Alexei Mechev

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The righteous Father '''Alexei Mechev''' was [[archpriest]] of the [[Russian Orthodox Church]] in Moscow who, after the early death of his wife, became known as a elder in the world. The [[feast day]] of Righteous Priest [[Saint]] Alexei is [[June 9]].
Righteous Priest Saint Alexei Mechev
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by Fr. Michael Knechten      (from http://www.berdyaev.com/berdiaev/knechten/mechev.html)
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==Life==
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Alexei Mechev was born on [[March 17]], 1859 in Moscow, the son of a choir director who was in the service of Metropolitan [[Philaret (Drozdov) of Moscow|Philaret of Moscow]]. His plans after he finished school were to become a doctor, but his mother wanted to see him as a [[priest]]. As a youngster, he sang at the Church of the Sign (Znamenka). The [[parish]] priest,  Fr. Giorgii, was demanding and often treated Alexei cruelly, even to beating him. All of this Alexei endured, thinking to himself that this priest, serving as his teacher, sees our faults, which we don't see and help us to fight against egotism.
  
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In 1884, Alexei married Anna Petrovna Molchanova. In the following years they had six children: Alexandra, Sergei, Peter, Olga, Sofia and Anna. None of his children appear to remain close to him except Sergei who also became a priest.
  
Alexei Mechev was born on 17 March 1859 in Moscow. After having finished school he intended to become a doctor. But his mother wished to see him as a priest. So he starts by singing in the Church of the Sign (Znamenka). The parish priest of this church, Fr. Giorgii, is frequently cruel and also even beats him. But Alexei endures it all and thinks to himself, this priest serves as his teacher. He says: "Such people see our faults, which we ourselves do not see. They help us to fight against egoism."
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On [[March 19]], 1894, Alexei was [[ordination|ordained]] a priest and was assigned as the parish priest at the church of Saint Nicholas on the Maple (Klennikach} on the street Maroseika 5, near the present Metro Kitaigorod. His start as a priest was slow. During the first eight years he celebrated the [[Divine Liturgy]] largely an empty [[church]]. Although his fellow priests were not encouraging to his plight, Father Alexei continued serving. Then, people, many people, began to come to his services. Also, Fr. Alexei began to give readings in prisons and small restaurants. He gave religious instruction in the Winkler secondary school for girls.  
  
In 1884 he married Anna Petrovna Molchanova. In the following years they had six children: Alexandra, Sergei, Petr, Olga, Sofiia and Anna.  
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As the new century began, Fr. Alexei's wife became sick. On [[August 29]], 1902 she died. Fr. Alexei was deeply grieved and sought out  Fr. [[John of Kronstadt|John (Sergiev) of Kronstadt]] to speak about his grief. To deal with his sadness Fr. John advised: "Go to the people and share with their grief!"
  
On 19 March 1894, Fr. Alexei was ordained and became parish priest in the little church of Saint Nicholas on the Maple/Klennikach on the street Maroseika 5 (near the Metro Kitaigorod). For eight years he celebrated Divine Liturgy in an empty church. That was how long it took, until people finally started coming!
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Fr. Alexei took Fr. John's advise to heart. And now Fr. Alexei became not only father for his own children, but also for all who came to him. He saw them all as his own family. He began living as a "starets" (religious elder) in the world, and he followed the path of the Good Shepherd Who searches after the one sheep that is missing (Luke 15:4).  
  
Fr. Alexei began readings in prisons and little restaurants. He gave religious instruction in the Winkler secondary school for girls.  
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Fr. Alexei was small of stature. He was baldheaded and had an unkempt beard. His face was marked by deep, intensive eyes. His riasa (cowl) had seen better days. In his little study there were many books, letters, phosphor (loaves) on a tray, an [[epitrachelion]] (priest's stole), a cross and Gospel book. The chaos showed that this priest never had spare time for himself. There was always somebody waiting to see him. Those who came included simple persons and intelligentsia, poor and rich, believers and atheists, persons with good and bad intentions, Orthodox believers and those of other faiths-confessions and religions. Fr. Alexei was open and welcomed all, and he spoke with them for a long while. Others waited on the staircase or on the courtyard which became full of water when it rained. Fr. Alexei attempted to provide guidance and lead all these different persons on their way. And, especially he wanted to show them the importance of prayer.  
  
His wife Anna then fell sick. She died on 29 August 1902. Fr. Alexei went to (now Saint) Fr. John (Sergiev) of Kronstadt to speak about his grief. Fr. John said: "Go to the people and share with their grief!"
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His pastoral secret was his knowledge of the heart (kardiognosia) and in compassion. People who came to him got the feeling that he looked into their inner heart. Fr. Alexei himself had no self-serving egoistic goals and, thus, was able to distinguish whether a goal was good or bad for a person.
  
