Hieromartyr, Archbishop of Semipalatinsk
Date of Birth: 13.05.1891
Country: Kazakhstan

  1. Biography of Alexander
  2. Early Career and Ministry
  3. Imprisonment and Martyrdom

Biography of Alexander

Alexander was born into the family of the priest Ivan Vasilievich Shchukin and his wife Elizabeth. He was one of seven children. Since childhood, he dreamed of following in his father's footsteps. He graduated from the Moscow Theological Academy in 1915 with a degree in theology.

Early Career and Ministry

From 1915, Alexander worked as a teacher at the Nizhny Novgorod Seminary. In 1917, he became a monk and was ordained as a hieromonk. From 1918 to 1923, he served together with his father in the Church of the Kazan Icon of the Mother of God in the village of Lyskovo. In 1923, he was consecrated as the Bishop of Lyskovo and served in various monasteries and churches.

Imprisonment and Martyrdom

In the autumn of 1928, Alexander was arrested and imprisoned in Nizhny Novgorod. He was offered freedom in exchange for ceasing his preaching, but he refused, saying, "You have control over my body, and you can do with it as you wish, but I will not give you my soul." He was sentenced to three years of imprisonment for spreading anti-Soviet propaganda and was sent to the Solovki Special Purpose Camp. He worked as a guard and later as an accountant.

On September 30, 1935, Alexander was appointed Archbishop of Kursk, but he continued to live in Orel. In March 1936, he became the Archbishop of Rzhev and then the Archbishop of Tula in June 1936. In September 1936, he became the Archbishop of Semipalatinsk. Despite the threats from the authorities, he continued to preach.

In August 1937, Alexander was arrested again and remained steadfast during interrogations. He was accused of espionage and counter-revolutionary activities and was sentenced to death by firing squad. He was executed two days later. The exact location of his burial is unknown, but in the early 1960s, he was symbolically laid to rest behind the altar of the Church of the Kazan Icon of the Mother of God in Lyskovo, next to his father.

In August 2000, Alexander was canonized as a holy martyr and was included in the list of New Martyrs and Confessors of the Russian Orthodox Church for universal veneration.