Michael Maleinos

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St. Michael Maleinos
Mihail malein.jpg
St. Michael Maleinos
Born c.894
Died 962
Feast July 12

Saint Michael Maleinos (Greek: Μιχαήλ Μαλεΐνος, c. 894–963) was a Byzantine monk who commanded great respect among Christians of Asia Minor. He was the brother of general Constantine Maleinos and uncle of Nikephoros Phokas, who was greatly influenced by Michael and became Byzantine emperor several years after Michael's death. His feast day is July 12.


He was born Manuel Maleinos (Μανουήλ Μαλεΐνος) about 894, into the wealthiest family of Cappadocia and spent his youth at the court of Emperor Leo the Wise, who was his relative. At the age of 18 he denounced worldly pleasures and withdrew to Bithynia, where he founded a highly reputable lavra under the guidance of elder John Heladites., and took the name Michael.[1]

After a time Michael was ordained to the priesthood.[2] He was said to have been compassionate and kindly towards people. The elder John, gave Michael permission to live a solitary life in a cave. Five days of the week he spent at prayerful concentration and only on Saturday and Sunday did he come to the monastery for participation in Divine-services and communion.[1]

His example attracted others, and in a desolate place called Dry Lake, the Monk Michael founded a monastery and gave it a strict ustav (monastic-rule). When the monastery was secure, the Monk Michael went to a still more remote place and built there a new monastery. Over time, by the efforts of the holy abba, all the Kumineia mountain was covered over by monastic communities.[1]

Athanasius of Trebizond, who started his monastic life at Michael's monastery about the year 953, later modeled the Great Lavra, Mount Athos upon Michael's establishment.[3]

Michael Maleinos died in the year 962.[3]


Michael Maleinos was a patron saint of Mikhail Feodorovich, the first Romanov tsar. Owing to this fact, he was greatly revered by the Romanov dynasty and many chapels were dedicated to him in Russia.


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