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Alexius, Metropolitan of Moscow

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Saint Alexius, Metropolitan of Moscow
Dionisius 002.jpg
Icon of St. Alexis with scenes from his life by Dionisius
Born ~1296, Moscow
Died 1378
Venerated in Eastern Orthodox Church
Canonized 1448
Major shrine Chudov Monastery
Feast February 12
Attributes Vested wearing bishop's omophorion and patriarch's koukoulion. Sometimes holding a Gospel Book with his right hand raised in blessing
Patronage Moscow

Saint Alexius (Алексей or Aleksij in Russian) (before 1296 – 1378) was Metropolitan of Kiev and all Russia (since 1354), and presided over the Moscow government during Dmitrii Donskoi's minority.

Alexius, whose name at birth was Elephtherios, was a son of Fyodor (Theodore) Biakont, a boyar from Chernigov who settled in Moscow and founded the great Pleshcheev boyar family. He took monastic vows at the Epiphany Monastery of Moscow around 1313, at which time he was given the religious name of Alexius. In 1333 or so, he joined the household of Metropolitan Theognostus. In 1340, Alexius was appointed the Metropolitan's deputy in Vladimir and twelve years later was consecrated as Bishop of Vladimir.


By the will of Symeon the Proud, Alexius was appointed adviser to his brothers - Ivan and Andrew. After visiting Constantinople, he was chosen to become the Metropolitan of Moscow and all Russia in 1354. When Dmitrii Donskoi and Vladimir the Bold were young, Alexius was their spiritual tutor and served as regent at the same time. He took the side of Dmitrii Donskoi in his struggle against Tver and Nizhny Novgorod, where he once sent St. Sergius of Radonezh to suspend divine service in churches and monasteries, until the political strife was over.

In 1357, Alexius was summoned by Jani Beg, the Khan of the Golden Horde, to cure his wife from blindness. The metropolitan's success is held to have prevented a Tatar raid on Moscow.

In 1360s, Alexius founded the Andronikov, Chudov, and Alekseyevsky monasteries. He promoted Metropolitan Peter's canonization by the Russian Orthodox Church. Shortly before his death, Alexius fruitlessly tried to convince Sergius of Radonezh to become his successor.

Alexius was also an author of a number of sermons and epistles. He was glorified (canonized) by the Russian Orthodox Church in 1448 and has been revered as one of the patron saints of Moscow. His relics were venerated in the Chudov Monastery that he had founded.


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Preceded by
Metropolitan of Moscow Succeeded by

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