Rector of the Ss Cyril and Methodius Institute of Post-Graduate Studies (CMI), head of the CMI Chair of External Church Relations.

Metropolitan Hilarion (Alfeyev) of Volokolamsk was born on July 24, 1966, in Moscow. From 1973 to 1984 he attended violin and composition classes at the Gnessin Special Secondary School of Music in Moscow.

In 1981, he joined as reader the Parish of the Finding of the Lord’s Sepulchre, Moscow. From 1983 he acted as subdeacon to Metropolitan Pitirim (Nechaev) of Yuriev and worked as out-of-staff member of the Moscow Patriarchate’s Publishing Department.

In 1984, upon finishing the school, he entered the Composition Faculty of the Moscow State Conservatoire.

From 1984-86, he served in the Army.

In January 1987, he voluntarily quit the Moscow Conservatoire to join as a novice the Monastery of the Holy Spirit in Vilnius.

On June 19, 1987, he took monastic vows at the cathedral of the Monastery of the Holy Spirit in Vilnius and on June 21 was ordain as hierodeacon by Archbishop Viktorin (Belyaev) of Vilnus and Lithuania at the same cathedral.

On August 19, 1987, with the blessing of Archbishop Viktorin of Vilnius and Lithuania, he was ordained as hieromonk by Archbishop Anatoly (Kuznetsov) of Ufa and Sterlitamak at the Cathedral of the Most Holy Virgin in Vilnius.

From 1988-1990, he served as rector of churches at the town of Telšiai and Kolainai and Tituvenaj villages in the Diocese of Vilnius. In 1990, he was appointed rector of the Cathedral of the Annunciation in Kaunas.

In 1990, he attended the Local Council of the Russian Orthodox Church as a delegate from the diocese of Vilnius and Lithuania.

In 1989, he graduated by correspondence from Moscow Seminary and in 1991 Moscow Theological Academy (MTA) with the degree of Candidate of Theology. In 1993, he completed his post-graduate studies at the MTA branch at the Moscow Patriarchate Department for External Church Relations.

From 1991-1993, he taught Homiletics, New Testament, Dogmatic Theology and Greek at Moscow Seminary and Theological Academy. In 1992 and 1993, he taught New Testament at St. Tikhon’s Theological Institute and Patrology at the St. John the Theologian Russian Orthodox University.

In 1993, he was sent to the University of Oxford for internship. Under the guidance of Bishop Kallistos of Diokleia (now Metropolitan; Patriarchate of Constantinople) he worked on his doctoral thesis on ‘St. Simeon the New Theologian and the Orthodox Tradition’, combining his studies with service at the Diocese of Sourozh parishes.

In 1995, he graduated from the University of Oxford with the PhD degree.

From 1995, he worked at the Moscow Patriarchate Department for External Church Relations (DECR); from August 1997 to 2002 he directed the DECR Secretariat for inter-Christian Relations.

From 1995-1997, he taught Patrology at Smolensk and Kaluga Theological Seminaries. In 1996, he read a course on Dogmatic Theology at St. Herman’s Orthodox Seminary in Alaska (USA).

From January 1996, he served as a cleric at the Church of the Holy Protomartyr Catherine-Close-to-the-Fields in Moscow (Representation of the Orthodox Church in America).

From 1996-2004, he was a member of the Russian Orthodox Church’s Synodal Theological Commission.

From 1997-1999, he read lectures on Dogmatic Theology at St. Vladimir’s Seminary in New York, USA, and on the Mystical Theology of the Eastern Church at the University of Cambridge department of theology, Great Britain.

In 1999, he was made Doctor of Theology by St. Sergius’s Orthodox Theological Institute in Paris.

On Easter 2000, he was ordained hegumen by Metropolitan Kirill of Smolensk and Kaliningrad at the Church of the Holy Trinity at Khoroshevo in Moscow.

By the Holy Synod decision of December 27, 2001, Hegumen Hilarion (Alfeyev), upon his elevation to the rank of archimandrite, was to become Bishop of Kerch, vicar of the Sourozh diocese.

On January 7, 2002, the Nativity of Christ, he was elevated to the rank of archimandrite by Metropolitan Kirill of Smolensk and Kaliningrad at the Smolensk Cathedral.

