Orthodox America

  988-1988 An Historical Perspective


The West

Russia Civil

Russia - Ecclesiastical

Saints & Righteous


 Magyars defeated by Otto I (955) 
New Danish invasion of England (980)
      Durham cathedral begun (995)     

Sviastoslav of Kiev (964-1015)

Hermits settle on the islands of Lake Ladoga, creating foundation for Valaam Monastery 

Great Prince Vladimir baptized; mass baptism in the Dnieper River, Kiev (988)

Sergius and Herman of Valaam (10th c.)
Equal-to-the-Apostles Great Princess Olga (969)
Metropolitan Michael, missionary hierarch of Kiev (992)

1000       Vikings reach North America (c. 1000)
Stephen I first Christian king of Hungary
Anna of Kiev, daughter of Yaraslov the Wise and wife of Henry I, crowned Queen of France at Reims (1015)

Schism betwen the Church of Rome and the Eastern Church (1054)

Norman Conquest of England (1066)
      Gregory VII issues Dictatus Papae
      Chanson de Roland (c. 1100)

Pope Urban proclaims First Crusade (1095)
Crusaders take Jerusalem (1099)

The Kievan Period

Yaroslav the Wise (1018-54)
      Code of Law
      Cathedral of St. Sophia in Kiev

Isiaslav (1054-78)
Sviatopolk (1093-1113)

Gradual decline of Kiev, center of power shifts north to Rostov, Vladimir and Suzdal

Beginnings of native monasticism in Kievan Rus; establishment of Kiev Caves Lavra (c. 1050)

Hilarion elected first metropolitan of Russian origin (1051)

Equal-to-the-Apostles Great Prince Vladimir (1015)

Passion-bearers Boris and Gleb (1015)

Metropolitan Hilarion of Kiev (1054)

Martyr Leontius of Rostov (1073)

Anthony of the Kiev Caves (1073)

Theodosis of the Kiev Caves (1074)

1100     Founding of the Templars (1120)

Second Crusade (1147-49)

Frederick "Barbarossa" emperor (1152-90)

Henry II "Plantagenet" becomes King of England (1154)

Fall of Jerusalem (1187)     

Yuri Dolgoruky (d. 1158), Suzdal Prince, becomes Grand Prince of Kiev

Prince Andrew Bogoliubsky sacks Kiev (1169), moves capital to Vladimir

    Prose epic: The Lay of the Host of Igor

    Nestor's Chronicle

    Church of the Protection on the Neri (1165)

Mother of God appears to Prince Andrew Bogoliubsky (1157), bidding him to build a church and monastery in the village of Vladimir; the icon he was carrying comes to be called the "Vladimir Mother of God" Alypius the Iconographer of the Kiev Caves (1114)

Nestor the Chronicler (1117)

Anthony the Roman (1147)

Princes Euphrosyne of Pskov (1173)

1200          University of Paris Founded (c. 1200)

Constantinople sacked by Crusaders (1204)

Saint Louis, King of France (1215-1270)
       Chartres cathedral (1220)
       Francis of Assisi (+1226)
       Marco Polo arrives in China (1275)

Struggle between Philip "the Fair", King of France, and Pope Boniface VIII (1296-1303) 

Mongols invade Rus' (1237) and take Kiev (1241)

Prince Alexander ("Nevsky") defeats Teutonic knights on banks of the Neva (1240)
Feud between Nevsky's sons

Period of Mongol domination (1240-1480)
Rise of Muscovy

  Abramius of Smolensk (1222)

Prince Alexander Nevsky (1263)

1300 "Babylonian Captivity" of the Roman Church (1309-78)

Beginning of "Hundred Years War (1337)
          "Black Death" rages (1348-49)

Peasants Revolt in England (1381)

Battle of Kosovo (1389)

Richard II deposed; Henry IV, Bolingbroke, becomes King of England (1399)

Moscow rulers:
    Ivan I ("Kalita") (1328-41)
    Simeon (1341-53)
    Ivan II (1353-59)
   Dimitry Donskoi (1359-89) defeats Mongols at Kulikovo Plain (1380) and establishes preeminence of Moscow
    Basil I (1389-1425)
Metropolitan Peter transfers his see to Moscow (1326)

St. Sergius settles in a forest and attracts disciples, stimulating a flowering of monasticism

Great period of missionary activity in North and East

Righteous Martha of Pskov (1300)

