John (Snychov) of St. Petersburg

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His Eminence the Most Reverend Archbishop John (Snychov) of St. Petersburg and Ladoga was Metropolitan of the Eparchy of St. Petersburg and Ladoga in the Church of Russia from 1990 to 1996. In addition he held a conservative view of Orthodoxy in Russia, keeping the century old idea of sovereignty of Holy Russia with the traditional Russian ideology and Orthodox statehood.[1]


Born Ivan Matveevich Snychov on October 27, 1927 into a peasant family in Chersones. The future metropolitan grew up in the Soviet Union, served in the Soviet army during 1944 and 1945 in World War II and only entered the Orthodox Church in 1943. With the end of the war, Ivan became a lay brother in 1945, serving Metropolitan Manuel (Lemeshevsky), the Bishop of Orenburg, who was Ivan’s spiritual tutor and protector.

In 1946, Ivan took his monastic vows and became a monk with the name John (Ioann). John was soon ordained a deacon and, in 1948, was ordained a priest. During the years from 1948 to 1951, he studied at the Saratov Theological Seminary. He continued his theological education at the Leningrad Theological Academy during the years 1951 to 1955. After graduating from the Leningrad academy, he taught at the Theological Seminary of Minsk during the years 1957 and 1959. Then he taught during 1959 and 1960 at the Saratov Theological Seminary.

In 1961, Fr. John was elevated to the rank of hegumen, followed in 1964 to the dignity of archimandrite. In August 1965 he was consecrated Bishop of Syzran. In 1969, Bp. John was appointed Bishop of Kuybyshev and Syzran, and in 1976, he was elevated to Archbishop of the same see.

In August 1990, Abp. John was elected Metropolitan of St. Petersburg and Ladoga. Early in his tenure in St. Petersburg, the Soviet Union collapsed, which gave the Church much more freedom from government interference. While Metropolitan of the St. Petersburg Eparchy he was able to re-open many monasteries and churches. He was able to revive a church press, and establish Orthodox radio and television programs. He also was an author and wrote on the history of the Russian Orthodox Church and historical philosophical works concerning the position of traditional Orthodoxy.

Metr. John was associated with a group of Russians who advocated the glorification of Rasputin and Ivan IV.

He reposed on October 20, 1995 and was buried in the Nikolskoe Cemetery of the Alexander Nevsky Lavra.


  1. [[1]] Revolutions and Diabolis September 2, 2004.
Succession box:
John (Snychov) of St. Petersburg
Preceded by:
Barlaam (Kozulya)
Bishop of Syzran,
vicar of Kuybyshev diocese

Succeeded by:
vicariacy abolised
Preceded by:
Manuel (Lemeshevsky)
Archbishop of Kuybyshev and Syzran
Succeeded by:
Eusebius (Savvin)
Preceded by:
Alexius (Ridiger)
Metropolitan of St. Petersburg and Ladoga
Succeeded by:
Vladimir (Kotlyarov)
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