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THE HISTORY
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 7 towers.

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 services.

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 1986.

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.