OF ST. DANIEL MONASTERY OF MOSCOW
St. Daniel Monastery is the first one in Moscow,
founded by saint Prince Daniel of Moscow. He was the youngest son
of famous in the history of State and Church saint Prince Alexander
Nevsky and his wife - the righteous princess Vassa. St. Daniel was
born in 1261 in Vladimir-on-Klyazma, the capital of the Great Vladimir
principality. His father died when he was only two years young.
In 1272 he inherited the Moscow principality, which was rather poor
in comparison with other ones, where his elder brothers ruled. During
the severe tatar-mongol yoke and internecine wars peaceloving, piteous
and kind-hearted Daniil (as chronicles write) created peace without
bloodshed. During 30 years of ruling St. Daniel participated in
battles only once. Constantine, the prince of Ryazan, decided to
capture the Moscow lands with the help of Tatar-mongol force. Prince
Daniel defeated it near Pereyaslavl but he didn't capture the Ryazan
principality, as it was accepted. He took Konstantin a prisoner
and showed hospitality to him before armistice was concluded. Because
of his remarkable meekness, humbleness and peacefulness Daniel was
very popular and respected by the Russian people. In 1296 he was
given power and a title of the Great Prince of the whole Russia.
Little later his principality included vast Pereyslavl-zalessky
lands. Prince Daniel ruled 30 years, during those the Moscow principality
became one of the important and powerful ones in Russia. He marked
the beginning of the unity of the Russian land around the future
capital and became the first Moscow Great Prince of the whole Russia.
Prince Daniel took great care of both the population and the city
of Moscow. On the right bank of the Moskva-river, at a distance
of 5 miles from the Kremlin not later than in 1282 he founded the
first monastery with the wooden church of St. Daniel-Stylite. Now
it is St. Daniel monastery. At the age of 42 on the 17-th (4-th
in old style) of March in 1303 St. Daniel died. Before his death
he became a monk and, according to his will, was buried in the cemetery
of St. Daniel monastery. St. Daniel monastery took part in many
historical events during 700 years of its existence.
In 1330 the brethren of the monastery was
moved to the Kremlin, where was founded a new monastery in the name
of the Saviour (near the church of Saviour - on the Bor.The word
Bor means a pine forest.).
In 1490, under the ruling of Joann III, the
Saviour monastery was moved to the Krutitskiy hill on the bank of
the Moskva-river and received another name - The New Savioure monastery.
So the St. Daniel monastery marked the beginning of one of the most
important monasteries in Moscow. As for the St. Daniel monastery,
it was in a state of neglect during 250 years.
Only a small parish church and cemetery were
on the place of the monastery. But St. Daniel didn't forget his
cloister. On his grave there were miracles and cases of healing
people. Under the ruling of the tzar Joann the Terrible, the monastic
life in the monastery was revived and the first stone Church of
Holy Fathers of Seven Ecumenical Councils was built. In the 17-th
century the holy miracle-working remains of St. Prince Daniel were
founded and he was canonized by the Russian Orthodox Church and
became one of the most popular Russian saints. The 17-th of March
and the 12-th of September (according to the old style: the 4-th
of March and the 30-th of August) are considered to be the dates
of memory of St. Prince Daniel.
The St. Daniel monastery played important
role in the defense of the south bounders of Moscow:
In 1591 the tatar-mongols at the head of the
Crimean khan Kazi-Girey were defeated near the walls of the monastery.
In 1606 the troops of the tzar Basil Shyiskiy
defeated the rebels of Bolotnikov.
In 1610 the monastery was burnt by False Dimitriy
II. Bat soon it was revived and surrounded by the brick wall with
In 1812 the French solders stole St. Daniel's
silver tabernacle, desecrated and robbed the churches.
The monastery could have been destroyed many
times but every time it was revived with the help and protection
of its Saint founder. Many prominent people of the Russian culture
were buried in the cemetery of St. Daniel monastery; among them
- great Russian writer N.V.Gogol,a poet N.M.Yazikov, a painter V.G.Perov,
a musician N.G.Rubinstein and many others.
After the revolution the bolsheviks began
to close the churches, and in 1930 the St. Daniel monastery was
closed - the last one in Moscow. Most of the brothers were shot
in 1937. The holy remains of St. Daniel were lost. After the monastery
was closed the churches were reconstructed, the graves of prominent
people were moved to other cemeteries, and Necropol of St.Daniel
monastery was destroyed. There were different stores and a colony
for children on the territory of the monastery.
In 1983 the St. Daniel monastery was the
first one which was given back to the Russian Orthodox Church.
By 1988 - the year of millennium of Baptism
in Russia - the St. Daniel monastery has been reconstructed, and
now it is considered to be the spiritual center of the Russian Orthodox
Church. There is the official residence of His Holiness Patriarch
of Moscow and all Russia Alexiy II.
Now the monastery looks like it was created
in XVII-XIX centuries. The oldest cathedral - The Cathedral of Holy
Fathers of Seven Ecumenical Councils - includes several churches.
After the period of restoration there is iconostasis of the Kostroma
school, which dates back to the XVII-th century. On the ground floor
there is the Church, named after the Protecting Veil of Mother of
God. The St. Trinity cathedral is the largest one in the monastery.
It was built in 1838 by the architect O.Bove in the style of late
classicism. The main altar was sanctified by saint metropolitan
of Moscow Filaret (Drosdov). After the restoration the interior
looks like the original one. There are two miracle-working icons
there: "Three - handed Mother of God" and the icon of the Rightean
John of Rome. The St. Trinity Cathedral is used for sunday and festive
There are other new-built and reconstructed
churches in the monastery: the Church of Simeon Stylite over the
gates (1732); the Church of the Nativity of John the Baptist; the
Church of St. Seraphim of Sarov; The Chapel over the St. Well and
the Funeral Chapel.
On the 4-th of September in 1997, on the eve
of 850-th commemoration of Moscow, the monument to St. Prince Daniel
of Moscow was erected and sanctified on Tylskaya Square. On the
17-th of March in 1998 the Chapel of St. Prince Daniel of Moscow
was sanctified on Tylskaya Square. It was recreated according to
the architectural design near the place where the original has stood
for 300 years until it was destroyed after the Revolution. The main
Holy Thing of the monastery is the remains of St. Daniel of Moscow,
while are in the tabernacles both in St. Trinity Cathedral and in
the Cathedral of Holy Fathers of 7 Ecumenical Councils. The first
part of the holy remains of St. Daniel was given to the monastery
by Archbishop of Washington, Metropolitan of America Feodosiy in
The monastery is subordinate directly to His
Holiness Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Alexiy II. Father Superior
(Archimandrite Alexiy) rules every-day life of the monastery. Services
take place every day. The brethren of the monastery take part in
charity and mercy in hospitals, schools, children houses and prisons.
They are also teachers in seminaries, academies and secular educational
establishments. There are different workshops, Sunday schools, lectures
on spiritual education for adults, monastic publishing house, piligrim
service in the monastery. There are two subsidiary holdings: in
Moscow and in Ryazan regions.