– 14 November 1263) served as Prince of Novgorod (1236–52), Grand Prince of Kiev (1236-52) and Grand Prince of Vladimir (1252–63) during some of the most difficult times in Kievan Rus' history.
Commonly regarded as a key figure of medieval Rus', Alexander - the grandson of Vsevolod the Big Nest - rose to legendary status on account of his military victories over German and Swedish invaders while agreeing to pay tribute to the powerful Golden Horde.
He was canonized as a saint of the Russian Orthodox Church by Metropolite Macarius in 1547.
As it was told by the prophet Isaiah: 'Thus sayeth the Lord: I appoint the princes because they are sacred and I direct them.' "...
He was taller than others and his voice reached the people as a trumpet, and his face was like the face of Joseph, whom the Egyptian Pharaoh placed as next to the king after him of Egypt.
His power was a part of the power of Samson and God gave him the wisdom of Solomon ...
this Prince Alexander: he used to defeat but was never defeated ..." Born in Pereslavl-Zalessky, Alexander was the second son of Prince Yaroslav Vsevolodovich and Rostislava Mstislavna, daughter of Kievan Rus' Prince Mstislav Mstislavich the Bold.
Alexander seemed to have no chance of claiming the throne of Vladimir.
In 1236, however, he was summoned by the Novgorodians to become knyaz (or prince) of Novgorod and, as their military leader, to defend their northwest lands from Swedish and German invaders.
According to the Novgorod Chronicle written in the 14th cent., more than a century after it is supposed to have happened, he Swedish army had landed at the confluence of the rivers Izhora and Neva, Alexander and his small army suddenly attacked the Swedes on 15 July 1240 and defeated them.
The Neva battle of 1240 saved Novgorod from a full-scale invasion from the West..
Because of this battle, 19-year-old Alexander was given the sobriquet "Nevsky" (which means of Neva).
This victory, coming just three years after the disastrous Mongol invasion of the Slav lands in the North West, strengthened Alexander's political influence, but at the same time it worsened his relations with the boyars.
He would soon have to leave Novgorod because of this conflict.