Cathedral of the Beheading of Saint John the Forerunner of Saint John the Forerunner Stauropegial Convert

The St. John the Baptist Stavropigial Nunnery is one of the oldest in the capital. It was founded in the XV century, in the area, which from ancient times belonged to the Moscow State. The monastery had a main altar in the name of the Beheading of John the Baptist in Moscow, and the monastery itself determined the name of Ivanovsky Forty – the ecclesiastical-territorial unit of Moscow. On feast days the monastery was often visited by tsars and grand dukes. For princely and servant Moscow families of the White City, the Ivanovsky Monastery fulfilled the functions of an ancestral cloister. Many worthy nuns ascended in the monastery, but their exploits remained known to God alone. History has preserved the names of only two ascetics. The first of them is the blessed schema-monk nun Martha, a fool for Christ’s sake (1638), who was honoured by the first tsars Romanovs. The much-celebrated Tsarina Evdokia, wife of Tsar Mikhail Feodorovich, shortly before her forthcoming childbirth, liked to visit the monastery, asking the prayers of the blessed old woman for a safe delivery. Another mysterious recluse was known as a visionary old woman of high spiritual life. Her monastic name was Dosithea Matveevna (1810). According to tradition she was the daughter of the Empress Elizabeth Petrovna. Her letter to the Putilov brothers is known, in which the old woman gives instruction to future holy ascetics. The war of 1812 ruined the Ivanovo Monastery, and until 1859 the cathedral of the monastery was a parish church. In 1859, with the blessing of St. Philaret, Metropolitan of Moscow, the monastery began to be renewed on the capital of the widow Elizaveta Alekseevna Makarova-Zubacheva. The project of the architectural ensemble of the monastery was commissioned to the famous Moscow architect M.D. Bykovsky. Maria Alexandrovna Mazurina, a relative of E.A. Makarova-Zubacheva, was the temple builder of the monastery for 20 years. In 1879 the Ivanovo Monastery was opened as a dormitory monastery. The first sisters who came from the Anosina Desert brought a strict statute, which ensured the future prosperity of the monastery. The monastery enjoyed the favour of St. Pimen of Ugresh. From the walls of the Ivanovo Monastery by the beginning of the twentieth century 6 abbesses came out, some of them were appointed to Moscow and other monasteries. In 1918 the monastery was closed, but the monastic life within its walls continued until the beginning of 1927. Since the summer of 1919 a significant part of the territory was taken away from the nuns for a special purpose camp, in 1923 renamed Ivanovo correctional centre. In 1927 the experimental penitentiary department of the State Institute for the Study of Crime and the Criminal (EXPOGI) was established. In October 1941, a motorised combat regiment of the NKVD Directorate was housed in the premises of the Ivanovo Monastery. In the post-war years the area was occupied by the Militia Higher School, which was later transformed into the Law Institute and then into the University of the Ministry of Internal Affairs. The archive of the Moscow region was housed in the cathedral. Since 1991 the monastery buildings have been gradually returned to the Russian Orthodox Church. During the restoration the former hospital building with the house church of St. Elizabeth the Wonderworker was completely restored. The consecration of the Church of St Elizabeth took place in 1995. Divine services in the Cathedral of St John the Baptist began in July 2001. The territory of the monastery was finally liberated in February 2024. In the Council of the New Martyrs and Confessors of the Church of Russia two clergymen and a novice were glorified: the holy martyrs Alexis Skvortsov and Vladimir Smirnov and the monastic martyr Alexandra Kasparova.

Address: Moscow, Maly Ivanovsky lane, 2, p. 33