Russisch-Orthodoxe kerkgezangen 7: hoogtepunten 2

By the will of God, prince Alexander was born from the charitable, people-loving, and meek the Great Prince Yaroslav, and his mother was Theodosia. As it was told by the prophet Isaiah: ‘Thus sayeth the Lord: I appoint the princes because they are sacred and I direct them.’

… He was taller than others and his voice reached the people as a trumpet, and his face was like the face of Joseph, whom the Egyptian Pharaoh placed as next to the king after him of Egypt. His power was a part of the power of Samson and God gave him the wisdom of Solomon … this Prince Alexander: he used to defeat but was never defeated …

Begunov, K., translator, Second Pskovian Chronicle, (“Isbornik”, Moscow, 1955)

Alexander was made prince of Novgorod in 1236, to defend the Republic from the German and Swedes. He did so in the Battle of the Neva four years later, earning the sobriquet Nevsky, meaning of Neva. The Neva is the river that connects Lake Ladoga with the Baltic Sea, through Saint Petersburg. This hero of the Rus did the same to the German armies two years later in the Battle on the Ice. Ice is not a river.

His successful reign ended in his death in 1263, after many more victories. Then in 1380l his remians were found intact, which in both Eastern and Western churches is considered a sign of sainthood. In 1547 he was recognised as such.

In modern times he is not only the patron of Saint Petersburg, but he lent his name to countless cathedrals and monasteries. In 1942 Soviet Russia founded the Order of Alexander Nevsky to honour soldiers that fought against the Germans. Many military ships bear the name as well, at this moment the ballistic nuclear submarine K-550 has the honour.

The songs on the record of today are sung by the choir of the Holy Trinity Cathedral of the Alexander Nevsky Monastery in Saint Petersburg. In case you were wondering where I was going with this story.

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