Prince Daniel of Moscow (1303)

Metropolitan Peter of Moscow (1326)

Anna, Princess of Kashin (1368)

Metropolitan Alexis of Moscow (1378)

Sergius of Radonezh (1392)

Stephen of Perm (1396)


The West

Russia Civil

Russia - Ecclesiastical

Saints & Righteous

1400           Chaucer: Canterbury Tales (c. 1400)

English defeat French at Agincourt (1415)

           Joan of Arc burned at the stake (1431)
           Council of Ferrara-Florence (1438-39)

End of Hundred Years War (1453)

Constantinople falls to the Turks (1453)

           Spanish Inquisition established (1481)

Henry VII, first Tudor king of England (1485)

           Columbus discovers the New World (1492)

            Andrei Rublev paints Trinity icon (c. 1400)

Basil II (1425-62); domestic crises

Ivan III (1462-1505)

             Territorial expansion of Muscovite State; annexation of Perm (1472), Novgorod (1478), Tver (1484), Vyatka (1489)

             Dormition cathedral in Moscow Kremlin (1475-79)

With election of Metropolitan Jonah, Russian Church becomes independent of Constantinople (1448)

Heresy of the "Judaisers" appears in Novgorod (c. 1470)

Grand Duchess Euphrosyne of Moscow (1407)

Cyril of White Lake (1429)

Paul of Obnora (1429)

Sabbatius (1435) and Zosima (1478) of Solovki

Metropolitan Jonah of Moscow (1461)

1500           Michaelangelo completes Sistine Chapel (1512)
          Luther posts 95 Theses (1517)

Election of Emperor Charles I (1519)

Henry VIII declared head of Anglican Church (1534)

Cromwell beheaded (1540)

          Society of Jesus (Jesuits) founded (1541)
          Calvin: De Praedestinatione (1552)

Elizabeth I becomes Queen of England (1558)

Wars of Religion begin in France (1572)

Beheading of Mary Queen of Scots (1587)

Spanish Armada (1588)

Edict of Nantes (1598)

Basil III (1505-1533)
               Annexation of Pskov (1510), Smolensk (1514)

Diplomatic contacts begin with European countries

Ivan IV ("the Terrible") (1533-84); eastward expansion of Russian State
               St. Basil's cathedral in Moscow (1560)

First Zemsky Sobor (1566)
                Moscow besieged by Tatars (1571)

Conquest of Siberia begins (1581)

Murder of heir-apparent Child-prince Dimitri in Uglich (1591)

Boris Gudonov (1598-1605) ruled as Tsar


Dispute betwen "possessors", led by St. Joseph of Volokolamsk, and "non-possessors", led by St. Nilus of Sora, decided in favor of St. Joseph (1503)

Metropolitan Macarius (1542-63) supervises collection of Lives of Russian Saints

Church Councils of 1547 and 1549 add 39 Russian saints to calendar

Stoglav ("Hundred Chapters") Council (1551) formulates Church administrative reforms

Kazan Icon appears (1580)

Job, first patriarch of Russia (1589), deposed and exiled after death of Godunov

Some leaders of the Western Russian Church join with Rome to form the Uniate Church (1595)

Nilus of Sora (1508)

Joseph of Volokolamsk (1515)

Alexander of Svir (1533)

Basil, fool-for-Christ of Moscow (1552)

Adrian of Andrusov (1549)

Adrian of Posekhone (1550)

Maxim the Greek (1556)

Archbishop Gurus of Kazan (1563)

Metropolitan Philip of Moscow (1569)

Prince Dimitri, child-martyr of Uglich (1591)

1600             Giordano Bruno burnt at the stake in Rome (1600)

James I (James IV of Scotland) succeeds Elizabeth to the English throne (1603)

Gunpowder Plot (1605)
             Shakespeare: Macbeth (1605)

James troubles with Puritans and Parliament
             King James version of Bible (1611)

Thirty Years War (1618-1648)
             Pilgrims land at Plymouth (1620)

Richelieu principal minister of France (1629)
             Descartes: Essai (1637)
             Milton: Areopagitica (1644)

Treaty of Westphalia (1648) ends Thirty Years' War

Time of Troubles

               Great Famine (1601-1603)

Sigismund III of Poland attempts to conquer Russia; Poles expelled by peoples' army led by Prince Pozharsky (1612)

