The temple bell tower of the Old Believer Church at Rogozhskaya Gate
Usually it is said that unscrupulous copyists distorted the data of church books, and Nikon’s reform restored “true” Orthodoxy. This is partly true, because from the pen of some ancient Russian copyists, in fact, many “apocryphs”, unknown to the world, have come out. In one of these “Gospels”, in the story of the birth of Christ, besides the traditional biblical characters, the character turns out to be some kind of midwife Solomonia. At the same time, it was proved that under Vladimir Svyatoslavich, the Russians were baptized with two fingers, used eight-pointed crosses, special alleluia, while performing rites went "after the sun" (by the sun), etc. The fact is that in the era of the Christianization of Russia in Byzantium, two statutes were used: Jerusalem and Studii. The Russians adopted the Studite Charter, and in all other Orthodox countries, the Jerusalem of Jerusalem prevailed over time: in the 12th century, it was accepted on Athos, by the beginning of the 14th century - in Byzantium, then - in the South Slavic churches. Thus, in the 17th century, Russia remained the only Orthodox state, the church of which used the Studite Charter. Thanks to pilgrims, the discrepancy between the Greek and Russian liturgical books was known long before Nikon. Already at the end of 1640, the need to correct the “mistakes” was widely discussed in the court circle of “adherents of ancient piety”, which included, in addition to Nikon, the priest of the Annunciation Cathedral, Stefan Vonifatev, the protopop of the Kazan Cathedral, Ivan Nero, and even Avvakum from Yuryevets who became famous - Volga. The controversy was mainly about what is to be considered a model of “ancient piety”: the decisions of the 1551 Hundred Chapters Council or exclusively Greek texts. Nikon, who came to power in 1652, made a choice in favor of Greek designs.
One of the reasons for the urgent correction of church books was the news of pilgrim Arseny Sukhanov that the monks of all Greek monasteries gathered on Mount Athos allegedly conciliarly recognized the two-feathers as heresy and not only burned Moscow books that printed about him, but even wanted to burn the old man, whose books have been found. No confirmation of the truth of this incident has been found either in other Russian sources or abroad. However, this message terribly worried Nikon. The letter found by the Eastern Patriarchs regarding the approval of the Patriarchate in Russia of 1593 in the book depository contained the requirement to follow the charters “without any application or withdrawal”. And Nikon was well aware that there was a discrepancy between the Symbol of Faith written in Greek and brought to Moscow by Metropolitan Photius the Symbol of Faith, the holy liturgy and the Servant and the Moscow books of his day. Why did the deviations from the Orthodox Greek canon disturb Nikon so much? The fact is that since the time of the famous Elizarov Monastery (which is in the Pskov Region) Philotheus, who proclaimed the moral fall of the world and the transformation of Moscow into the Third Rome, the dream of a time when Russia and the Russian Orthodox were subconscious of the Russian tsars and high hierarchs of the church The Church will gather under its hand the Orthodox Christians of the whole world.
Prayer of the monk Philotheus of the Third Rome
And now, when with the return of Smolensk, Left-Bank Ukraine, and part of the Belarusian lands, this dream seemed to take on a concrete shape, there was a danger of themselves not being enough Orthodox. Nikon shared his concerns with Tsar Alexei Mikhailovich, who fully endorsed his plans, correct the “mistakes” made by his predecessors, revealing to the world complete agreement of Russia with the Greek Church and the Eastern Patriarchs, and endowed the patriarch with unprecedented powers.
Since Jerusalem in Palestine had long been lost, the New Jerusalem was created near the Third Rome, with the Resurrection Monastery near the city of Istra becoming the center. The hill on which construction began was called the mountain Zion, the Istra River the Jordan, and one of its tributaries the Kedron. In the vicinity appeared Mount Tabor, Gethsemane Garden, Bethany. The main cathedral was built on the model of the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, but not according to the drawings, but according to the stories of pilgrims. The result was very curious: it was not a copy that was built, but a kind of fantasy on a given topic, and we can now see this Jerusalem temple through the eyes of 17th-century Russian masters.
