Unique document of Studite monks dating back to 1930s found in Lviv

17 August 2018, 09:23 | History, archaeology | 0 |   | Code for Blog |  | 

In the Central State Historical Archives in Lviv, a speech by an unknown author was found. Its author was a priest, a monk of the St. John's Lavra of the Studite Rite of the Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Church before the war. The document was posted on Facebook by Yustyn (Boyko), the synkellos on monasticism issues in the Lviv Archdiocese of the UGCC.

As Father Yustyn said, the speech -- or article -- is clearly structured.

“It was prepared to highlight for the addressees -- plausibly monks -- St. Theodore Studite and his significance for the Studite rite monasticism in Ukraine.

Comparing their handwriting, I can only assume that the authors of this speech could be either Hieromonk Martin (Martynyuk) or Hieromonk Yanuarius (Fedyuk).

Both of them died in the hands of the NKVD.

Obviously, I can comment a lot on this discovered manuscript, which I will do later. But now I publish it as an important document for studying the history of Studite monks in Ukraine.

The document was created between 1934 and 1936. It was then that in the Studite environment a meaningful understanding of their own identity began. This is evident from the publications of the monastic magazines, namely Clear Way and Sunbeam of Love. Of course, the author of the article definitely studied the sources of life of St. Theodore Studite. He freely spoke some basic Greek, had a free command of rhetoric and knew Greek names well,” wrote Father Yustyn (Boyko).


TEXT (revised version)

1. Introduction

2) What is the origin of the name “Studite"?

3) Short biography

4) Ending


I. Each of you knows how the child's heart beats joyfully when the father’s nameday comes. A whole year he was expecting for the wave in which he could, in a special way, evidence their true love and affectionate filial attachment. For us, the monks, this is already far away. However, we are not completely free, we also have someone to call father, but the spiritual one and declare to him our love and respect.

And our father is exactly the Righteous Theodore Studite. As we value our salvation above the earthly life, so we must solemnly celebrate the day devoted to his memory. Among our monastic family, he is one of those lights that overshines our way to perfection. He is the main pillar, the supporter of the magnificent building of St. Basil the Great. He is among the most faithful of his sons.

If so, then the duty of every Studite monk is not only to know well his life, but to follow his virtue. For as the fire never ceases to warm, the light is to shine, and the expensive oil to emit odor, so our St Theodore never ceases to enlighten us with his model virtues.

II. As soon as we will proceed to his life, I will say a few words about the origin of the word “Studite”. King Constantine Copronius, who adhered to the teaching of iconoclasm, expelled all monks from Constantinople. Thus all the monasteries were deserted, including the monastery founded by John Studius, the Roman patrician born in 463. It was not for a long time that our monks wandered, because after the death of Constantine, Queen Irena allowed them to return to the monastery and, in turn, with the patriarch Tarasius entrusted St Theodore with governance of the monastery, which took the name “Studite” from its founder.

ІІІ. Now let's proceed to a short outline of the life and feat of St Theodore.

He came from a rich and honest family, therefore, he was already keeping himself innocent among the then corrupted world. During the persecution against the veneration of icons, his father Photin and his mother Theoctista left the world and enrolled in the monastery. However, the Providence took care about young Theodore and did not allow him to deviate from his path.

Upon studying all the contemporary disciplines, he learned the poverty of the native life, and therefore he directed his first steps towards the things of God. After the cathedral in Nicaea, our Theodore, under the spiritual guidance of the elderly Father Plato, left the world already and stayed in Sakudiani, where, together with several more brothers he founded a monastery. And here in the monastery, the star of Theodore that was blurred with earthly concerns began to shine bright. Brought up in the home of rich relatives, he did not remember the benefits, but strived to the highest service, having one goal before him – to serve the Savior.

As years passed by, old Plato, who was weakened by age and fasts, had to depart to eternity. Who will take the helm over the already ... brethren? ... The most distinguished one with the spirit of prayer, discernment, self-mortification and brotherly love is Theodore.

His submissive soul could not agree at once with the abbot’s office - but this is God's will. Having taken this office, he intensified his devotion to fasts and prayer, because he was conscious that, as an abbot, he should be a model to all brethren. How highly he valued virtue and the truth can be seen by the fact that not only in the monastery to steer to the right path those astray, but also in the world did not tolerate lawlessness. He courageously opposes the king, denouncing his adultery.

