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Stauropegic, also rendered stavropegic, stauropegial, or stavropegial (from Greek: stauros, "cross", and pegio, "to affirm") is a title or description applied to Eastern Orthodox and Eastern Catholic Christian monasteries subordinated directly to a Patriarch or Synod, rather than to their local Bishop. It derives from the Byzantine tradition of summoning the Patriarch to place a cross at the foundation of such monasteries.

Stauropegic monasteries should be distinguished from the greatest monasteries, called lavras, and from the patriarchal metochions, where the patriarch serves as a parish priest. The metochions of the Patriarch of Moscow are the Vysokopetrovsky Monastery and Nikolo-Perervinsky Monastery.


Stauropegic monasteries in Bulgarian Orthodoxy

The Bulgarian Orthodox Church has 5 stauropegic monasteries:[1]

The Alexander Nevsky Cathedral and the Sofia Seminary are also directly subordinate to the Bulgarian Patriarch and Synod.

Stauropegic monasteries in Russian Orthodoxy

The first stauropegic monastery in the Russian Orthodox Church was Simonov Monastery (1383). It was subordinated directly to the Ecumenical Patriarch, because it was founded by Greeks and was home to the patriarch during his visits to Moscow.

In 1561 Ivan the Terrible decreed that the following seven monasteries should precede all the rest:

After the establishment of the Patriarchate in Moscow, there were no stauropegic monasteries subordinated directly to the Patriarch, until Nikon founded the New Jerusalem Monastery, Valdai Iversky Monastery and Kiy Island Monastery, which he governed himself, instead of placing each of them under an hegumen (abbot).

The Greek custom, first introduced by Nikon, was continued by other Patriarchs and by the Holy Governing Synod. It should be noted that stauropegic houses were not always the most important monasteries, the holiest, the richest, or the largest. They might have been dear to the ruling Patriarch for personal reasons. In the 19th century, apart from four Lavras, seven monasteries were considered stauropegial:

As of 2000, the following monasteries were recognized as stauropegial by the Russian Orthodox Church:

Monasteries of Moscow:

Monasteries of Central Russia:

Monasteries of North-Western Russia:

Monasteries outside Russia:

Stauropegic monasteries in Ukrainian Greek Catholicism

A stauropegial monastery (monasterium stauropegiaceum), in other words, under patriarchal jurisdiction (monasterium iuris patriarchalis), is a monastery which is subject directly to the patriarch (can. 434 Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches).[1]

Monasteries in Ukraine

  • Monastery of the Holy Dormition, Univ, Ukraine




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