Prince Alexander Nevsky
Saint Alexander Jaroslavich Nevsky was a second son of the Grand Duke Yaroslav Vsevolodovich. He was born on May, 30th, 1220 and has died on November, 14th, 1263.
In 1228 together with his elder brother Feodor Alexandr has been left by the father in Novgorod, but on the occasion of excitements brothers have been the same year forced to come back to the father.
But since 1230 grand duke Yaroslav managed to leave again Novgorod for his sons Feodor and Alexander.
The first brother in 1233 has died and Yaroslav in 1236 has left to reign to Kiev. From now Alexander's independence begins. It has coincided with the first occurrence Tatars in Russia. Because of lakes and bogs Tatars have not reached Novgorod, but it was impossible to be charged for its freedom in the future.
In 1237 Germans have attacked the Pskov area and Swedes (induced by the Pope) have moved to Novgorod under leadership of Birger, the governor of the Lithuania.
Assured of a victory, Birger sent the declaration of war to Alexander of war, full of haughty: "If you can, resist, but know that I already here and will captivate your earth". In this time Novgorod has been given to itself.
With a small army Alexander has unawares attacked Swedes at night on July, 15th when they at a mouth of Izhora river (close to Neva) have stopped for rest. Alexandr has put them utter defeat.
This victory has given him a honour name of Nevsky. In the opinion of the Russian people on Alexander and the Novgorod earth the special good fortune of Lord was shown.
In XVIII-XIX centuries St. Alexander Nevsky becomes one of the most national saints esteemed in Russia.
Saint Alexander's transformation into the Russian saint patron has begun in the beginning of XVIII century. Peter I who has put new capital of the country, St. Petersburg, on the earths won from Swedes, has seen certain symbolical sense that the city has been based near to a place where in 1240 the Novgorod prince Alexander Jaroslavich has crushed the same Swedes.
In 1713 the Aleksandro-Nevsky monastery has been founded on the left coast of Neva (since 1797 - Aleksandro-Nevsky Lavra).
On August, 30th, 1724, in the day of three-year anniversary of the conclusion of the Nishtadtsky Peace (to Swedes) Peter I has personally brought St. Alexander Nevsky relic to the Blagoveshchenija Presvjatoj Bogoroditsy's church located in the Lavra territory.
Thus, having connected St. Alexander Nevsky name with the major in the history of Russia date (signing of the peace treaty with Swedes) Peter I has given to St. Alexander cult the state and political character.
Source: Alexander Jaroslavich Nevsky