Church of the Resurrection (Holy Sepulcher), Jerusalem
Resurrection Cathedral, New Jerusalem
Tomb of Christ, Temple of the Resurrection (Holy Sepulcher), Jerusalem
Tomb of Christ, Resurrection Monastery, New Jerusalem
But let us return to 1653 in the year in which, before the onset of Lent, Nikon sent “Memory” to all Moscow churches, in which from now on they ordered to put not numerous bows during the service, but to bow to the belt in three were baptized. ” The first spark of the great fire ran through the Moscow churches: many said that the patriarch of the truly Orthodox had been seduced into heresy by the unsettled Uniate Arseny the Greek, the patriarch of the true Orthodox who was cursed by the Metropolitan Cyprian to force Pskov to return to the two-feathers. Understanding the danger of a new turmoil, Nikon and Alexei Mikhailovich tried to crush dissatisfaction on the vine with repression. Many dissenters were beaten with whips and exiled to remote monasteries, among them the archpriest of Kazan Cathedral Avvakum and Ivan Neronov, Kostroma archpriest Danilo.
“By fire and whip, but the gallows they want to establish faith! Which apostles taught like that? I do not know. My Christ did not order our apostles to teach in this way, ”then the archpriest Avvakum later said, and it is difficult not to agree with him.
HELL. Kivshenko. Patriarch Nikon proposes new liturgical books
In the spring of 1654, Nikon tried to eliminate disagreements at the Church Council. It was attended by 5 Metropolitans, 4 Archbishop, 1 Bishop, 11 Archimandrites and Hegumen, and 13 Protopopes. The questions before them were, in general, secondary and unprincipled and did not allow for the possibility of negative answers. The top hierarchs of the Russian Orthodox Church could not, and did not want, openly declare their disagreement with the statutes approved by the Ecumenical Patriarchs and the great Teachers of the Church on such insignificant reasons as: should the Royal Gates be left open from the beginning of the liturgy until the great march? Or is it possible to be allowed to sing on the ambo of bigwigs? And only two main and fundamental questions did not bring Nikon's hierarchs to the discussion: on replacing triplets with two-feathers and replacing bows with waist. The plan of the patriarch was wise and in his own way ingenious: to announce to the whole country that ALL the innovations recommended by him were approved by the council of the country's highest hierarchs and therefore are binding for all churches of Russia. This cunning combination was upset by Bishop of Kolomna and Kashirsky Pavel, who, having signed the Council Code, made the reservation that he remained to his mind regarding earthly bows. Nikon's anger was terrible: Paul was deprived of his dignity not only for the bishop, but also for the priestly, taken to Novgorod lands and burned in an empty house. Such a zeal Nikon surprised even some foreign patriarchs.
“I see from the letters of your superiority that you strongly complain about disagreement in some ceremonies ... and you think whether various ceremonies harm our faith,” Patriarch Paisius of Constantinople wrote to Nikon, “But we correct the fear, for we have the apostle’s command to run only heretics and the wranglers, who, although they seem to agree with the Orthodox in the main tenets, have their own special teachings, alien to the common belief of the Church. But if any church happens to split apart from others in some statutes that are not necessary and not essential in faith, such as: the time of serving the liturgy or what fingers a priest should bless, then this does not make any separation between believers, if only one thing is immutable the same faith. "
But Nikon did not want to hear Paisius, and at the 1656 Cathedral, he, with the blessing of the Patriarch of Antioch who was present there, and the Metropolitan of Serbia excommunicated everyone who was performing a two-word baptism. However, in 1658, the situation suddenly changed. A number of historians believe that in the documents of those years there are data that indirectly indicate that Nikon at that time tried to curtail his reforms and restore the unity of the Russian church. He not only reconciled with Ivan Neronov who was exiled to him, but even allowed him to conduct services for the old books. And it is precisely at this time that cooling takes place between Nikon and Tsar Alexei Mikhailovich, who ceases to invite the patriarch, does not come to the services he holds and forbids him to continue to be called the great sovereign. Some historians are inclined to believe that such a cooling of the tsar against the irreplaceable patriarch yesterday happened precisely because of his attempts to flirt with the schismatics, and not because of Nikon's proud and independent behavior.