And now Fr. Alexei became not only father for his own children, but also for all who came to him. He sees them all as his own family. He lives as a "starets" (religious elder) in the world. He follows the path of the Good Shepherd Who goes after the one sheep that is missing (Luke 15:4).  
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He himself saw much grief. Thus, he had compassion for other people. He carried their burdens (see Gal 6:2). When they left him, they felt that he went spiritually with them. His commemoration book (pomiannik) contained hundreds of names. The [[proskomedia]] for the Divine Liturgy took a long time, because he said remembrances of all these many names.  
  
Fr. Alexei was small of stature, baldheaded and had an unkempt beard. His face was marked by the deep, intensive eyes. His riasa (cowl) has yet seen better days. In his little study there are many books, letters, prosphores/loaves on a tray, an epitrachil (priest's stole), a cross and Gospel book. The chaos everywhere shows that this priest has never spare time for himself. Always there is somebody waiting to see him. There come simple persons and those of the Intelligentsia, poor and rich, believers and atheists, persons with good and bad intentions, Orthodox and those of other faith-confessions and religion. Fr. Alexei is open and welcoming to all and he speaks with them for a long while.  Others wait on the staircase or on the courtyard which becomes full of water when it's raining. Fr. Alexei is attempts to provide guidance and lead all these different persons on their way. And especially he wants to show them the importance of prayer.  
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He associated with the Elders Anatolii (Potapov) and Nektarius (Tichonov) of [[Optina Monastery|Optina Pustyn]].  
  
His pastoral secret consists in knowledge of the heart (kardiognosia) and in compassion: People who come to him get the feeling, that he is looking into their inner heart. Fr. Alexei himself has no self-serving egoistic goals. So he is able to distinguish, if a goal is good or bad for a person.  
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When he saw the demonstrations of unrest in Moscow in 1905 he wept, because he foresaw the coming misfortune of Russia.  
  
He himself saw a lot of grief. So he has compassion for other people and he carries their burdens (see Gal 6:2). When they leave him, they feel that he is going spiritually with them. His commemoration book (pomiannik) contains hundreds of names. The proskomidia in Liturgy takes a long time, because he makes remembrance of all these names!
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As father-confessor to [[Nikolai Berdyaev|Nikolai A. Berdyaev]], he counseled him after the Bolshevik revolution, that he had to go into exile, so that the world should hear his words.  
  
He had contact with the starets/elder Anatolii (Potapov, +1922) and the starets/elder Nektarii (Tichonov, +1928) of Opina Pustyn.  
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Fr. Alexei died on [[June 22]], 1923 in Vereia (west of the city centre of Moscow).  In 1934, when his body was uncovered, it was found uncorrupted: a mark of sainthood. His [[relics]] were then laid in a new grave. His son Sergei, who became the priest in his father's church of Saint Nicholas after him, was himself murdered in 1942.  
  
Upon seeing the demonstrations of unrest in Moscow in 1905 he weeps, because he foresees the coming misfortune of Russia.  
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During the period of [[August 13]] to [[August 16|16]], 2000 in Moscow, the [[Synod]] of [[Bishop]]s of the Russian Orthodox Church gave approval or blessing for the [[glorification]] and canonization of the the Royal Martyrs of Russia, as Passion Bearers, and several hundred new [[martyr]]s and [[confessor]]s. Among these Fr. Alexei was canonized into the ranks of the Saints by the Moscow Church, and his son, Sergei, was declared a New Martyr of the [[eparchy]] of Moscow,
  
As father-confessor to Nikolai A. Berdyaev, he counselled him, that he must go into exile, so that the world should hear his words.  
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==Sources==
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*[http://www.berdyaev.com/berdiaev/knechten/mechev.html  Righteous Priest Saint Alexei Mechev]
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*[http://www.monachos.net/forum/showthread.php?6705-Otets-Aleksei-Mechev  Otets Aleksei Mechev]
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*[http://www.serfes.org/royal/glorification.htm  The Royal Martyrs of Russia]
  
 
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[[Category: Priests]]
Sayings of Fr. Aleksii:  
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[[Category: Saints]]
 
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[[Category: Russian Saints]]
(Against envy:) Wish good to all, and thereby you yourself are saved.
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Are we right to despise other people?
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We cannot bear the privations, grief and woundings of our egoism, and we don't thank the Lord that He lets our spirit grow on this way.
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Don't want to realise big projects, but do that to which the Lord calls you.
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Make the Christian Way real not with the intellect but with the heart!
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Fr. Alexei died on 22 June 1923 in Vereia (west of the city centre of Moscow). His body was uncovered intact (undecayed: a mark of sainthood) in 1934 and laid in a new grave. His son Sergii, born 1892, becomes priest in his father's church of Saint Nicholas. He was himself murdered in 1942.
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At the 13-16 August 2000 the Jubilee Synod of the Church of Moscow, Sergei was declared a New Martyr of the eparchy (sobor) of Moscow, and Alexei was canonised into the ranks of the Saints by the Moscow Church. The feastday of Righteous Priest Saint Alexei is on 9/22 June.
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Отче Алексие, моли Бога о нас!  Fr. Aleksii, Pray God for us!
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Revision as of 17:42, April 1, 2010

The righteous Father Alexei Mechev was archpriest of the Russian Orthodox Church in Moscow who, after the early death of his wife, became known as a elder in the world. The feast day of Righteous Priest Saint Alexei is June 9.

