St. Feodor Kuzmich (c. 1766-1864)

Br. Robert Lentz, OFM

Artist's Narrative:
An enigmatic 70-year-old man appeared in Siberia in 1836. Because he had no documents, authorities sentenced him to live permanently in Siberia. He settled in Tomsk, where he lived as a hermit and was revered as a staretz or director of souls. He prayed without ceasing and had the gifts of healing and clairvoyance. At the same time, he had incredible knowledge of court life in St. Petersburg and of the lives of famous state figures that could only have come from personal acquaintance. Because of the mysterious circumstances that surrounded the death of Alexander I in 1832, many scholars believe St. Feodor was actually Tsar Alexander, and that his life in Siberia was a penance he chose for agreeing to the overthrow of his father, Paul I, who was murdered during the coup. He died February 1, 1864, and was canonized by the Russian Church 120 years later.


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