia in 1340, and was made its ruling bishop twelve years later.  He was raised to become the  Metropolitan of Kiev and All Russia in 1354.

St. Alexis founded three monasteries after 1360: Chudov, Andronikov, and Alekseyevsky, and promoted the glorification of Metropolitan Peter as a saint of the Russian Orthodox Church.  St. Alexis was a wise ruler as head of the Russian Church for 24 years  and wrote many sermons and epistles.  He tried unsuccessfully to get St. Sergius of Radonezh to become the next Metropolitan, and lived prayerfully and peacefully in spite of his heavy load of Church responsibilities and care, going to Christ in 1378.