Alexander Alexeevich Zhelobovsky

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Protopresbyter Alexander Alexeevich Zhelobovsky was a military chaplain of the Church of Russia in the Imperial Russian Armed Forces during the reigns of Emperors Alexander III and Nicholas II. He was appointed Chaplain-General of the clergy of the Russian army and navy forces.


Alexander was born in 1834. He attended St. Petersburg Theological Academy, graduating in 1859. After having been ordained to the Holy Orders, he was assigned in 1866 to serve at the regimental churches of St. Petersburg. In 1882, he was appointed the priest of St. Sergius All Artillery Cathedral (St. Sergius of Radonezh Cathedral).

In 1888, he was appointed Chaplain-General of the Army and the Navy, followed in 1890 with his elevation to the rank and position ofprotopresbyter of all the military and naval clergy. In 1905, he was appointed to the Apostolic Governing Synod, which then was the Holy Synod of the Church of Russia.

During his administration of the military chaplaincy Fr. Alexander improved the salary and status of the military clergy. Additionally, he reorganized the administration of the military cemeteries, as well as established parish schools at military units and introduced a system of retirement interviews for enlisted men. In 1890, Fr. Alexander also initiated the publication of The Bulletin of Military Clergy to improve communications with his clergy.

Fr. Alexander reposed in 1910. He was succeeded as Chaplain-General of the Forces by Protopresbyter Georgy Ivanovich Shavelsky in 1911.