On January 14, 2002, he was consecrated as bishop at the Church of Christ the Saviour in Moscow by His Holiness Patriarch Alexy II of Moscow and All Russia assisted by ten archpastors including Metropolitan Kirill of Smolensk and Kaliningrad (now Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia).

By the Holy Synod decision of July 17, 2002, he was appointed Bishop of Podolsk, vicar of the Moscow Diocese, head of the Russian Orthodox Church Representation to the European international organizations.

By the Holy Synod decision of May 7, 2003, he was appointed Bishop of Vienna and Austria and charged with temporary administration over the Diocese of Budapest and Hungary retaining the office of the ROC Representative to the European international organizations in Brussels.

On February 1, 2005, he was elected privat-docent of the Chair of Dogmatic Theology at the University of Freiburg Department of Theology, Switzerland.

On August 24, 2005, he was awarded St. Macarius Prize for his work on ‘The Church’s Sacred Mystery. An Introduction to the History and Problems of Onomatodoxic Polemics’.

On March 31, 2009, His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia relieved Bishop Hilarion of his duty as administrator of the dioceses of Vienna and Austria and Hungary and appointed him chairman of the Moscow Patriarchate’s Department for External Church Relations and permanent member of the Holy Synod with the title of Bishop of Volokolamsk, Vicar to the Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia.

On April 9, 2009, he was appointed rector of the church of Our Lady the Joy to All the Afflicted-at-Bolshaya-Ordynka in Moscow.

On April 20, Bishop Hilarion was elevated to the rank of archbishop by His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia.

On February 1, 2010, he was elevated to the rank of metropolitan.

On August 18, 2012, he was appointed rector of the Patriarchal Metochion – the churches of the Holy Martyrs Michael and Theodore of Chernigov and the Beheading of John the Baptist-Near-the-Pine-Forest.

In 2010, he was made Emeritus Doctor by the Russian State Social University and Emeritus Professor by the Russian Christian Academy of the Humanities.

In 2012, he was made Emeritus Professor of the Urals State Mining University and Emeritus Professor of the Musorgsky Urals State Conservatoire.

In 2013, he is Professor Emeritus of the Institute of Theology of the Byelorussian State University.

In 2014, he was made Doctor Emeritus of the Russian State University of the Humanities and Doctor Emeritus of the Ss Cyril and Methodius University of Veliko Tarnovo, Bulgaria.

He is a Fellow of the Academy of Russian Language and Literature.

He is a member of the Russian Union of Composers.

He is chairman of the editorial boards of ‘The Journal of the Moscow Patriarchate’ and ‘Church and Time’ and ‘Theological Works’ magazines, member of the editorial board of ‘Sudia Monastica’ collected articles (Barcelona) and ‘Byzantine Library’ series (St. Petersburg).

He has church, state, public, academic and other awards.


  • Christ the Conqueror of Hell. The Descent into Hell in Orthodox Tradition. New York: SVS Press, 2008 (in preparation)
  • Orthodox Witness Today. Geneva: WCC Publications, 2006
  • The Mystery of Faith. Introduction to the Teaching and Spirituality of the Orthodox Church. London: Darton, Longman and Todd, 2002
  • The Spiritual World of Isaac the Syrian. Cistercian Studies No 175. Kalamazoo, Michigan: Cistercian Publications, 2000. Reprint: 2006
  • St Symeon the New Theologian and Orthodox Tradition. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000. Reprint: 2005




Video recordings


10. Православные церкви на современном этапе (The Orthodox Churches in the contemporary world)


9. Гонения на церковь в России XX века (The Persecutions of the Church in Russia)


8. Синодальный период (The Synodal Period)


7. Православие на Руси (Orthodoxy in Rus’)


6. Падение Византии (The fall of Byzantium)


5. Великая схизма (The Great Schism)


4. Крещение Руси (The Baptism of Rus’)


3. Эпоха Вселенских соборов (The Age of the Ecumenical Councils)


2. Эпоха мученичества (The age of martyrdom)


1. Иисус Христос и Его Церковь (Jesus Christ and His Church)


И.С.Бах. Пассакалия и фуга до минор. Дирижер - митрополит Иларион


Hilarion Alfeyev: St Matthew Passion. No 1


Audio recordings


© Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk

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