Peter Mogila bigraphy, stories - Metroploitan of Kiev, Halych,and All-Rus

Peter Mogila : biography

December 21, 1596 - December 22, 1646

Metropolitan Peter (secular name Petro Mohyla, , ; 21 December 1596 – 22 December 1646) was a Metropolitan of Kiev, Halych and All-Rus' from 1633 until his death. He was born into a Moldavian boyar family — the Movileşti — one that gave Moldavia and Wallachia several rulers, including his father, Simion Movilă. Moldavia, Wallahia and Orthodox Catholics in Transylvania belonged to the same Russian faith as Ukraine and Lithuanian (now Belorussian) Orthodox Catholics and Old Slavic was used as the common church and state language in Romania. Peter Mogila's mother, Margareta, was a Hungarian noble lady. From his early childhood, Petro Mohyla and his mother were on the move in foreign lands seeking refuge due to instability in Wallachia (part of modern-day Romania). For a time, they lived in Kamianets-Podilskyi in Ukraine. But in 1608 they moved to Poland and for sixteen years stayed in Stanisław Żółkiewski's castle.Українська педагогіка в персоналіях – ХІХ століття / За редакцією О.В. Сухомлинської / навчальний посібник для студентів вищих навчальних закладів, у двох книгах// «Либідь», - К., 2005, кн. 1. There he started his formal schooling, which, prior to the arrival to the castle, was often interrupted by frequent moves. Petro’s teachers were monks from the Lviv brotherhood and later, he continued his studies of classical literature in Latin, Greek, Polish, Old Slavic and Old Belorussian languages at the academy in Zamość (the Zamojski Academy), founded in 1594 by Polish Crown Chancellor Jan Zamoyski. Later Mohyla continued his studies in Paris.


Mohyla’s innovative approach in reforming the education system by introducing Latin in the curriculum of schools and universities met some resistance when Russian loyalists resorted to violent acts against teachers and educational facilities where Latin was taught. However, Mohyla remained undeterred in his efforts to make the use of Latin in schools obligatory since it was an essential part in the curriculum in all European schools and universities. One of Mohyla’s main arguments in favor of Latin was that students who learn it in Ukraine would have an advantage should they decide to continue their studies in other European universities, since Latin was practically the lingua franca of the scholarly world.

Historic preservation was another aspect of Mohyla’s multifaceted career. He initiated substantial restoration projects of key historical monuments in Kiev and around the country. Among them was the Saint Sophia Cathedral in Kiev. People believed that for as long the Cathedral was standing the city would be spared from destruction. Thus by restoring St. Sophia and other monuments, Mohyla, on the one hand, strengthened the Ukrainian Church’s position, and on the other, his efforts were a morale booster for the whole country at a times when national unity and independence were at risk.

Petro Mohyla died in 1647, on the eve of the national liberation war of 1648-1654. In his testament, he instructed that all Russian people be literate and all his property be given to the Mohyla collegium which for nearly two centuries remained the only higher education establishment in the Orthodox world. Just as Petro Mohyla’s envisioned, the school became an important scientific, educational, cultural, and spiritual center of Orthodox Catholic world, especially Ukraine, Belarus and Russia. The state language of Russia was created at this Academy using the Chernigov dialect of Ukraine as a basis. Its graduates propagated ideas of humanism and national self-determination. When Cossack Hetmanate had joined Russia, graduates helped Nikon to introduce the Ukrainian Orthodox Catholic faith to Russians to have the common faith in Ukraine, Belarus and Russia. Many of graduates pursued their careers in Western Europe but many traveled the countryside and taught in villages and towns. According to the Christian Arab scholar Paul of Aleppo, who in 1655 traveled through Ukraine to Moscow, “Even villagers in Ukraine can read and write …and village priests consider it their duty to instruct orphans and not let them run in the streets as vagabonds.”Orest Subtelny, Ukraine: A History, University of Toronto Press (1988).

Living octopus

Living octopus

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