This brave speech hurt the pride of King Constantine Copronius, so the latter sent him to exile to Thessaloniki.

And now, the true life of cross and patience begins for our Theodore.

Even in exile, the evervigilant monk tells the holy truth.

After the death of Constantine Copronius, under queen Irena’s tenure, the Righteous Theodore returns to the monastery, collecting his sheep scattered throughout all the ways and continued the ancient monastic life. However, before the arrival of Hagaryans, Theodor leaves Sakudion with his brethren and moves to Constantinople to the Studite monastery. And here comes the time to write the rules.

The glory of his holiness spread far, collecting more than a number of monks, so that it reached up to 1,000.

Now it would seem that life will flow into a calm riverbed. But it was not the case.

Iconoclasts watched the feast of his life with a hateful eye. St Theodore also had to suffer from them. Tsar Nikifor sends him to exile to the islands, and Leo the Armenian wished to involve him in iconoclasm, and failing to reach his goal he sent him to Apollonia to the city of Nesop. And when he also ceased to work on the salvation of souls, his king exiled him passing him to the hands of the Asian military governor. In hunger and cold, suffering from humiliation our reverend thus spent three years there. His forces were completely exhausted.

God, however, looked down on him and, in the midst of those sufferings, sent him help through the unceasing disciple Nicolas. By the royal decree he was sent to Smyrna. Eventually, however, under king Michael the Amorian and to the great joy of the monks he returned to his monastery. He did not stay there for long, because under the king's pressure he with his brethren had to move in Akriton Hersonissos. The persecution would be already over and here the Lord has predestined him to die.

After 67 years in fasting, self-mortification and bullying, 7 years in exile, his strength was so much exhausted that everyone who looked at the exhausted, ascetic old man had to agree with the idea that his life would not be long.

And in a short time came the sad day for all the brethren, and the day he was expecting so much – the day of his death. The brethren gathered at the bed to lead him to eternity. And when singing with the psalm: “The blameless, the blessed” at the words: “I will never forget your precepts, for by them you have given me life,” the Reverend Father gave his soul to our Lord.

So, I briefed you on his surprise-worthy life. Does it not motivate each Studite monk to stronger zeal for the Savior ?! ... Well, this was understood by our forefathers Anthony, Theodosius, Savva, Euthimius and others, so their deeds still continue. It is to them that we owe the development of cultural and moral life in our lands. With their exploits, they earned the name of the "Holy Land" for our land. It is in their school that such saints as the holy martyr Jehoshaphat were brought up, whose blood inspired thousands of martyrs for the Holy Union.

However, there were times of decline of spiritual-religious life, but, thanks to the Lord, now the times of the ascetics of Christ, of St Theodore Studite come back. The Lord will surely prevent that the holy matter of that lamp be vanquished, in whose life no one can find any voluntary imperfection, and even shadows thereof.

Our St. Basil the Great anticipated who would overtake the helm after him, and would be proud of such a Helmsman. The whole of his life is an endless chain of patience, this is the life of sacrifice, death and prayer, and the full exercise of the will of God. For the faithful service, the Lord bestowed on him many spiritual riches. For he who is wise, has no arrogance to the other, but considers himself servant of all.

How far from pride he was the following his words can attest: “It is a good thing to be subordinate rather than a boss” In a word, his figure is the embodiment of monastic virtues.

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    • Halo | 30 May 2020, 12:27

      Хороша агітація проти РПЦ в Україні

    • Рокитне | 30 May 2020, 07:10

      Уже ж писали що давно вже вивезли. А тепер знову вивозять. Значить нас в новостях раніше обдурили. А де гарантія що і це правда.

    • Рокитне | 30 May 2020, 07:04

      Є всякі пастирі і пресвітери, у всіх конфесіях і церквах. Тому міліонерів священників у селах і в містах наврядчи дуже багато.

    • Рокитне | 30 May 2020, 06:48

      Звичайно це поодинокі випадки. Навіщо мусульманам України себе так підставляти.

    • enzian | 30 May 2020, 06:36

      Інформація може. а ДЕЗінформація - не може.

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