Life

Alexei Mechev was born on March 17, 1859 in Moscow, the son of a choir director who was in the service of Metropolitan Philaret of Moscow. His plans after he finished school were to become a doctor, but his mother wanted to see him as a priest. As a youngster, he sang at the Church of the Sign (Znamenka). The parish priest, Fr. Giorgii, was demanding and often treated Alexei cruelly, even to beating him. All of this Alexei endured, thinking to himself that this priest, serving as his teacher, sees our faults, which we don't see and help us to fight against egotism.

In 1884, Alexei married Anna Petrovna Molchanova. In the following years they had six children: Alexandra, Sergei, Peter, Olga, Sofia and Anna. None of his children appear to remain close to him except Sergei who also became a priest.

On March 19, 1894, Alexei was ordained a priest and was assigned as the parish priest at the church of Saint Nicholas on the Maple (Klennikach} on the street Maroseika 5, near the present Metro Kitaigorod. His start as a priest was slow. During the first eight years he celebrated the Divine Liturgy largely an empty church. Although his fellow priests were not encouraging to his plight, Father Alexei continued serving. Then, people, many people, began to come to his services. Also, Fr. Alexei began to give readings in prisons and small restaurants. He gave religious instruction in the Winkler secondary school for girls.

As the new century began, Fr. Alexei's wife became sick. On August 29, 1902 she died. Fr. Alexei was deeply grieved and sought out Fr. John (Sergiev) of Kronstadt to speak about his grief. To deal with his sadness Fr. John advised: "Go to the people and share with their grief!"

Fr. Alexei took Fr. John's advise to heart. And now Fr. Alexei became not only father for his own children, but also for all who came to him. He saw them all as his own family. He began living as a "starets" (religious elder) in the world, and he followed the path of the Good Shepherd Who searches after the one sheep that is missing (Luke 15:4).

Fr. Alexei was small of stature. He was baldheaded and had an unkempt beard. His face was marked by deep, intensive eyes. His riasa (cowl) had seen better days. In his little study there were many books, letters, phosphor (loaves) on a tray, an epitrachelion (priest's stole), a cross and Gospel book. The chaos showed that this priest never had spare time for himself. There was always somebody waiting to see him. Those who came included simple persons and intelligentsia, poor and rich, believers and atheists, persons with good and bad intentions, Orthodox believers and those of other faiths-confessions and religions. Fr. Alexei was open and welcomed all, and he spoke with them for a long while. Others waited on the staircase or on the courtyard which became full of water when it rained. Fr. Alexei attempted to provide guidance and lead all these different persons on their way. And, especially he wanted to show them the importance of prayer.

His pastoral secret was his knowledge of the heart (kardiognosia) and in compassion. People who came to him got the feeling that he looked into their inner heart. Fr. Alexei himself had no self-serving egoistic goals and, thus, was able to distinguish whether a goal was good or bad for a person.

He himself saw much grief. Thus, he had compassion for other people. He carried their burdens (see Gal 6:2). When they left him, they felt that he went spiritually with them. His commemoration book (pomiannik) contained hundreds of names. The proskomedia for the Divine Liturgy took a long time, because he said remembrances of all these many names.

He associated with the Elders Anatolii (Potapov) and Nektarius (Tichonov) of Optina Pustyn.

When he saw the demonstrations of unrest in Moscow in 1905 he wept, because he foresaw the coming misfortune of Russia.

As father-confessor to Nikolai A. Berdyaev, he counseled him after the Bolshevik revolution, that he had to go into exile, so that the world should hear his words.

Fr. Alexei died on June 22, 1923 in Vereia (west of the city centre of Moscow). In 1934, when his body was uncovered, it was found uncorrupted: a mark of sainthood. His relics were then laid in a new grave. His son Sergei, who became the priest in his father's church of Saint Nicholas after him, was himself murdered in 1942.

During the period of August 13 to 16, 2000 in Moscow, the Synod of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church gave approval or blessing for the glorification and canonization of the the Royal Martyrs of Russia, as Passion Bearers, and several hundred new martyrs and confessors. Among these Fr. Alexei was canonized into the ranks of the Saints by the Moscow Church, and his son, Sergei, was declared a New Martyr of the eparchy of Moscow,

Sources

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