Alexey Mikhailovich Romanov, Museum Kolomenskoye
While carrying out his reforms, Nikon essentially embodied the ideas of the king, who continued to claim primacy in the Orthodox world and believed that the use of the Studio statute could alienate co-religionists from other countries from Russia. The curtailing of church reforms was not included in the king’s plans, and therefore the laudatory verses of Simeon of Polotsk seemed to Alexei Mikhailovich more important than the attempts of Nikon to realize his mistakes to establish religious peace in the country.
Simeon of Polotsk
The end came 10 July 1658, when after the service in the Assumption Cathedral Nikon announced his desire to leave the post of patriarch. He took off his miter, omophorion, sakkos and, wearing a black robe "with sources" (that is, a bishop) and a black hood, went to the Holy Monastery on the White Sea. In February, by the decision of Alexei Mikhailovich, a new Council was assembled in 1660, which for 6 months decided what to do with the rebellious patriarch. In the end, the steward of Pushkin was sent to my White, who in March 1661 brought Nikon's answer:
“I was given a miter by the Ecumenical Patriarchs, and it is impossible to entrust the Metropolitan with a patriarch. I left the throne, but did not leave the bishop ... How can I put the newly elected patriarch without me? If the sovereign deigns me to be in Moscow, then by the decree of his newly elected patriarch, I will deliver and, accepting from the sovereign gracious forgiveness, saying goodbye to the bishops and blessing everyone, I will go to the monastery. ”
It should be recognized that the arguments of Nikon were very logical, and his position is quite reasonable and peaceful. But for some reason, a compromise with the rebellious patriarch was not part of Aleksey Mikhailovich’s plans. To prepare the official removal of Nikon, he entrusted Paisius Ligarid, the 1662-city, who arrived to Moscow in February, to a man who was deprived of the dignity of the Metropolitan of the Forerunner Monastery for his connection with Catholic Rome, who was accused by Patriarch Dosifey in relations with such heretics who are neither alive nor in Jerusalem. of the dead ”, cursed in Jerusalem and Constantinople, anathematized by the ecumenical patriarchs Parthenius II, Methodius, Paisius and Nectarios. For the trial of Nikon, this international adventurer invited the deposed Antioch patriarchs Macarius and Alexandria of Paisius to Moscow. To give the court the appearance of legality, Alexei Mikhailovich had to send rich gifts to the Turkish sultan, who met Moscow and met firms at a reasonable price to return the chairs to the retired patriarchs. In the future, this trio of impostors turned the case so that they should judge not the Nikon, but the Russian Church that had evaded Orthodoxy. Not content with Nikon's overthrow, they condemned and cursed the decisions of the Stoglav Cathedral, accusing of “ignorance and recklessness” not of anyone, but of the saint and wonderworker Macarius, who created “Chety of Minea”. And the 1667 Cathedral, which was held under the leadership of the same Macarius and Paisius, openly called non-Orthodox all (!) Of the saints of the Russian Church. Pretending to be Caesar of the Third Rome, Alexei Mikhailovich had to endure this humiliation. With great difficulty, the impostors managed to be expelled from Russia. According to eyewitnesses, the damage caused by their stay in Moscow was comparable with the enemy invasion. Their wagons filled with furs, expensive fabrics, precious goblets, church utensils and many other gifts stretched almost a mile away. Paisius Ligarid, who did not want to leave voluntarily, was forced into a wagon in 1672 and drove right under guard to Kiev. They left behind a worried, restless, and split country into two irreconcilable camps.
Miloradovich S.D. "The trial of Patriarch Nikon"
The beginning of the persecution of the Old Believers gave the country two recognized (even by their opponents) martyrs: the archpriest Avvakum and the boyfriend Morozov. The charm of the personality of these irreconcilable fighters for "ancient piety" is so great that they became heroes of numerous paintings by Russian artists. Avvakum in 1653 was exiled to Siberia for 10 years.
S.D. Miloradovich. "Avvakum's journey through Siberia"
He was then sent to Pustozersk, where he spent years in an earthen prison.
V.E.Nesterov, "Protopop Avvakum"
The Life of Avvakum, written by him, made such an impression on readers, and became so significant a work that some even call him the founder of Russian literature. After Avvakum was burned in Pustozersk in 1682, Old Believers began to venerate him as a martyr.
