The Holy Prince Alexander Nevsky (in monastic schema Alexis) died on the return journey from the Horde at Gorodtsa on the Volga, on November 14, 1263, and on November 23, 1263 he was buried in the Cathedral Church of the Nativity Monastery in the city of Vladimir.1
Veneration of the Prince began right at his burial, where a remarkable miracle took place. The saint extended his hand for the prayer of absolution (a written document placed in the coffin). Great Prince John (1353-1359), in his spiritual testament written in the year 1356, left to his son Demetrius (1363-1389), the future victor of the Battle of Kulikovo, “an icon of Saint Alexander.” The incorrupt relics of the holy Prince were uncovered, because of a vision, before the Battle of Kulikovo in the year 1380, and then they were sent forth for a local celebration.
Russian commanders asked for the intercession of the holy Prince, glorified by his defense of the Fatherland, in the following times: On August 30, 1721 Peter I, after a lengthy and exhausting war with the Swedes, concluded the Nishtad Peace. On this day it was decided to transfer the relics of the holy Prince Alexander Nevsky from Vladimir to the new northern capital, Peterburg, on the banks of the Neva. Removed from Vladimir on August 11, 1723, the holy relics were greeted at Shlisselburg on September 20 of that year and remained there until 1724. On August 30, they were placed in the Trinity Cathedral of the Alexander Nevsky Lavra, where they now rest in Saint Petersburg. By an edict on September 2, 1724 a feastday was established on August 30.2
Archimandrite Gabriel Buzhinsky (later Bishop of Ryazan, + April 27, 1731) compiled a special service in remembrance of the Nishtad Peace, combining with it a service to Saint Alexander Nevsky.
The name of the Defender of the borders of Russia and the Patron of Soldiers is famous far beyond the borders of Russia. The numerous temples dedicated to Saint Alexander Nevsky bear witness to this. The most famous of them: the Patriarchal Cathedral at Sofia, the Cathedral church in Talinin, and a church in Tbilisi. These churches are a pledge of friendship of the Russian National-Liberator with brother nations.
1 There is now a memorial to the holy prince at the Cathedral Church of the Nativity Monastery. Another memorial is in the city of Pereslavl-Zalessk.
2 In 1727, the feast was discontinued because of secular matters, which involved clique struggles at the imperial court. In 1730, the Feast was again re-established.