Saturday, August 26, 2023

Moscow Patriarchate May Now be Ready to Canonize General Suvorov

Paul Goble

            Staunton, Aug. 24 – A year ago, Defense Minister Sergey Shoygu asked Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill to look into the possibility of canonizing 19th century Russian General Aleksandr Suvorov. Kirill did but at the time did not find that Suvorov qualified or that enough miracles had been connected with his name.

            Now, the Holy Synod of the ROC MP has taken up the issue again, an indication that more miracles linked to Suvorov may have been reported – last year there were only two reported, a military victory and the fact that flowers in a church near his estate don’t wilt -- and that the church is prepared to canonize the general (

            That conclusion flows from the fact, Father Ioann Burdin says, that there has been no change in Suvorov’s standing as far as the other criteria for sainthood  are concerned: the absence of other than military triumphs, the lack of evidence that anyone venerates him for his Orthodox piety, and absence of support for the idea that Suvorov himself was especially pious.

            Despite that, Father Ioann says, one cannot fail to have the impression that Patriarch Kirill is quite prepared to “canonize any military leader who has crossed himself at least one in his life,” a travesty as far as church law is concerned but probably a politically safe position in Putin’s Russia.

            If in fact the church does canonize Suvorov, it is likely that the Holy Synod will rapidly canonize a large number of other military and political figures from the Russian past.

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