Russian Monarchs: Guardians of Orthodoxy in Russia Through the Centuries

"The Russian people have from time immemorial been and will be Orthodox and, together with their Tsar and Tsarina, above all honour and love their native Orthodox Church".

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Editor's Note: This article was generated by machine translation, so our staff cautions the reader about possible inaccuracies that may have resulted from this. However, it was deemed worthwhile to still publish such a piece because of the intrinsic value of the message - which remains evident even in its translated form.


In 1495 the Grand Duke John III married his daughter Helen to the Lithuanian Grand Duke Alexander, later King of Poland. The tsar gave his daughter the following admonitory note: "To the Grand Duchess Helen. Thou shalt not go to the Latin chapel, but go to the Greek church; out of curiosity thou mayest see the first former or the monastery of the Latin, but only once or twice. If your mother-in-law is in Vilna and orders you to go with you to the chapel, then walk her to the door and tell her courteously that you are going to your church."

When it turned out that the king did not comply with John's demands for the free confession of Orthodoxy by Helen, the Tsar declared war on him. After the conclusion of an armistice in 1503, John III wrote to Helena: "Daughter! Remember God, and our kinship, and our precept, keep your Greek law in all things firmly, and do not adhere to the Roman law in any way; do not be obedient to the church of Rome and the pope in anything, do not go to the church of Rome, with your soul you grieve nobody, do not dishonor me nor all our kin; but only by sins, if that happens, then both of us and all our kin will be great dishonored, and our Greek law will be blamed. Even if you had to suffer for your faith to the blood, then you would suffer. But, my daughter, if you creep back to the Roman law, whether willed or not: you will be lost from God, and you will be disgraced by us; I will not bless you for this, and my mother will not bless you; and we will not let my son-in-law go through with it: we shall have constant war with him for it.

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In 1673 the influential members of the Sejm were inclined to elect [Russian] Tsarevich Theodore Alexeevich, [son of Tsar Alexei Mikhailovich] king of Poland. For this, however, he had to convert to Catholicism and marry the widowed queen. When A. S. Matveev, who was in charge of foreign affairs, reported this to Tsar Alexei Mikhailovich, the latter said: "I will not allow my son to take the Polish crown. The opportunity presented itself to me to take it myself. I will not renounce my faith, even if it were not for the throne of Poland and Lithuania, but for my dominion over the whole world."

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The order of Tsar Peter I on June 27, 1709 before the Battle of Poltava read: "Soldiers! The hour has come to decide the fate of the Fatherland. You should not think that you are fighting for Peter, but for the state handed over to Peter, for your family, for the Fatherland, for our Orthodox faith and the Church. Nor should you be embarrassed by the glory of the invincibility of the enemy, the lie of which you have proved by your repeated victories. Have the truth in the battle before your eyes and God who fights for you, trust in Him alone, and know about Peter that he does not value his life, only that Russia would live in glory and prosperity for our well-being. . ."

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The Empress Elizaveta Petrovna, on the 18th December, on her birthday, preparing to sit down under a canopy on the Throne placed before the dinner-table, noticed that there was no icon over the Throne. Without sitting down, she ordered an icon of the Mother of God to be brought. When she had done this, she asked the Bishop to bless the meal, and after crossing herself, she sat down on the Throne. During the meal, in view of the Nativity Fast, they ate Lenten foods.

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In 1793 the question arose of the marriage of the Grand Duke Constantine Pavlovich, the grandson of the Empress Catherine II, with one of the daughters of the King of the Two Sicilies, Ferdinand IV. But, as a Catholic, the bride did not agree to change her religion. "Their majesties (the Sicilian and Neapolitan royal couple) probably do not know that Russia is as committed to the Greek faith as they are to the Latin, and the Latin or Greek-Latin heritage, as long as I live, will never be tolerated," declared Empress Catherine II. . ."

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In October 1815 the Emperor Alexander I gave the following decree to the Holy Synod: "During my last journey through the provinces, in some of them, to my regret, I had to listen to such incompatible speeches of clergymen, whose praise I could ascribe to God alone. Because I am convinced in the depths of my heart of this Christian truth, that through the One Lord and Savior Jesus Christ all good things flow and that man, whatever he may be, is one evil without Christ, to ascribe to me glory in successes where God's hand was so manifest in the whole world would be to give to man that which belongs to Almighty God. And so it is my duty to forbid such inappropriate expressions, instructing the Most Holy Synod to direct all the diocesan bishops to refrain from praise, which is so often against my ears, but to offer thanks only to the Lord of Hosts for the bounties sent down and to beseech that His goodness be poured out on us all, starting from the words: 'To the Most Holy and Wise God be honor and glory for ever and ever.'"

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From the testament of Emperor Nicholas I, written on 30 April 1836, addressed to "my son the Emperor Alexander Nikolayevich": "Observe strictly all that our Church prescribes. You are young and inexperienced and in those years in which passions develop, but remember always that you must be an example of piety, and conduct yourself in such a way that you can serve as a living example. Be merciful and available to all the unfortunate, but do not waste the treasury beyond its means. Disregard swearing and scolding, but fear your conscience. May God Almighty bless you; in Him alone put all your hope. He will not leave you as long as you turn to Him."

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In 1862 Emperor Alexander II visited the Trinity Sergius Lavra. In the following account of his visit, he wrote out the phrases: "deigned to hear", "deigned to be touched", "deigned to approach the Holy Gates", and replaced them with: "heard", "touched", and "approached". The tsar told the chief procurator of the Synod that the word "deigned" could not be used when the question was of the sacred. "God grant that everyone should see such respect for it," wrote Chief Procurator A. P. Akhmatov to Metropolitan Philaret of Moscow on this occasion on December 31, 1862.

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On February 7, 1885, Emperor Alexander III wrote to the chief procurator of the Holy Synod, K. P. Pobedonostsev: "I send herewith the lampstand, which my wife and I are donating to the relics of St. Alexander Nevsky to commemorate the day of the Coronation. Please send it to the Alexander Nevsky Lavra and order it to be hung near the shrine of the Most Blessed Prince and that it burns constantly. Have they received our lampstand in Pochaev?" The tsar came to pray at the honorable relics of his saint. Twice he found the lampstand extinguished and wrote to Pobedonostsev with displeasure about it.

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The Emperor Nicholas II, in confirming on June 2, 1898 special rules worked out by the Holy Synod regarding the Greek Uniates who united with the Orthodox Church, wrote: "I hope that these rules will satisfy all just demands and will prevent any kind of confusion, disseminated among the people by the enemies of Russia and Orthodoxy. May Poles without restriction honour the Lord God according to the Latin rite, but the Russian people have from time immemorial been and will be Orthodox and, together with their Tsar and Tsarina, above all honour and love their native Orthodox Church.


Nikolai Dmitrievich TALBERG. Essays on the History of Russia: In 2 vols. Т. 2. Before the Trial of Truth. (The Third Rome. Chaired Monarchy. Russian Troubles)

Source: 3rm.info (Russian)

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