Patriarch Philaret of Moscow

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Patriarch Filaret
Patriarch of Moscow and all Russia
Church Russian Orthodox Church
See Moscow
Installed 1619
Term ended 1633
Predecessor Patriarch Hermogenes
Successor Patriarch Joasaphus I
Personal details
Birth name Fyodor Nikitich Romanov
Born c. 1553
Moscow, Tsardom of Russia
Died 1 October 1633(1633-10-01)
Moscow?, Tsardom of Russia
Buried Dormition Cathedral, Moscow Kremlin
Nationality Russian
Denomination Orthodox Christianity
Parents Nikita Romanovich
Princess Evdokiya Alexandrovna Gorbataya-Shuyskaya
Spouse Xenia Shestova
Children Boris Fyodorovich Romanov
Nikita Fyodorovich Romanov
Lev Fyodorovich Romanov
Tatiana Fyodorovna Romanov
Mikhail Fyodorovich Romanov
Ivan Fyodorovich Romanov

Feodor Nikitich Romanov (Russian: Фео́дор Ники́тич Рома́нов, IPA: [ˈfʲɵdər nʲɪˈkʲitʲɪtɕ rɐˈmanəf]; 1553 – 1 October 1633) was a Russian boyar who after temporary disgrace rose to become patriarch of Moscow as Filaret (Russian: Филаре́т, IPA: [fʲɪlɐˈrʲet]), and became de facto ruler of Russia during the reign of his son, Mikhail Feodorovich.


The second son of a prominent boyar Nikita Romanovich Feodor was born in Moscow and was the first to bear the Romanov surname. During the reign of his first cousin Feodor I (1584–1598), young Feodor Romanov distinguished himself both as a soldier and a diplomat, fighting against the forces of John III of Sweden in 1590, and conducting negotiations with the ambassadors of Rudolf II, Holy Roman Emperor from 1593 to 1594. He was made a Boyar in 1583.

On the death of the childless tsar, he was the popular candidate for the vacant throne; but he acquiesced in the election of Boris Godunov, and shared the disgrace of his too-powerful family three years later, when Boris compelled both him and his wife, Xenia Shestova, to take monastic vows under the names of Filaret and Martha respectively.

Filaret was kept in the strictest confinement in the Antoniev Monastery of the Russian North, where he was exposed to every conceivable indignity; but when the False Dmitriy I overthrew the Godunovs, he released Filaret and made him metropolitan of Rostov (1605).

Patriarch Filaret of Moscow. A 19th-century hand-drawn lubok.

Patriarch of Moscow

In 1609 Filaret fell into the hands of False Dmitriy II, who named him Patriarch of all Russia, though his jurisdiction only extended over the very limited area which acknowledged the impostor. From 1610 to 1618 he was a prisoner in the hands of the Polish king, Sigismund III Vasa, whom he refused to acknowledge as tsar of Muscovy on being sent on an embassy to the Polish camp in 1610. He was released on the conclusion of the truce of Deulino (13 February 1619), and on 2 June of the same year was canonically enthroned Patriarch of Moscow and all of Russia.

Thenceforth, until his death, the established government of Muscovy was a diarchy. From 1619 to 1633 there were two actual sovereigns, Tsar Michael and his father, the most holy Patriarch Filaret. Theoretically they were co-regents, but Filaret frequently transacted affairs of state without consulting the tsar. He replenished the treasury by a more equable and rational system of assessing and collecting the taxes. His most important domestic measure was the chaining of the peasantry to the soil, a measure directed against the ever increasing migration of the down-trodden serfs to the steppes, where they became freebooters instead of taxpayers. The taxation of the tsar's military tenants was a first step towards the proportional taxation of the hitherto privileged classes.

Filaret's zeal for the purity of orthodoxy sometimes led him into excesses but he encouraged the publication of theological works, formed the nucleus of the subsequently famous Patriarchal Library, and commanded that every archbishop should establish a seminary for the clergy, himself setting the example. Another great service rendered by Filaret to his country was the reorganization of the Muscovite army with the help of foreign officers. His death in October 1633 put an end to the Russo-Polish War (1632–33), withdrawing the strongest prop from a tsar feeble enough even when supported by all the weight of his authority.

May 20, 1625 Filaret on the rights of the sovereign issued a royal decree by which the patriarch received the right to judge and be in charge of the spiritual and the patriarchal peasant population in the area of any business, except theft and robbery. Thus, formed as a state within a state. His policy streamlined the management, but also created much more complex structure:

  • Judgment department - was in charge of judicial affairs.
  • Church department - was in charge of the affairs of the church decorum.
  • Treasury department - was responsible for collecting taxes from the clergy.
  • Palace department- managed the patriarchal estates.

Every order sat patriarchal nobleman with the clerks and clerks. Patriarch personally signed the papers. Filaret also conducted a full inventory of the church and monastery property and revision of charters issued monasteries delegated in their use of land.

In 1620 he created a new, Diocese of Tobolsk. In 1625, the patriarch got a gift from the Persian king was transferred part of the Lord's robe, which was placed in the ark in the Assumption Cathedral. This orthodox relic is still kept in the Cathedral of Christ the Savior.

By his marriage he had:[1]

  • Boris (d. 20 November/30 November 1592)
  • Nikita (d. 29 November/9 December 1593)
  • Lev (d. 21 September/1 October 1597)
  • Tatiana (d. 4 November/14 November 1611), married to Prince Ivan Mikhailovich Katyrev-Rostovski (d. 1640)
  • Mikhail Feodorovich Romanov
  • Ivan (d. 7 June/17 June 1599)



  1. The first date is of Russian Orthodox Calendar.


  • Public Domain This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainChisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
Eastern Orthodox Church titles
Preceded by
Patriarch of Moscow and all Russia
Succeeded by
Joasaphus I
Russian royalty
Preceded by
Sigismund III Vasa
Heir to the Russian Throne
Succeeded by
Alexis I of Russia