Philip of Moscow

Philip Of Moscow a Russian prelate of much distinction, flourished in the second half of the 16th century. Of his early history we know scarcely anything. He held several of the most important ecclesiastical trusts of Russia to the satisfaction of both clergy and government, and was finally. during the reign of Ivan the Terrible, made primate of the Russo-Greek Church. Philip soon came into collision with his roval master because of the personal cruelties in which the czar indulged, and for his honesty of purpose and frankness of declaration, Philip suffered martyrdom. "It is a true glory of the Russian Church, and an example to the hierarchy of all churches, that its one martyred prelate should have suffered, not for any high ecclesiastical pretensions, but in the simple cause of justice and mercy. 'Silence,' he said, as he rebuked the czar, 'lays sin upon the soul, and brings death to the whole people. . . . I am a stranger and a pilgrim upon earth, as all my fathers were, and I am ready to suffer for the truth. Where would my faith be if I kept silence? . . . Here we are offering up the bloodless sacrifice to the Lord; while behind the altar flows the ifinocent blood of Christian men.' As he was dragged away from the cathedral, his one word was 'Pray.' As he received his executioner in the narrow cell of his prison in the convent of Luer, he only said, 'Perform thy mission.'" See Stanley, Hist. of the Eastern Church, page 437. (J.H.W.)

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