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A stauropegion, also called stavropegion (from Greek: σταυροπήγιον from σταυρός stauros "cross" and πήγνυμι pegnumi "to affirm"), is a monastery or a church which depends directly on the primate or on the Holy Synod of the whole Church and which is not under the jurisdiction of the local bishop. The name comes from the Byzantine tradition of summoning the Patriarch to place a cross at the foundation of stauropegic monasteries or churches.

Stauropegic monasteries[edit]

A stauropegic monastery, also rendered "stavropegic", "stauropegial" or "stavropegial", is an Eastern Orthodox or Eastern Catholic Christian monastery, subordinated directly to a primate or Synod, rather than to a local Bishop.

Stauropegic monasteries are 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.

Bulgarian Orthodox Church[edit]

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

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

Serbian Orthodox Church[edit]

Several major Serbian Orthodox monasteries had special status in Middle Ages. Today, the Serbian Orthodox Church has one stauropegic monastery: the Patriarchal Monastery of Peć, ancient seat of the Serbian Patriarchate of Peć (1346-1463 and 1557-1766). The principal title of Serbian Patriarchs still is Archbishop of Peć.

Russian Orthodox Church[edit]

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 for some time. But Nikon founded the New Jerusalem Monastery, Valday Iversky Monastery, and Kiy Island Monastery, which he governed himself, instead of placing each under an hegumen (abbot).

The Greek custom, first introduced by Nikon, was continued by other Patriarchs and by the Holy Governing Synod. 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:

Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church[edit]

A stauropegial monastery (monasterium stauropegiaceum) under patriarchal jurisdiction (monasterium iuris patriarchalis) is a monastery that is subject directly to the patriarch (can. 434 Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches).[2]

Monasteries in Ukraine:

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Ставропигиални манастири в България - България манастири". Retrieved 2020-01-07.
  2. ^ "Univ Monastery Becomes Subject to Greek Catholic Patriarch". RISU.ORG.UA. 7 May 2008. Retrieved 2021-01-12 – via Byzantine Catholic Church in America.

External links[edit]