Peresopnytsia Gospel Returns to Rivne Region
RIVNE — Rivne Region is to receive a facsimile edition of the Peresopnytsia Gospel which appeared thanks to joint efforts of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church-Moscow Patriarchate (UOC-MP) and the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine. The ceremony of the passing of the edition as part of the action “Return home” is to be conducted on January 14, 2010, by the head of the UOC-MP, Metropolitan Volodymyr, reports Ogo.ua.
Today, this spiritual shrine of the Ukrainian nation has assumed a significance as a political symbol of the nation: Ukraine’s Presidents Kravchuk, Kuchma, and Yushchenko took oaths on the Peresopnytsia Gospel during their inaugurations. The facsimile edition was presented in Poland, Canada, USA, Israel, Great Britain, and Moldova.
The Peresopnytsia Gospel is an outstanding manuscript monument of the old Ukrainian literary language and art. The gospel was translated in 1556-1561 by the son of the archpriest of the Prechystenskyi Monastery, Mykhailo Vasylevych, and Archimandrite of the monastery, Hryhorii. They started the work in Dvirka (now Khmelnytska Region) and completed it in Peresopnytsia (now Rivne Region). The book was ordered by Duchess Anastasia Zaslavska (Holshanska). It is a grand book of 9 kilos and 300 grams. It consists of 482 sheets.
The manuscript is richly ornamented and decorated with highly artistic multi-colored miniatures. As far as its beauty and richness is concerned the gospel is unrivalled among Ukrainian manuscripts.
After the destruction of the Prechystenskyi Monastery, the book was missing for one hundred and fifty years. In 1701, Hetman Ivan Mazepa presented it to the Pereyaslav Bishop. The manuscript then was kept in the library of the Pereiaslav Seminary, where it was studied by an outstanding Slavist, O. Bodianskyi, in 1837. After the transfer of the spiritual seminary from Pereyaslav to Poltava, the manuscript was also transported there. In the beginning of the 20th century, the gospel was passed to the Poltava book depository. During WWII, the gospel was kept in Ufa.
Since 1947 Peresopnytsia Gospel has been kept in V. Vernadskyi’s National Library of Ukraine.