ALEXANDER NEVSKI, SAINT
A saint of the Eastern Church; b. at Vladimir (110 m. e. by n. of Moscow) 1218; d. at Goroditch (360 m. s.e. of Moscow) Nov. 14, 1263. He was the second son of Grand Duke Jaroslav II. of Novgorod. In 1240 he defeated the Swedes on the Neva, whence his title "Nevski." Two years later he repelled the Livonians, who had the support of Rome. The popes of the time were making great efforts to bring about a union with the Eastern Church, and, to further their plans, they tried to induce Alexander and Prince Daniel of Galitch to undertake a crusade against the Tatars. Innocent IV. addressed letters to Alexander (Jan.23 and Sept.15, 1248), urging him strenuously to submit to the Roman see, to which the duke and his advisers replied: "We know what the Old and New Testaments say, and we are also acquainted with the teaching of the Church of Constantine and from the first to the seventh council; but your teaching we do not accept." Nevertheless, Innocent and his successor Alexander IV., pursued their plans and appointed a legate for Russia, hoping that Roman bishoprics might in the course of time be established there. Grand Duke Alexander defended his Church as ably as he did his country. He won the favor of the Tatar khans, and in 1261 a bishopric was established at Sarai on the lower Volga, the residence of the Khan of the Golden Horde. Alexander died on one of his many journeys thither. He was canonized by the Church and the day of his burial (Nov.23) was consecrated to him. His remains were transferred on Aug. 30, 1724, to the Alexander Nevski monastery in St. Petersburg, which had been founded by Peter the Great in 1711 on the supposed scene of Alexander's victory over the Swedes in 1240.