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(also Sergii; before his monastic vows in 1890, Ivan Nikolaevich Stragorodskii). Born Jan. 11 (23), 1867, in Arzamas; died May 15, 1944, in Moscow. Patriarch of Moscow and all Russia.
In 1890, Sergius graduated from the St. Petersburg Theological Seminary with a master’s degree in theology. In 1901 he became bishop of lamburg, and in 1905, archbishop of Finland and Vyborg. He became metropolitan of Nizhny Novgorod in 1917. In 1934 he became metropolitan of Moscow and Kolomna; while metropolitan, he became deputy acting patriarch in 1925 and, beginning in 1937, Sergius advocated the return of the renovationists to the Russian Orthodox Church. He did everything possible to normalize relations between the church and the Soviet government. On June 22, 1941, Sergius sent a message to the clergy and congregations, calling on them to actively help defend the motherland against the fascist German aggressors. He directed the patriotic activity of the church in gathering donations for necessary war matériel. On Sept. 8, 1943, Sergius was elected patriarch by the Synod of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church.
REFERENCESPatriarkh Sergii i ego dukhovnoe nasledstvo. [Moscow] 1947.
Shishkin, A. A. Sushchnost’ i kriticheskaia otsenka “obnovlencheskogo” raskola russkoi pravoslavnoi tserkvi. Kazan, 1970.
Kuroedov, V. A. “Iz istorii vzaimootnoshenii Sovetskogo gosudarstva i tserkvi.” Voprosy istorii, 1973, no. 9.