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Joasaphus I of Moscow

Joasaphus I of Moscow, in Russian Иоасаф I (Ioasaf I), was the fourth Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia, from 1634 to 1640. He was responsible for the revival in Moscow’s publication activities and for promoting peaceful reconciliation among the clergy.


Joasaphus’ date of birth and early life are not known. He entered the monastic life at Solovetsky Monastery on the White Sea and became hegumen at Pskovo-Pechorsky Monastery. In January 1627, Joasaphus was appointed Archbishop of Pskov and Velikie Luki and developed a reputation for protecting the trade privileges of Pskov. He resisted the pretensions of the German merchants for which Patriarch Philaret admonished him. After Philaret reposed, Joasaphus was appointed his successor as Patriarch of Moscow. Joasaphus, as patriarch, did not involve himself in state politics as had Philaret. [1] In church governance, however, Joasaphus was active. One of his first acts upon his enthronement was to severely punish Joseph Kurtsevich, the Archbishop of Suzdal, for his indecent behavior.

Joasaphus is noted for his efforts in the growth of the ecclesiastical printing activities in Moscow. Under under his supervision twenty three ecclesiastic books were published. He also published the Trebnik (in Russian: Требник - book of prayers) with a supplement of resolutions and decrees by Patr. Philaret.

Among his works was a memo (in Russian: Память - Pamyat) that he wrote in 1636 in which he urged his clergy to settle all issue of discord among themselves. He also wrote and published a document called ‘’Hierarchy of Power’‘ (in Russian: Лестница властям or Lestnitsa vlastyam) in which he explained the hierarchy of the clergy during church services and councils (sobors).

Joasaphus reposed on November 28, 1640 in Moscow and was buried in the Cathedral of the Dormition in the Moscow Kremlin.


  1. Francis Dvornik. The Slavs in European History and Civilization, Rutgers University Press, New Bruswick, New Jersey, 1962 ISBN 0-8135-0403-1
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Joasaphus I of Moscow
Preceded by:
Archbishop of Pskov and Velikie Luki
Succeeded by:
Preceded by:
Patriarch of Moscow
Succeeded by:
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