Philip II, Metropolitan of Moscow

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Saint Philip, Metropolitan of Moscow
Filipp, mitropolitt of Moscow.jpg
Icon of St. Philip, Metropolitan of Moscow
(Trapeza of the Trinity-St. Sergius Lavra)
Otroch Monastery Tver
Venerated in Eastern Orthodox Church
Major shrine Dormition Cathedral, Moscow
Feast January 9 (primary feast day)
July 3 (translation of his relics)
October 5 (Synaxis of the Hierarchs of Moscow)
Attributes Vested as a hierarch with omophorion, holding a Gospel Book, with his right hand raised in blessing. Iconographically, he is depicted with a medium sized dark beard with flecks of grey.

Saint Philip II of Moscow (11 February 1507 – 23 December 1569) was a Russian Orthodox monk, who became Metropolitan of Moscow during the reign of Ivan the Terrible. He was one of a few Metropolitans who dared openly to contradict royal authority, and it is widely believed that the Tsar had him murdered on that account. He is venerated as a saint and martyr in the Eastern Orthodox Church.

Monk religious occupation

A monk is a person who practices religious asceticism by monastic living, either alone or with any number of other monks. A monk may be a person who decides to dedicate his life to serving all other living beings, or to be an ascetic who voluntarily chooses to leave mainstream society and live his or her life in prayer and contemplation. The concept is ancient and can be seen in many religions and in philosophy.

Ivan the Terrible Grand Prince of Moscow and 1st Tsar of Russia

Ivan IV Vasilyevich, commonly known as Ivan the Terrible, was the Grand Prince of Moscow from 1533 to 1547 and the first Tsar of Russia from 1547 to 1584.

Metropolitan bishop ecclesiastical office

In Christian churches with episcopal polity, the rank of metropolitan bishop, or simply metropolitan, pertains to the diocesan bishop or archbishop of a metropolis.



He was born Feodor Stepanovich Kolychev into one of the noblest boyar families of Muscovy, in the city of Galich (in present-day Kostroma Oblast). However, according to some sources, he was born in Moscow. [1] Grand Prince Vasili III took young Theodore into the royal court. It is said that since childhood Theodore was on friendly terms with Ivan IV of Russia ("Ivan the Terrible").


A boyar was a member of the highest rank of the feudal Bulgarian, Kievan, Moscovian, Serbian, Wallachian, Moldavian, and later Romanian aristocracies, second only to the ruling princes from the 10th century to the 17th century. The rank has lived on as a surname in Russia, Ukraine and Romania, and in Finland, where it is spelled Pajari.

Galich, Russia Town in Kostroma Oblast, Russia

Galich is a town in Kostroma Oblast, Russia, located on the southern bank of Lake Galichskoye. As of the 2010 Census, its population was 17,346.

Kostroma Oblast First-level administrative division of Russia

Kostroma Oblast is a federal subject of Russia. Its administrative center is the city of Kostroma and its population as of the 2010 Census is 667,562. It was formed in 1944 on the territory detached from neighboring Yaroslavl Oblast.

According to other accounts, he was involved in the conspiracy of Prince Andrey of Staritsa against Elena Glinskaya and, when their plans were discovered, he escaped to Solovetsky Monastery on the White Sea. Yet another account says that his decision to become a monk occurred on Sunday, June 5, 1537, while he was standing in church for the Divine Liturgy, on hearing the words of Jesus: "No man can serve two masters" (Matthew 6:24). According to this account, he secretly left Moscow dressed as a muzhik (peasant), and for a while he hid himself away from the world in the village of Khizna, near Lake Onega, earning his livelihood as a shepherd, later joining the monastery at Solovetsk. At any rate, he entered the monastery at Solovki at the age of 30, and a year and a half later he was tonsured (took monastic vows), receiving the religious name of Philip. In the monastery he worked at the iron forge and as a baker.[ citation needed ]

Andrey Ivanovich was the youngest son of Ivan III of Russia the Great by Sophia Palaiologina of Byzantium. Since 1519, his appanages included Volokolamsk and Staritsa.

Elena Glinskaya second wife of Grand Prince Vasili III

Elena Vasilyevna Glinskaya was a Russian regent. She was Grand Princess consort of Moscow as the second wife of Grand Prince Vasili III and regent of Russia for 5 years (1533–38).

Solovetsky Monastery monastery

The Solovetsky Monastery is a fortified monastery located on the Solovetsky Islands in the White Sea in northern Russia. It was one of the largest Christian citadels in northern Russia before it was converted into a Soviet prison and labor camp in 1926–39, and served as a prototype for the camps of the Gulag system. The monastery has experienced several major changes and military sieges. Its most important structures date from the 16th century, when Filip Kolychev was its hegumen.

Metropolitan Philip confronting Ivan the Terrible (drawing by Vasili Pukirev, 1875). Filipp and Ivan IV.jpg
Metropolitan Philip confronting Ivan the Terrible (drawing by Vasili Pukirev, 1875).

