Born 1591, in Vologda District; died 1670, in Pereslavl’-Zalesskii. One of the first leaders of the schism in the Russian Orthodox Church; a mentor and friend of Avvakum.
During the 1630’s and 1640’s, Neronov was a priest in Nizhny Novgorod. During his visits to Moscow he became friendly with the tsar’s confessor, Stefan Vonifat’ev, and with F. M. Rtishchev. Through their assistance, he was transferred to Moscow in 1649 and was made archpriest of Kazan Church in Red Square.
Neronov became one of the leaders of the Circle of Pious Zealots. He clashed with the patriarch Nikon and was exiled in 1653, first to the Spaso-Kamennyi Monastery in Vologda, then to the monastery in Kandalaksha. In epistles that he sent to the tsar from his place of exile, Neronov denounced Nikon’s despotism, warned that the patriarch was exceeding his authority, and demanded that a representative church council be summoned to solve outstanding matters collegially.
In 1656, Neronov fled from exile and hid from Nikon under Vonifat’ev’s protection in Moscow. In the same year, he was censured in absentia by the church council. With this Neronov decided to reconcile himself with the official church, but he continued to denounce Nikon for his despotism. He formally repented at the council of 1666. In 1669, Neronov was made archimandrite of the Danilov Monastery in Pereslavl’-Zalesskii.
REFERENCESKharlamov, I. “Protopop Ivan Neronov.” Drevniaia i Novaia Rossiia, 1881, no. 1.
V. S. SHUL’GIN