Patriarch Joseph of Moscow

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Patriarch of Moscow and all the Rus'
Patriarch Iosif.jpg
Patriarch Joseph, a 19th-century hand-drawn lubok
Church Russian Orthodox Church
InstalledMarch 27, 1642
Term endedApril 15, 1652
Predecessor Joasaphus I
Successor Nikon
Personal details
Born Russia
DiedApril 15, 1652
Buried Dormition Cathedral, Moscow

Joseph (Russian : Иосиф) (died April 15, 1652) was the sixth Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia, elected after an unusual one and a half year break.

Russian language East Slavic language

Russian is an East Slavic language, which is official in the Russian Federation, Belarus, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan, as well as being widely used throughout Eastern Europe, the Baltic states, the Caucasus and Central Asia. It was the de facto language of the Soviet Union until its dissolution on 25 December 1991. Although, nowadays, nearly three decades after the breakup of the Soviet Union, Russian is used in official capacity or in public life in all the post-Soviet nation-states, as well as in Israel and Mongolia.

Moscow Capital city of Russia

Moscow is the capital and most populous city of Russia, with 13.2 million residents within the city limits, 17 million within the urban area and 20 million within the metropolitan area. Moscow is one of Russia's federal cities.



The early life of Joseph is unclear. Before the election he was an archimandrite of the Simonov Monastery.

Archimandrite title

The title archimandrite, primarily used in the Eastern Orthodox and the Eastern Catholic churches, originally referred to a superior abbot (hegumenos) whom a bishop appointed to supervise several 'ordinary' abbots and monasteries, or to the abbot of some especially great and important monastery.

Simonov Monastery

Simonov Monastery in Moscow was established in 1370 by monk Feodor, a nephew and disciple of St Sergius of Radonezh.


For the first time the patriarch was elected by sortition from candidates offered by tsar Mikhail Fyodorovich in coordination with the Council of Bishops. The election was held on March 20, 1642 in Moscow. Joseph came into office on March 27 and was titled "master" and not "sovereign" (as his predecessor Filaret had been).

In governance, sortition is the selection of political officials as a random sample from a larger pool of candidates, a system intended to ensure that all competent and interested parties have an equal chance of holding public office. It also minimizes factionalism, since there would be no point making promises to win over key constituencies if one was to be chosen by lot, while elections, by contrast, foster it.  In ancient Athenian democracy, sortition was the traditional and primary method for appointing political officials, and its use was regarded as a principal characteristic of democracy.

Tsar title given to a male monarch in Russia, Bulgaria and Serbia

Tsar, also spelled czar, or tzar, is a title used to designate East and South Slavic monarchs or supreme rulers of Eastern Europe, originally Bulgarian monarchs from 10th century onwards. As a system of government in the Tsardom of Russia and the Russian Empire, it is known as Tsarist autocracy, or Tsarism. The term is derived from the Latin word Caesar, which was intended to mean "Emperor" in the European medieval sense of the term—a ruler with the same rank as a Roman emperor, holding it by the approval of another emperor or a supreme ecclesiastical official —but was usually considered by western Europeans to be equivalent to king, or to be somewhat in between a royal and imperial rank.

Joseph conducted a fairly conservative policy. When Danish prince Valdemar Christian arrived to Moscow in 1644 Joseph began persuading him to adopt Orthodoxy because Valdemar was married to tsarevna Irina Romanova. When Valdemar refused, Joseph opened the debate on June 2, 1644. The debate was limited mainly to the fulfilment of the christening but Orthodox scholars couldn't competently prove their opinion. In 1650 Joseph opened another debate, on Russian and Greek Orthodoxy with Paisius I, the Patriarch of Jerusalem.

Valdemar Christian of Schleswig-Holstein Danish noble

Valdemar Christian of Schleswig-Holstein was the son of king Christian IV of Denmark and his morganatic spouse Kirsten Munk. He had the title Count of Schleswig-Holstein.

Tsarevna daughter (or daughter-in-law) of a tsar

Tsarevna (Царевна) was the daughter of a Tsar of Russia before the 18th century. The name is meant as a daughter of a Tsar, or as a wife of a Tsarevich.

Infant baptism Christian baptism of infants or young children

Infant baptism is the practice of baptising infants or young children. In theological discussions, the practice is sometimes referred to as paedobaptism, or pedobaptism, from the Greek pais meaning "child". This can be contrasted with what is called "believer's baptism", or credobaptism, from the Latin word credo meaning "I believe", which is the religious practice of baptising only individuals who personally confess faith in Jesus, therefore excluding underage children. Opposition to infant baptism is termed catabaptism. Infant baptism is also called "christening" by some faith traditions.

He took measures to build school in Moscow, which subscribed to the scientists from Kyiv. In 1649, the Moscow printing spravschiki prepared for printing "in learning for children" polemical Brief Catechism Peter Graves. Textbooks presented before a special Psalms, Breviary, alphabet and primers, enriched "grammar" Smotritsky Meletios (1648).

He cared about the improvement of the beauty of churches and church services, and participated at the dedication of the Church of Elijah the Prophet in Yaroslavl in 1650, and brought a gift of a new piece of the robe of the Lord Church.

Joseph also introduced the so-called adverbial singing instead of deformed khomovoye.

He ordered to publish printed "Instructions" to the priests, lay people and a number of other messages. Joseph's period as Patriarch marked an intense publishing activity and the recovery of church thought (Moscow circle Zealots of Piety). Religious books published under Joseph, were the last to reflect donikonovskie editorial texts and rituals. Therefore, they are highly valued and subsequently were reprinted.

The Zealots of Piety was a circle of ecclesiastical and secular individuals beginning in the late 1630s in Russia at the time of church schism, which gathered around Stefan Vonifatiyev, the confessor of tsar Alexei Mikhailovich. The impetus to the group's formation was the Time of Troubles. The members believed the massacres and conflagrations of the time to be the manifestation of a wrathful God, angry with the Russian people's lack of religiosity. In response, the group called for the rebirth of the Russian Orthodox faith, and a renewal of the religious piety of the masses.

Inn early 1649 the patriarch Joseph called Church Council, whose members condemned the opponents polyphony when both were committed in different places different parts of the temple worship. For example, in one spot read the Six Psalms, in another - kathisma, in the third - the canon or any sung verses. However, the initiator of this case was the Metropolitan of Novgorod, Nikon, who in his last years of the patriarch Joseph, great influence in Moscow and managed the affairs of the church. Meanwhile, Tsar Alexei Mikhailovich supported his confessor and approved to send him a conciliar act. Moreover, he denied the patriarch in the demand to punish Stephen Vonifateva for public reproach swear words of the patriarch and members of the "consecrated the cathedral."

He died on Maundy Thursday, April 15, 1652, before the arrival in Moscow of the relics of Metropolitan Philip of Moscow. Buried in the Moscow Dormition Cathedral next to the tomb of the first patriarch Job, in the place which he pointed out shortly before his death.

After the death of the patriarch Joseph left a large sum of cash, which he gathered, wanting to buy land ownership. Testament patriarch Joseph did not leave, and all his savings, according to the king were mainly distributed to monasteries and churches.

Eastern Orthodox Church titles
Preceded by
Joasaphus I
Patriarch of Moscow
Succeeded by

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