Michael Romanov elected tsar (1613-1645) by Zemsky Sobor [popular assembly]

Alexis Michailovich (1645-1676)

Wars over possession of Ukraine (1654-89);

Russia acquires East Ukraine from Poland

Poles beseige Holy Trinity-St. Sergius Lavra (1608-09)

Patriarch Hermogenes martyred (1612)

Joint rule of the young Tsar Michael and his father, Metropolitan Philaret

Peter Mogila founds Kiev Academy (1632)

St. Daniel founds first missionary monastery in Siberia (1644)

Juliana of Lazarevo (1604)

Tryphon of Vyatka (1612)

Irinarch of Rostov (1616)

Dorothy of Kashin (1629)



The West

Russia Civil

Russia - Ecclesiastical

Saints & Righteous

1650 English Civil War

Cromwell dies (1658)

The Restoration (1660)
             Rembrandt: Night Watch (1660)

Louis XIV (1661-1715)
             Work begun on Versailles (1662)
             Pascal: Penses (1670)
             Sir Isaac Newton discovers law of gravity (1682)

Revocation of the Edict of Nantes (1685)

Charles II dies, accession of James II (1685)

The Glorious Revolution (1688)


Peasant uprising (1670) led by Stenka Razin against boyars

War with Turkey (1672-81)

Feodor Alexeevich (1676-82)

Ivan Alexeevich rules jointly with Peter (1682-96) under the regency of Sophis

Streltsy uprising (1682)

Peter I ("the Great") (1696-1725); travels "incognito" to Europe, but is forced back by Streltsy uprising (1698)

Nikon Patriarch (1652-1666); his reforms are resisted by "Old Believers", they are persecuted and, led by Avvakum, separate themselves from the authority of the Russian Church.

Breach between Tsar Alexis and Patriarch Nikon (1658) leads to waning authority of the Church in affairs of State.

Foundation of Alabazin monastery on Chinese frontier (1671)

Avvakum burnt at the stake (1681)

Job of Pochaev (1651)

Eleazar of Anzersk (Solovki) (1656)

Hieromartyr Missael of Ryazan (1656)

Andrew, fool-for-Christ (1673)

Theodosius of Chernigov (1696)

Dalmat of Siberia (1697)

Pitirim of Tambov (1698)

1700 War of Spanish Succession (1701-14)

Accesion of George I (1714) of England
           J.S. Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier (1722- 1723)
           John Wesley begins Methodist revival (1738)

Accession of Frederick the Great of Prussia and Maria Theresa of Austria (1740)

Peter the Great establishes capital of St. Petersburg, defeats Swedes at Poltava (1709)

Catherine I (wife of Peter) (1725-27)

Peter II (1727-30)

Empress Anne (1730-40)

Ivan VI (1740-41

Empress Elizabeth (daughter of Peter the Great) (1741-62)

Peter I abolishes the Patriarchate (1721) and establishes the Holy Synod, bringing the Church under the authority of the State; many monasteries suppressed

Theophan Prokopovich, Protestant sympathizer, becomes Primate of Russia under Anne; encourages anti-monastic legislation:
Decree of 1734 prohibits all monastic professions except widowed clergy and veterans.

From 1700 to 1800 number of monasteries declines form 1200 to 452

Empress Elizabeth restores confiscated monastic estates


Mitrofan of Voronezh (1703)

Dimitri of Rostov (1709)

John of Tobolsk (1715)

Innocent of Irkutsk (1731)

1750 French and Indian War (1754-68)

          Hume: Natural History of Religion (1755)
          Voltaire: Candide (1759)
          Rousseau: Social Contract (1761)

Accession of Louis XVI (1774)

American Declaration of Independence (1776)

Treaty of Paris (1783)
           Mozart: "Marriage of Figaro" (1785)
           Kant: Critique of Pure Reason (1788)

Frederick the Great of Prussia dies (1786)

French Revolution (1792)

Catherine II ("the Great") (1762-1796)

Pugachev's peasant uprisings (1773-75)
          Free Masons found the "Friendly Learned Society" (1782)

Annexation of Crimea (1783)


Catherine passes new anti-monastic laws: secularization of Church estates (1764)

Metropolitan Arsenius of Rostov deposed (1763) due to his forceful opposition to secularization of Church property

Publication of St. Tikhon of Zadonsk's Spiritual Treasury  Gathered in the Word (1784)

