Near Rome are reviving the forgotten Ukrainian monastery of St. Theodore the Studite

25 October 2017, 13:16 | Society-digest | 0 |   | Code for Blog |  | 

24 October 2017 The Quebec Times

Rome – Castel Gandolfo – In a picturesque area near lake Albano, just outside Rome there is the Ukrainian area – the monastery of St. Theodore the Studite “Studion” and the eponymous Church. About this spiritual center was the dream of Metropolitan Andrey Sheptytsky, implemented his plans successor, Patriarch Joseph Blind, and the last decade, the mansion was abandoned. Now the efforts of the Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Church and the Ukrainian Embassy to the Holy see and local activists farmstead are trying to revive. Saturday to organize gathered fifty volunteers of the Ukrainian community.

The monastery complex is located 20 kilometers from the capital in Paradise, you might say, the town: on the one hand – extensive Pleso lake Albano, surrounded by slender Italian pine, with other scattered settlements in the green hills of the Roman province. The very estate with an area of three hectares is decorated with palm trees, olive trees, fertile Apple and pear.

To resume here the monastic activity and return to the historic Shrine of the UGCC to life called from Greece to the priesthood Orest Kozak. He awaits the arrival of three monks.

The Procurator of the monastery Orest Kozak

This monastery – for the Ukrainians, the us lies at the heart so he called in a favor and spiritually, and represented Italy not only the liturgical legacy of the Ukrainian Church, but also the national culture of Ukrainians

“This monastery is not for me. This monastery – for the Ukrainians, the us lies at the heart so he called in a favor and spiritually, and represented Italy not only the liturgical legacy of the Ukrainian Church, but also the national culture of Ukrainians. A lot of ideas, but without them society could not be realized”, – said the Procurator of the monastery Orest Kozak, referring to the Ukrainians, who voluntarily joined the landscaping.

When the Patriarch Joseph Blind in the early 1960s decided to create a monastery at Rome’s hearth, he asked: “Why? It’s not Ukrainians.” Then, his Beatitude said, “let’s Build a house – and people will come” – so say the experts on the history of the monastery. The vision of the Church leader was a prophecy, though the Studite monastery and suffered a difficult fate. Who are the monks studity? When and who purchased the building on the outskirts of Castel Gandolfo? Why the monastery was abandoned for a long time and now it can be use?

Dream Sheptytsky

The hidden idea of arranging the cells for monks originated the Ukrainian Metropolitan of the UGCC Andrey Sheptytsky before the First world war. He rallied poor peasants who wanted devoted himself to monastic life. After the war, little monks-soldiers returned to their spiritual father.

“The Metropolitan said to them: a year of time, I don’t know you, I on the threshold does not appear, survive – will be cool, but no – they will not. The monks were in hi-RES to work, in a word, survived and a year later again came to Sheptytsky, who found them shelter in Uneve (Lviv region),” – says hieromonk Orest Kozak.

The Monastery Of St. Theodore the Studite “Studion”, Castel Gandolfo, 7 Oct 2017

There the monks lived at the Charter Studijski, following the strict rules of monastic life Byzantine monk-ascetic Theodore the Studite (759-826), the founder of the studion monastery near Constantinople (Turkey). It is his experience brothers Andrew and St. Clement of Septicka adopted for the preparation of Ukrainian monks, which are respectively called Studites.

Metropolitan Andrey lived revival of the East monasticism and wanted to create a Studio building where the monks could be formed together to study in Rome

In 40-ies of the last century, the Metropolitan Sheptytsky gives money to the Trustee under the Vatican to buy land or a house for the Ukrainian Studite in Italy. “Metropolitan Andrey lived revival of the East monasticism and wanted to create a Studio building where the monks could be formed together to study in Rome and to share life experiences. So he had the idea to buy a house for the order in Rome,” explains Radio Liberty father a Cossack.

Land in Rome I bought, but after the events of the Second world war on the construction of the monastery, no one thought. According to local legal requirements, vacant site after 5 years it was necessary either to use or to sell. Then father Cyril king, the representative of the UGCC to the Holy see, sold the land and the money deposited until better times of the Congregation for Eastern churches.

The acquisition of the monastery

The head of the UGCC Andrey Sheptytsky died in 1944, and the dream of the Rome branch of the Ukrainian Church 20 years ago sold his successor Joseph Blind after returning from Soviet camps.

Joseph Blind acutely aware of the responsibility for the order. Returning to Rome, he with great difficulty recovered the funds from the Congregation and began to search the monastery

“Close to the Patriarch told the people that returning to Rome in the plane Joseph Blind and only thought how to collect the order and where they find shelter. His Beatitude was a spiritual son of Metropolitan Andrey Sheptytsky and his buddy brother, father Clement Sheptytsky. Joseph Blind acutely aware of the responsibility for the order. Returning to Rome, he with great difficulty recovered the funds from the Congregation and began to search the monastery,” the monk says Orest Kozak.

Joseph Blind buys 1964 the monastery of the fathers-marant near lake Albano in CATEL Gandolfo. There are monks who fled from the Soviet regime. With the death of his Beatitude (in 1984) of the Ukrainian monks lose not only a spiritual guide but also a sense of service to the monastic community, as the Ukrainian believers in Rome then was a little. In the early 1990-ies they move to Ukraine. The monastery of St Theodore the Studite “Studion” decline and for the next 20 years passes from hands in hands of different owners, leading to a decline in premises and grounds.

Panorama of lake Albano

The current structure has the comfortable rooms of hotel type for the accommodation of 30 people. Other rooms of the building requires a major overhaul, and most of all, St. Theodore the Studite. Emergency state of the Church there can not hold Sunday mass for the faithful. The joint efforts of the Church and diplomats looking for financial opportunities for restoration.

Almost a year has been appointed the Procurator of the monastery Orest Kozak and tells Radio Liberty that he plans to organize within its walls iconographic school of Byzantine tradition, the icon-painting workshop, to organize international conferences and summer camps for youth. According to the observations of the priest, despite the massive presence of the Church and her faithful in Italy, there is little know about the Ukrainian Church. “If talking about the Byzantine tradition, we mean Russia and Greece,” – says the father. Not be closed in itself and “actively to disseminate the native tradition among foreigners” urges FR Orest Kozak.

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