Alexander Nevsky bigraphy, stories - Russian Orthodox saint

Alexander Nevsky : biography

30 May 1220 - 14 November 1263

Alexander Nevsky ( Aleksandr Yaroslavich Nevskiy; ; 30 May 1220 – 14 November 1263, proclaimed Saint of the Russian Orthodox Church by Metropolite Macarius in 1547 , article read on 4.11.2010) was the Prince of Novgorod, Grand Prince of Kiev and Grand Prince of Vladimir during some of the most trying times in the city's history. Commonly regarded as the key figure of medieval Rus', Alexander was the grandson of Vsevolod the Big Nest and rose to legendary status on account of his military victories over the German and Swedish invaders while accepting to pay tribute to the powerful Golden Horde.

Grand Prince of Vladimir

Thanks to his friendship with Sartaq Khan, Alexander was installed as the Grand Prince of Vladimir (i.e., the supreme Russian ruler) in 1252. A decade later, Alexander died in the town of Gorodets-on-the-Volga on his way back from Sarai, the capital of the Golden Horde. Prior to his death, he took monastic vows and was given the religious name of Alexis.

From the Second Pskovian Chronicle:

"Returning from the Golden Horde, the Great Prince Alexander, reached the city of Nizhniy Novgorod, and remained there for several days in good health, but when he reached the city of Gorodets he fell ill ...

Great Prince Alexander, who was always firm in his faith in God, gave up this worldly kingdom ... And then he gave up his soul to God and died in peace on 12 November, [1263] on the day when the Holy Apostle Philip is remembered ...

At this burial Metropolitan Archbishop Cyril said, 'My children, you should know that the sun of the Suzdalian land has set. There will never be another prince like him in the Suzdalian land.'

And the priests and deacons and monks, the poor and the wealthy, and all the people said: 'It is our end.' "

Though he died in Gorodets, Alexander was laid to rest in the city of Vladimir, in the Great Abbey at The Church of the Nativity of the Holy Mother of God.

Marriage and children

According to the Novgorod First Chronicle, Alexander married first a daughter of Bryacheslav Vasilkovich, Prince of Polatsk and Vitebsk, in 1239. Her name is not given in the chronicle. Genealogies name her as Paraskeviya or Alexandra (possibly birth and marital names respectively). They had at least five children:

  • Vasily Aleksandrovich, Prince of Novgorod (c. 1239–1271). He was betrothed to Princess Kristina of Norway in 1251. The marriage contact was broken. Kristina went on to marry Felipe of Castile, a son of Ferdinand III of Castile and Elisabeth of Hohenstaufen.
  • Eudoxia Aleksandrovna. Married Konstantin Rostislavich, Prince of Smolensk.
  • Dmitry of Pereslavl (c. 1250–1294).
  • Andrey of Gorodets (c. 1255 – 27 July 1304
  • Daniel of Moscow (1261 – 4 March/5 March 1303).

He married a second wife named Vasilisa shortly before his death. They had no known children.

Alexander's legacy

Some of Alexander's policies on the Western border were continued by his grandson-in-law, Daumantas of Pskov, who was also beatified in the 16th century.

In the late 13th century, a chronicle was compiled called the Life of Alexander Nevsky (Житие Александра Невского), in which he is depicted as an ideal prince-soldier and defender of Russia.

Veneration of Alexander Nevsky as a saint began soon after his death. The remains of the prince were uncovered in response to a vision, before the Battle of Kulikovo in the year 1380, and found to be incorrupt. He was glorified (canonized) by the Russian Orthodox Church in 1547. His principal feast day is 23 November. By order of Peter the Great, Nevsky’s relics were transported to the Alexander Nevsky Lavra in St. Petersburg where they remain to this day. A second feast day was instituted on 30 August in commemoration of this event. He is also commemorated in common with other saints of Rostov and Yaroslavl on 23 May.

Military Order

On 21 May 1725, the empress Catherine I introduced the Imperial Order of St. Alexander Nevsky as one of the highest decorations in the land. During the Great Patriotic War, on 29 July 1942, the Soviet authorities introduced an Order of Alexander Nevsky to revive the memory of Alexander's struggle with the Germans. There was also a Bulgarian Order dedicated to Saint Alexander which was founded on 25 December 1881 and then ceased to exist when a People's Republic was declared on 16 September 1946.

Living octopus

Living octopus

In countries which are located near sea coasts, sea food is an important part of national cuisine