Philip I (Russian: Филипп) (d. 1473 in Moscow) was bishop of Suzdal and Tarusa, Russia from 1452 to 1464) of Metropolitan of Moscow and All Rus' from 1464 to 1473. He was instrumental in expanding the influence of the Metropolitans of Moscow over the churches in various Russian principalities and in opposing the expansion of Catholicism to Russia. After his death he was canonized by the Russian Orthodox Church.


There are no data about his background and early life. The first information about Philip's life date from 1452, when he was ordained bishop of Suzdal and Tarusa.[1]. He was involved in the ecclesiastic life of the region. In February 1459 he participated in the ceremony for the ordainment of Jonah, archbishop of Novgorod and Pskov. He also participated in the ceremony for the ordainment of Theodosius as metropolitan of Moscow in 1461.

In 1464, Theodosius was forced to resign. He was however allowed to recommend his successor and he chose bishop Philip of Suzdal. The recommendation was accepted and the Council unanimously elected him as Metropolitan of Moscow and All Russias. [1]

Activity as Metropolitan of Moscow

When he was appointed, there was a struggle between Lithuania and Moscow over Novgorod and the metropolitans of both Grand Duchies were actively engaged in these politics. There was a fear that Novgorod would defect to Lithuania and, taking into account the union of Poland and Lithuania, that Novgorod would convert to Catholicism. The Lithuanian influence was supported by Grigori Bolgarin, metropolitan of Kiev, Galicia and All Rus. Metropolitan Philip was extremely active in opposing the eastward expansion of the Catholic church. [1]

While he was instrumental in bringing Sophia Paleologue from Rome to Moscow in 1472, Philip was against admitting a papal legate Cardinal Antonio Bonombra (?-1480) in her entourage into Moscow, thus continuing his opposition to Catholicism or "Latinism" in his province. [1]

That same year, Philip started reconstructing the Cathedral of the Dormition in the Moscow Kremlin. The original cathedral, which had been built by Metropolitan Peter in 1326, was in a dilapidated state; in 1472 the Moscow architects Kryvtsov and Myshkin began construction of a new cathedral. Two years later, the building was nearing completion when it suddenly collapsed because of an earthquake — an extremely rare event in Moscow.

Ivan III then invited Aristotele Fioravanti, a celebrated architect and engineer from Bologna, Italy, to come to Moscow and entrusted him with the task of building the cathedral from scratch in the traditions of Russian architecture. The cathedral in Vladimir was once again taken as a model for the building, and so Fioravanti travelled to Vladimir in order to study Russian methods of building. He designed a light and spacious masterpiece that combined the spirit of the Renaissance with Russian traditions.

The foundation for the new cathedral was laid in 1475, and in 1479 the new cathedral was consecrated by Metropolitan Geronty. [2]

Metropolitan Philip died on 5 April 1473 and was buried in the Cathedral of the Dorimition in the Moscow Kremlin.[3]


Metropolitan Philip was canonized by the Russian Orthodox Church.He is celebrated on May 5 (April 18 old style), the day of his death.

Preceded by
Bishop of Suzdal and Tarusa
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Metropolitan of Moscow and all Russia
Succeeded by


  1. ^ a b c d E. E. Golubinsky, Istoriia Russkoi Tserkvi - Universitetskaya tipografiya, Moscow 1900
  2. ^ Golubinskii, Istoriia russkoi tserkvi, vol. 2, pt. 1, p. 551.
  3. ^ Golubinskii, Istoriia russkoi tserkvi, vol. 2, pt. 1, p. 548.

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Footnotes (including sources)