The Holy NobleBorn Prince Alexander Nevsky (in monastic-schema Alexei)
Commemorated on August 30, November 23
The Holy NobleBorn
Prince Alexander Nevsky (in monastic-schema Alexei) died on the return
journey from the Horde at Gorodtsa on the Volga, on 14 November 1263, and on 23
November (under this day is located the account about him) in 1263 he was
buried in the Cathedral Church of the Nativity Monastery in the city of
Vladimir (there is set up there now a memorial to the holy prince; yet another
memorial is set up in the city of Pereslavl'-Zalessk). Veneration of the
nobleborn prince started right at his burial, whereof was a remarkable miracle:
the saint himself extended his hand for the absolving prayer. Great Prince
Ioann Ioannovich (1353-1359) in his spiritual testament written in the year
1356, left to his son Dimitrii (1363-1389), the future victor of the Battle of
Kulikovo, "an icon of Saint Alexander". The undecayed relics of the
nobleborn prince were opened, on account of a vision, before the Kulikovo
Battle – in the year 1380, and then were set forth for local feast-celebration.
For the prayers of the holy prince, glorified by defense of the Fatherland,
Russian commanders resorted to in all the following times. On 30 August 1721
Peter I, after a lengthy and exhausting war with the Swedes, concluded the
Nishtad Peace. This day was decided upon to hallow by the transfer of the
relics of the NobleBorn Prince Alexander Nevsky from Vladimir to the new
northern capital, Peterburg, arranged on the banks of the Neva. Withdrawn from
Vladimir on 11 August 1723, the holy relics were greeted at Shlissel'burg on 20
September of that year and remained there until 1724, when on 30 August they
were placed in the Trinity Cathedral of the Alexander Nevsky Lavra (Monastery),
where now also they rest. By an edict/ukaz on 2 September 1724 there was
established a feastday on 30 August (in 1727 the feast was discontinued by
reason of non-church matters, and involved clique-struggles at the imperial
court. In 1730 the feast was again re-established).
Archimandrite Gavriel Buzhinsky (later Bishop of Riazan, + 27 April 1731) compiled a special service in remembrance of the Nishtad Peace, combining with it a service to Saint Alexander Nevsky.
The name of the Defender of the borders of Russia and the Patron of Soldiers is famous far from the regions of our Native Land. The testimony to this: the numerous temples dedicated to Saint Alexander Nevsky. The most famous of them: the Patriarchal Cathedral at Sofia, the Cathedral church in Talinin, and a church in Tbilisi. These churches are a pledge of friendship of the Russian National-Liberator with brother nations.
© 1996-2001 by translator Fr. S. Janos.