SHRINES OF HOLY HIERARCHS

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Tombstone over the burial places of Cyprian and Photius, the metropolitansIn the south-west part of the Cathedral there are tombs of two Metropolitans - Cyprian (died in 1406) and Photius (died in1431). The tombs are situated under one metal gravestone, near the ciborium for the Holy Sepulchre. Both of them, a Serb and a Greek, made a great influence on Russian culture and history of the Assumption Cathedral. Cyprian has amended Russian Liturgical regulation, created a vast “Life of the Saint” and “Service to Metropolitan Peter”. During his tenure a miraculous icon of "Our Lady of Vladimir" was brought to Moscow from the city of Vladimir. A gold chased cover was made for the icon. Metropolitan Photius restored the National treasury, which had been ruined during the invasion of Tokhtamysh. He ordered the Greek masters, who come to Russia along with him, to make a new gold filigree cover for the Vladimir icon and a precious Altar Gospel with miniatures and chased gold cover (nowadays they can be seen at the exposition of the Armoury Chamber).

Shrine of Metropolitan Philip II with a canopyCiborium and the tombstones over the burial places of patriarchs at the west wall of the CathedralShrine of Metropolitan Jonah with a canopy

At the north wall, to the east of Metropolitan Jonah reliquary, there are tombs of four metropolitans: Philip I (died in 1473), who began reconstructing the Assumption Cathedral, Geronty (died in 1489), during whose ministration the new building of the Cathedral was completed, Simon (died in 1511) and Makary (died in 1563). Makary was the prominent ideologist and adviser to the young Ivan the Terrible. He organized and created grand literary projects: the "Illustrated Chronicle of Ivan the Terrible" and the "Great Menology" (Velikiye Chet’yi-Minei), which was a joint compilation of Orthodox Saints’ hagiographies. Besides, Makary was an icon-painter and a founder of the famous icon-painting workshop in Kremlin.

Along south and west walls of the Cathedral are tombs of the next Patriarchs: Filaret (Feodor Romanov, 1554-1633, father and mentor of the young Tsar Mikhail Romanov), Ioasaf I (died in 1640), Joseph (died in 1652) and Job (died in 1607).

Job was elected the first Russian Patriarch in 1589 during the reign of Tsar Feodor Ioanovich. After the fall of the Byzantine Empire and the conquest of Orthodox Balkan countries by the Turks, rich and independent of foreign domination the Russian Church for the first time declared itself as an equal among ancient Orthodox churches. After the death of Boris Godunov, Job fought against the impostor, False Dmitry the First. As a result, the Patriarch was deprived dignity and sent into exile, where he died in 1607. His relics were transferred to the Assumption Cathedral by the order of Patriarch Nikon in 1652.

At the west wall there are tombs of four more Patriarchs: Ioasaf II (died in 1672), Pitirim (died in 1673), Ioakim (died in 1690) and Adrian (died in 1700). Pitirim contributed to the establishment of the first higher educational institution in Russia, the Slavonic-Greek-Latin Academy, founded by two Greek Likhud brothers in 1685. Adrian was the last Patriarch, as Peter the Great forbade the election of a new patriarch, and later, in 1721 abolished the Patriarchate in Russia by establishing the Holy Synod.