Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk (secular name Grigory Alfeyev) was born on July 24, 1966, in Moscow.
Upon graduation from school, he entered the composition faculty of the Moscow State Conservatoire.
He served in the Army from 1984 to 1986.
In January 1987, he voluntarily terminated his studies at the conservatoire and joined as novice the Monastery of the Holy Spirit in Vilnius. He took his monastic vows there on June 19, 1987.
He graduated by correspondence from the Moscow Seminary in 1989, and the Moscow Theological Academy in 1991 with the degree of Candidate of Theology. He completed his post-graduate studies in 1993 and graduated from Oxford University with the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in 1995.
Since 1995, he worked at the Moscow Patriarchate Department for External Church Relations. Since August 1997 to 2002, he directed its secretariat for inter-Christian relations. From 1996 to 2004 he was member of the Synodal Theological Commission of the Russian Orthodox Church.
He was elevated to the rank of hegumen on Easter 2000. By the Holy Synod decision of 27 December 2001, Hegumen Hilarion, upon his elevation to the rank of archimandrite, was made Bishop of Kerch, Vicar of the Surozh Diocese.
On 17 July 2002, the Holy Synod appointed him Bishop of Podolsk, Vicar of the Moscow Diocese, and head of the Russian Orthodox Church representation at European international organizations.
He was appointed Bishop of Vienna and Austria on May 7, 2003, and charged with temporary administration over the diocese of Budapest and Hungary, retaining the office of Russian Orthodox Church Representative at European international organizations in Brussels.
On March 31, 2009, Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia appointed him chairman of the Moscow Patriarchate Department for External Church Relations and permanent member of the Holy Synod with the title of Bishop of Volokolamsk. On April 20, Bishop Hilarion was elevated to the rank of archbishop and to the rank of metropolitan on Febrary 1, 2010.
Metropolitan Hilarion is author of over 700 publications including monographs on patristics, dogmatic theology and church history. He also translated works by Church Fathers from Greek and Syrian and is the author of a number of musical compositions.