First edition of Slavonic Philokalia (translated by Paisius Velichkovsky) published in Moscow (1793)

Revival of the hesychast tradition through the influence of St. Paisuis Velichkovsky and his disciples

Iosaph of Belgorod (1754)

Dositheus, Recluse of the Kiev Caves (1776)

Elder Theodore of Sanaxar (1791)

Paisius Velichkovsky (1794)



The West

Russia Civil

Russia - Ecclesiastical

Saints & Righteous

1800            Beethovan's First Symphony (1800)

Napoleon crowned Emperor (1804)

Serbian struggle for independence (1804-07)

Congress of Vienna (1815)
           Byron: Don Juan (1819)

Greek War of Independence (1821-29)

Revolutions in France, Belgium, Germany, Italy and Poland (1830-31)

Renewal of Holy Alliance (1833)

Queen VIctoria (1837-1901)
           Dickens: Oliver Twist (1837)

Revolutions in France, Italy, Germany and Austria (1848)
            Communist Manifesto (1848)

 Murder of Emperor Paul (1801)

Alexander I (1801-1825)

Russo-Turkish War (1806-12)

Napoleon invades Russia (1812)

Decembrist uprising (1825)

Nicholas I (1825-55)
        Pushkin: Eugene Onegin (1825-32)
        Lermontov: A Hero of Our Time (1840)
        Gogol: Dead Souls (1842)

Decrees passed in 1805 and 1810 allow monasteries to own land again

Over 300 monasteries are founded in the 19th century; many others are revived

Early 19th century witnesses growing popularity of Western mysticism among high society; under Nicholas I, non-Orthodox mystical literature is confiscated and destroyed

Russian Orthodox Palestine Society formed (1847)


Metropolitan Gabriel of Novgorod and Petersburg (1801)

Abbot Nazarius of Valaam (1809)

Elder Macarius of Pesnosha (1811)

Xenia of Petersburg (early 19th c.)

Bishop Innocent of Penza (1819)

Elder Theodore of Svir (1822)

Elder Basil Kishkin (1831)

Seraphim of Sarov (1833)

Elder Zosima Verkhovskoy (1833)

Herman of Alaska (1836)

Elder Leonid of Optina (1841)

1850 Crimean War (1853-1856)
            Darwin: Origin of Species (1859)
            Mary Baker Eddy founds Christian Science (1866)

Unification of Germany under Bismark (1870)

Franco-Prussian War (1870-71)
            Dogma of Papal Infallibility declared by Vatican Council (1870)
            Brahams: First Symphony (1877)
            Nietzsche: Beyond Good and Evil (1886)

Bismark dismissed as German chancellor (1890)

Dreyfus Affair in France (1898-1906)

Russia claims protectorate over Christians in Turkey (1853)

Crimean War (1853-56)

Alexander II (1855-81)

Emancipation of the serfs (1861)
         Turgenev: Fathers and Sons (1862)
         Dostoevsky: Crime and Punishment (1866)

Sale of Alaska (1867)

Russo-Turkish War (1876-78)

Assasination of Alexander II (1881)

Trans-Siberian railway built (1891-1905)
          Tchaikovsky: Symphony Pathetique (1893)

Nicolas II (1894-1917)
          Chekhov: The Cherry Orchard (1904)

Society of Assistance to Poor Churches and Monasteries founded (1858) Blessed Feofil of Kiev (1853)

Elder Parthenius of Kiev (1855)

Elder Macarius of Optina (1861)

Elder Moses of Optina (1862)

Elder Anthony of Optina (1865)

Metropolitan Philaret of Moscow (1867)

Metropolitan Innocent of Moscow (1879)

Abbot Damascene of Valaam (1881)

Elder Ambrose of Optina (1891)

1900 Murder of King Alexander of Serbia (1903)

World War I (1914-19)

Treaty of Versailles and formation of the League of Nations (1919)

Russo-Japanese War (1904-05)

First Revolution (1905-06)

First State Duma (1906)

Stolypin assassinated (1911)
          Bely: St. Petersburg (1913)

World War I begins (1914)

Murder of Rasputin (December 1916)

Nicolas II abdicates (March 1917) and Provisional Government formed


Bolsheviks seize power (October 1917)

CHEKA (secret police established (December 1917)

Civil War (1918-1920)

Controversy over the "Name-worshippers" (1905-13)