G. Myasoedov. "The burning of Avvakum", 1897
In Avvakum's homeland, in the village of Grigorovo (Nizhny Novgorod region), a monument was erected to him: an unbroken protopop lifts two fingers above his head - a symbol of ancient piety.
Protopop Avvakum, a monument in the village of Grigorovo
The supreme palace noblewoman Feodosiya Prokofievna Morozova became a hot fan of Avvakum, with whom “about three hundred men served at home. The peasants were 8000; there are many friends and relatives; traveled in an expensive carriage arranged in mosaic and silver, in six or twelve horses with thundering chains; behind her went a hundred servants, slaves and slaves, protecting her honor and health. ” From all this she refused in the name of her faith.
P. Ossovsky, triptych "Raskolniki", fragment
In 1671, she, along with her sister, Evdokia Urusova, was arrested and shackled, initially in the Miracle Monastery, then in Pskovo-Pechersky. Despite the intercession of relatives, and even Patriarch Pitirim and the sisters of Tsar Irina Mikhailovna, the sisters of Morozov and Urusov were imprisoned in the earthen prison of Borovsky prison, where they both died from exhaustion in 1675.
Borovsk, a chapel on the supposed place of death of the boyar Morozova
The famous Spaso-Preobrazhensky Solovetsky Monastery rebelled against the new service books.
S.D. Miloradovich. "Black Cathedral. Rise of the Solovetsky Monastery against the new books in 1666 year"
From 1668 to 1676. the siege of the ancient monastery continued, ending with betrayal, the death of 30 monks in an unequal battle with the archers and the execution of 26 monks. The survivors were imprisoned in the Kola and Pustoozersky prison. The massacre of the rebellious monks shook even a lot of foreign mercenaries who had left their memories of this disgraceful campaign.
The massacre of the participants of the Solovki uprising
Imperial ambitions cost dearly to both the patriarch who started the reform and the monarch who actively supported them. Aleksei Mikhailovich’s great power policy collapsed in the very near future: defeat in the war with Poland, the uprisings of Vasily Us, Stepan Razin, the monks of the Solovki monastery, the copper revolt and fires in Moscow, the death of his wife and three children, among whom was the heir to the throne Alexei , knocked down the health of the monarch. The birth of Peter I was marked by the first massive self-immolations of Old Believers, the peak of which fell on 1679, when 1700 splitters burned in Tobolsk alone.
Myasoedov G., “Self-immolation of dissenters”
It seems unbelievable, but, according to a number of historians, during the life of Alexei Mikhailovich and Nestor, the struggle against the Old Believers claimed more Russian lives than the war with Poland or the uprising of Stepan Razin. The efforts of the “Quietest” Tsar to “legally” remove the departed from Moscow, but who refused to resign as Patriarch Nikon, led to unheard-of humiliations not only of the Russian Orthodox Church, but also of the Russian state. Alexei Mikhailovich was dying scary:
“I was relaxed before death, and before that the judgment of that was condemned, and tortured before endless torments.”
It seemed to him that the Solovki monks were rubbing his body with saws and scary, the dying king cried to the whole palace, imploring him in moments of enlightenment:
“My Lord, the fathers of Solovki, the elders! Freaking off, let me repent of my theft, supposedly I have unjustly done, rejected the Christian faiths, playing, crucified Christ ... and bowed to your Solovetsky monastery ”.
The commanders who had besieged the Solovki monastery were ordered to return home, but the messenger was late for a week.
Nikon still won a moral victory over his royal adversary. Having survived Alexey Mikhailovich on 5 years, he died in Yaroslavl, returning from exile, and was buried as a patriarch in the Resurrection New Jerusalem Monastery founded by him.
And the religious persecutions of dissidents, unprecedented in Russia until then, not only did not subside with the death of their ideologues and inspirers, but gained special strength. A few months after Nikon’s death, a decree was issued to bring the schismatics to the civil court and the destruction of the Old Believers deserts, and a year later, the violent Protopop Avvakum was burned in Pustozersk. In the future, the hardening of the parties only increased.