Gabriel (Calimachi) of Moldavia

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His Eminence Gabriel or Gavril (Calimachi) of Moldavia was a hierarch of the Constantinople Patriarchate in the latter decades of the eighteenth century who took part in the political maneuvering in Moldavia and Walachia during the reign of Catherine the Great in Russia. He was metropolitan of Moldavia from 1760 to 1786.


Little is known of the early life of Metr. Gabriel. He was archdeacon of the Constantinople Patriarchate, then Metropolitan of Thessalonica for fifteen years before his arrival in Moldavia as Church relations between the Romanians and Russians turned from a cultural and spiritual level to that of committed politics involving freeing the area from Ottoman Turkish rule. After the murder of his nephew, Gregory Callimachi, Metr. Gabriel became the actual leader of Moldavia. In December 1769, he sponsored a delegation to Russia that was joined by one from Walachia seeking support in freeing themselves from Turkish oppression. The Moldavian delegation led by Bishop Innocent of Hus included: Bartholomew Mazareanu (Igumen of the Monastery of Solca), Benedict Teodorovici (Igumen of the Monastery of Moldovia), John Paladi who dies during the trip, and Enache Milo.

Following the return of the delegates to Moldavia, Metr. Gabriel extended the jurisdiction of the Church of Moldavia on January 10, 1771 to include the formerly Romanian territories that in the past had come under Ottoman administration. This resulted in the inclusion of South Moldavia under the jurisdiction of the Bishop of Husi and the territory of Hotin under that of the Bishop of Radauti. During his episcopate Metropolitan Gavril strove to improve the educational program in Moldavia.

After his death, Metr. Gabriel was buried in the Cathedral of St. George, also known as the old Metropolitan Church, that he had built in Iasi between 1761 and 1769.

Succession box:
Gabriel (Calimachi) of Moldavia
Preceded by:
Ioakeim II
Metropolitan of Thessalonica
Succeeded by:
Preceded by:
Metropolitan of Moldavia
Succeeded by:
Leon (Ghenca)
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