Matthew of Kazan

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Metropolitan Matthew of Kazan was the ruling bishop of the Kazan Diocese of the Church of Russia from 1615 to 1646, with the title of Metropolitan of Kazan and Sviyazhsk. He was appointed to re-establish order in the Diocese of Kazan in the aftermath of the "Time of Troubles".


The first historical records of Matthew's life are of his appointment during the Time of Troubles as abbot of the Kyrillo-Belozersky Monastery. During those times abbot Matthew demonstrated his administrative abilities, including organizing the defense of the monastery against attacks by the invading Lithuanians and Poles. His actions established his reputation of trust with his fellow clergy and the rulers of Russia. Thus, in 1613, abbot Matthew was invited to Moscow to participate in the Zemsky Sobor of February 21, 1613 that elected Michael Romanov as the tsar, ending the Time of Troubles.

Matthew's reputation placed him in the forefront of candidates for the see of Kazan. Following his election, he was consecrated Bishop of Kazan on February 15, 1615 with the title of Metropolitan of Kazan and Sviyazhsk. With the echos of the Time of Troubles still reverberating throughout the Volga River region, Metr. Matthew's firm hand was needed to re-establish order. Enjoying the confidence of the Tsar and the Patriarch, Metr. Matthew was active in facilitating the efforts in Kazan of pacifying the rebelling groups of the diocese in addition to strengthening the faith of the faithful.

In the chaotic atmosphere of the post Time of Troubles era and not wanting to aggravate animosities, Metr. Matthew limited missionary efforts of the diocese to that of strengthening the faith among the newly baptized of his heterogeneous flock against the activities of non-Christian people.

Metr. Matthew pursued a policy of expanding the number of monasteries in the diocese. Among the monasteries that he sponsored were the expansion of Raifa Monastery of the Mother of God and the establishment of the Seven Lakes Hermitage of the Mother of God located about ten miles outside the city. He also oversaw the building of two churches, one in honor of the Image "Not-Made-By-Hands" of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the other, in honor of the Kazan Icon of the Mother of God.

Metr. Matthew led the Kazan diocese for thirty one years, the longest tenure of all the bishops of Kazan. Metr. Matthew reposed on January 13, 1646 and was buries in the north wall of the cathedral.

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Matthew of Kazan
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Metropolitan of Kazan
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