The Who2 Blog

The Patriarch of Moscow Has a Very Cool Helmet of Salvation

Photo of the Patriarch of Moscow, in a fancy white hat, standing next to a politician in a blue suit and his wife

Let’s go to Kronstadt, Russia, where President Dmitry Medvedev spent part of yesterday humoring the Orthodox Patriarch of Moscow

The occasion was a sanctification at Nikolsky Marine Cathedral in the Russian Baltic Fleet main naval base at Kronstadt, which is not so far from St. Petersburg.

The Patriarch’s headgear really caught our eye. Not to spout sacrilege, but those basset-ear dewlaps on the front are really something else. You can see Mrs. Medvedev puzzling over them herself in that photo. (Or she may be thinking, “Is that Jeff Bridges?”)

Photo of the patriarch of Moscow in a white cap with long trailing, rounded flap kind of thingies


The hat is called a koukoulian, and it’s all standard POMAR procedure:

The Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia wears a white koukoulion with a “Zion,” a stiffened point topped by a cross. He wears this ex officio, whether or not he has been tonsured into the Great Schema.

Which is only fair. And:

In the context of monastic vows it is called the koukoulion of kindliness, and the helmet of salvation.

The “helmet of salvation” is hereby declared the phrase of the day.

Now that President Medvedev is done keeping Vladimir Putin‘s seat warm, he must have plenty of time to ponder such things himself. You can sense his enthusiasm in the photo.

Related Biographies

Share this: