Job, Patriarch

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(d. 1607), first patriarch of the Russian Orthodox Church.

Tonsured in the Staritsky Monastery around 1553, Job was appointed archimandrite by Tsar Ivan IV in 1569. In 1571 he was transferred to Moscow as prior of the Simonov Monastery, then as head of the Novospassky Monastery (15751580). Job was consecrated Bishop of Kolomensk in April 1581, Archbishop of Rostov in 1586, and Metropolitan of Moscow in December 1586. On January 26, 1589, he was raised to the position of Patriarch of All Russia by Patriarch Jeremiah of Constantinople.

Job's consecration as Russia's first patriarch was an event of national significance. The Russian Church had formerly been under the jurisdiction of Constantinople with the status of a metropolitanate, but by the sixteenth century many Russians believed that Moscow was the last bastion of true faith, a "Third Rome." Hence the establishment of an autocephalous church was considered necessary for national prestige. During Russia's civil war in 1605, Job played a leading role by declaring the Pretender "False Dmitry" a heretic and calling on the people to swear allegiance to Tsar Boris Godunov and his son Fyodor. Consequently, when Dmitry became tsar in June 1605 Job was deposed and exiled to Staritsky monastery. He died in 1607.

Although sometimes criticized by contemporaries and historians for his support of the Godunovs, Job was known as a humble man of impeccable morals, learned for his times, who worked for the good of the church and the promotion of Orthodox Christianity. In 1652 Job was canonized as a saint by Patriarch Nikon, with the approval of Tsar Alexei Mikhaylovich.

See also: dmitry, false; fyodor ivanovich; godunov, boris fyodorovich; ivan iv; metropolitan; nikon, patriarch; orthodoxy; patriarchate; simonov monastery


Dunning, Chester. (2001). Russia's First Civil War. University Park: Pennsylvania State University Press.

Vernadsky, George. (1969). The Tsardom of Moscow 15471682. 2 vols. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.

Debra A. Coulter