Eleven years later, Philip was made hegumen (abbot) of the monastery. During his term in office, they constructed two cathedrals, a brick-yard, many water-mills and storehouses, and a network of canals connecting 72 lakes. It is said that Philip took part in all these toils together with other monks. As a result, the monastery experienced a spiritual revival. He also adopted a new monastic Rule (Typicon) for the community. Most of Philip's projects in Solovki survive to this day.[ citation needed ]

Hegumen profession

Hegumen, hegumenos, or igumen is the title for the head of a monastery in the Eastern Orthodox and Eastern Catholic Churches, similar to the title of abbot. The head of a convent of nuns is called a hegumenia or ihumenia. The term means "the one who is in charge", "the leader" in Greek.

Katholikon primary church in an Orthodox or Eastern Catholic monastery

A katholikon or catholicon or sobor refers to one of three things in the Eastern Orthodox Church:

The tsar heard about the indefatigable monk and asked him to fill the vacant metropolitan see of Moscow. Philip agreed on condition that Ivan would abolish Oprichnina. On June 25, 1566 Philip was consecrated a bishop and enthroned as Metropolitan of Moscow and all Russia.[ citation needed ]

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 oprichnina was a state policy implemented by Tsar Ivan the Terrible in Russia between 1565 and 1572. The policy included mass repression of the boyars, including public executions and confiscation of their land and property. In this context it can also refer to:

A bishop is an ordained, consecrated, or appointed member of the Christian clergy who is generally entrusted with a position of authority and oversight.

Malyuta Skuratov approaching Metropolitan Philip in order to kill him (painting by Nikolai Nevrev, 1898). Nikolaj Wassiljewitsch Newrew - Philip II, Metropolitan of Moscow and Malyuta Skuratov.jpg
Malyuta Skuratov approaching Metropolitan Philip in order to kill him (painting by Nikolai Nevrev, 1898).

After only two years, however, Ivan the Terrible persisted with committing murders under the aegis of Oprichnina. During Great Lent, on the Sunday of the Veneration of the Cross, March 2, 1568, when the Tsar came to the cathedral for Divine Liturgy, Philip refused to bless him and publicly rebuked him for the ongoing massacre. The Massacre of Novgorod ensued, and Philip's condemnation followed.[ citation needed ]

Great Lent observance in Eastern Christianity

Great Lent, or the Great Fast, is the most important fasting season in the church year in the Eastern Orthodox Church, Byzantine Rite Lutheran Churches and the Eastern Catholic Churches, which prepares Christians for the greatest feast of the church year, Pascha (Easter).

Divine Liturgy

Divine Liturgy or Holy Liturgy is the Eucharistic service of the Byzantine Rite, developed from the Antiochene Rite of Christian liturgy which is that of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople. As such, it is used in the Eastern Orthodox, the Greek Catholic Churches, and the Ukrainian Lutheran Church. Although the same term is sometimes applied in English to the Eucharistic service of Armenian Christians, both of the Armenian Apostolic Church and of the Armenian Catholic Church, they use in their own language a term meaning "holy offering" or "holy sacrifice". Other churches also treat "Divine Liturgy" simply as one of many names that can be used, but it is not their normal term.

In religion, a blessing is the infusion of something with holiness, spiritual redemption, or divine will.

Ivan eventually deposed Philip from office by raising incredible charges of sorcery and dissolute living. Philip was arrested during Liturgy at the Cathedral of Dormition and imprisoned in a dingy cell of the Theophany (Bogoiavlenskii) Monastery, fettered with chains, with a heavy collar around his neck, and was deprived of food for a few days in succession. Then he was transferred and immured at the Monastery of the Fathers (Otroch Monastery) at Tver. In November 1568, the tsar summoned the Holy Synod, which had Philip deposed. A year later, on December 23, 1569, he was strangled by the Tsar's minion, Malyuta Skuratov at Otroch, two days before Christmas. As if aware of his approaching death, Philip had asked to receive Holy Communion three days earlier.[ citation needed ]

Commemoration as a saint

Reliquary of Philip II in the Dormition Cathedral Raka phillip.jpg
Reliquary of Philip II in the Dormition Cathedral

After his martyrdom, monks from Solovki Monastery asked for permission to transfer the body of St. Philip to their monastery. When they opened up the tomb they found the body of the hierarch was incorrupt, and various healings began to be reported. The transfer of his remains from Tver to the Solovki Monastery took place in 1590.[ citation needed ]

In 1652, Patriarch Nikon persuaded Tsar Alexis to bring Philip's relics to Moscow, where he was glorified (proclaimed a saint) later that same year. His memory is celebrated three times a year[ citation needed ]:

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  1. S. Bulgakov, Handbook for Church Servers, January 9 Archived 2008-05-09 at the Wayback Machine ., (Kharkov, 1900), p. 22


Eastern Orthodox Church titles
Preceded by
Metropolitan of Moscow and all Russia
Succeeded by