Local Council (1918-1919) restores patriarchate; election of Patriarch Tikhon

Government decree of 1918 on separation of Church and State; forced closure of monasteries


Abbot Theodosius of Optina (1903)

John of Kronstadt (1908)

Elder Joseph of Optina (1911)

Elder Barsanouphius of Optina (1913)

Metropolitan Vladimir of Kiev (1918), Proto-hieromartyr

Royal Martyrs Tsar Nicolas, Tsaritsa Alexandra, Grand Duchess Olga, Tatiana, Maria and Anastasia, and Tsarevich Alexis (July 17, 1918)


The West

Russia Civil

Russia - Ecclesiastical

Saints & Righteous

1920            Kafka: The Trial (1925)
           Great Depression (1929-41)

Hitler becomes dictator (1933)

Spanish Civil War (1936-39); Franco becomes dictator

Munich Pact (1938)

World War II (1939-45)

Death of Lenin (1924)

       Zamyatin We (1924)

First Five-Year Plan instituted (1928)

Trotsky banished to Turkey (1929)
       Sholokhov, Quiet FLows the Don (1928-40)

Stalin dictator (1929-53)

Forced collectivization of peasants and famine (1929-30)

First political show-trial and execution of old Bolsheviks (1935)

Soviets sign pact with Nazis (August 1939); they invade FInland and are expelled from the League of Nations         

1922- Decree concerning confiscation of church valuables; massive show trials result in thousands of executions of clergy (estimated at upwards of 15,000) and believers.

Renovationists (members of the so-called "Living Church") try to take control of parishes (1920's)

Death of Patriarch Tikhon (1925)

Declaration of Metropolitan Sergius (1927) pledges the Churches loyalty to the atheist State and motivates the separate formation of a Catacomb or "True Orthodox Church" loyal to the legacy of Patriarch Tikhon

Cathedral of Christ the Saviour is blown up in Moscow (1931)

By 1938, 95% of the churches still in existence in the '20's were closed.

Metropolitan Benjamin of Petrograd (1922)

Patriarch Tikhon (1925)

Elder Nectarius of Optina (1928)

Archbishop Ilarion (Troitsky) (1929)

Bishop Maxim of Serpukhov (1931)

Archbishop John of RIga (1934)

Metropolitan Joseph of Petrograd (1938)

And thousand upon thousands of others, known and unknown, men, women and children, whose valor hath enlightened the Church with of Russia with new glory (Exapostilarion of the service to the New Martyrs)

1940 Pearl Harbor (1941); US enters the War

War ends in Europe (1945)

Truman Doctrine (1947)

Formation of NATO (1949)

Communist triumph in China (1949)

Korean War (1950-53)
        Discovery of polio vaccine (1955)

Hungarian anti-communist revolt (1956)

Formation of Common Market (1957)

Hitler invades the Soviet Union (1941)

Yalta Conference (February 1945)
          USSR explodes atomic bomb (1951)

Stalin dies (1953)

In secret speech Kruschev exposes Stalin's crimes (1956)
            Pasternak: Doctor Zhivago (1957)

Under pressure of the war effort, Stalin allows the opening of some churches.

Nazis take Kiev: Soviets demolish Kiev Caves' Dormition cathedral (1941)

Election of Patriarch Alexis (1945-1970)

1959 begins new wave of persecution under Kruschev; from 1960-1965 an estimated 10,000 churches, 60 monasteries and 5 of the remaining 8 seminaries are closed

1960 Sino-Soviet split (1960)

Construction of the Berlin Wall (1961)

Cuban Missile Crisis (1962)
           Second Vatican Council (1962)

Assassination of President Kennedy (1963)
           First moon landing (1969)

Peace agreement for Vietnam (1973)

         Solzhenitsyn: One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisevich (1962)

Brezhnev becomes First Secretary of the Communist Party (1964)

Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia (1968)

Soviet invasion of Afghanistan (1979)

Russian Church joins World Council of Churches (1961)

Archbishop of Lvov released after 18 years' imprisonment (1963)

Patriarch Pimen (1971)

Founding of the Christian Committee for the Defense of Believers' RIghts (1976)

1980 52 US hostages released form Iran (1981) Andropov (1982-84); Chernenko (1984-85)

Gorbachev (1985-)

  Glorification of the New Martyrs and Confessors, by the Church Abroad, Nov. 1, 1981 (n.s.) in New York.