Feodor Kuzmich

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Feodor Kuzmich in Tomsk
Portrait of Alexander I (1824) by George Dawe

Fyodor Kuzmich (Russian: Фёдор Кузьмич), also Feodor Kozmich, Russian: Феодор Козьмич, Theodore of Tomsk, or Fomich[1] (died February 1, 1864, in Tomsk) was a Russian Orthodox starets. He was canonized as a righteous saint by the Russian Orthodox Church in 1984.[2]

There is a well-documented legend that claims that he was Alexander I of Russia who faked his death in 1825 to become a hermit.[3] According to one account, he lived in a modest house with a garden; protected in a variety of ways by the Imperial Chancery, he received a visit from Alexander II in 1837 and his grave was visited by Nicholas II in 1893.[4] Rumors of Alexander's tomb being empty have persisted since 1866. According to legend, Alexander's tomb has been opened four times, with the latest happening in 1921 when Soviet authorities allegedly opened his tomb in search of valuable metals. In each case it was reported that the tomb was empty or exhibited signs of tampering.[5] The legend of Feodor Kuzmich is the subject of the unfinished short story The Posthumous Notes of the Starets Feodor Kuzmich by Leo Tolstoy, written in 1905 and published in 1912.[6][7]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Encyclopædia Britannica, 11th ed., vol. 1, p. 559.
  2. ^ Святой праведный старец Феодор Томский (in Russian). Retrieved 2009-01-29. 
  3. ^ Загадка Фёдора Кузьмича (in Russian). Retrieved 2009-01-29. 
  4. ^ Wacław Gąsiovowski, viscount de Busancy, Tragic Russia (Cassell, 1908), pp. 120-25.
  5. ^ Troubetzkoy 2002, pp. 205-210
  6. ^ http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2002/mar/10/20020310-040939-8296r/
  7. ^ http://www.hermitary.com/lore/alexander.html
  • Troubetzkoy, Alexis S (2002). Imperial Legend: The Mysterious Disappearance of Tsar Alexander I, Arcade Publishing, New York.