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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



Born before 1530; died Feb. 17, 1612, in Moscow. Russian church leader and political figure; patriarch from 1606 to 1612. Took monastic vows in 1587; became archimandrite of the Spaso-Preobrazhenskii Monastery in Kazan and metropolitan of Kazan in 1589.

Germogen was an active promoter of the policy of forcible conversion to Christianity of non-Russian peoples of the Volga region. From 1605 to 1612 he voiced the interests of the Orthodox Church most consistently, for he understood that the church’s power depended on the tsar’s support. Germogen demanded that Marina Mnishek be christened in the Orthodox Church, incurring the dissatisfaction of False Dmitrii I. After Vasilii Shuiskii was elected tsar, Germogen was made patriarch of Moscow. During the antifeudal peasant revolt led by I. I. Bolotnikov in 1606-07, Germogen mobilized the forces of the church to struggle against the insurgents, who were declared heretics and excommunicated.

After Shuiskii was overthrown in 1610, Germogen proposed the candidacy of Mikhail Romanov to the throne in opposition to the Polish prince Wladyslaw. After Wladyslaw was made tsar, Germogen demanded that he convert to the Orthodox faith. In late 1610, Germogen opposed the proposal of the boyars to swear fealty to the Polish king Sigismund III. In late December 1610, during the occupation of Moscow by the Polish feudal lords, Germogen sent appeals to the cities of Russia calling for an uprising of all the people against the foreign interventionists. He counted on the support of the armed units of P. P. Liapunov. The Poles placed Germogen under house arrest at first and later confined him in a dungeon in Chudov Monastery. He refused to try to persuade the people’s volunteer forces of K. Minin and D. M. Pozharskii to remain loyal to Wladyslaw. The interventionists starved Germogen to death in prison. The historiography of the Russian nobility and bourgeoisie has idealized Germogen, falsely claiming that his appeals served as the initiating factor in the formation of the Nizhnii Novgorod volunteer force.


Tsarevskii, A. “Germogen, sviateishii patriarkh Vserossiiskii. …” Pravoslavnyi sobesednik, March 1907.
Kedrov, S. Zhizneopisanie sviateishego Germogena. Moscow, 1912.
Platonov, S. F. “O proiskhozhdenii patriarkha Germogena.” In his book Stat’i po russkoi istorii. St. Petersburg, 1903.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Islam, in fact, persisted in Kazan' during Germogen's tenure as metropolitan.
While subsequent Church hierarchs, such as Metropolitan Germogen, had attempted to pick up the mantle of missionary, even they did not provide consistent support for the conversion mission, as both the secular and religious authorities' reliance upon the region's non-Russian populations discouraged the upheaval conversion efforts would surely entail.
(37.) These arrangements were reviewed in a document sent to Metropolitan Germogen later in the sixteenth century: Gramota, d.
(69.) Canonization created a boom in publications about Germogen, including several biographies such as E.
(70.) Germogen wrote "Gurii and Varsonofii" either in 1596 or 1597, and he might have written the original version of the "Tale of the Appearance" after its discovery in 1579, but edited the final version of the tale in 1594 or 1595: V.