The Peresopnitsa Gospels (1556-1561) and Its Reproduction, with the Support of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, as a Tool in the Creation of a Stronger Public Image of Ukraine
January, 2010, Web site of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church-Moscow Patriarchate
Bishop of Pereyaslavl-Khmelnitskiy
Vicar of the Kyiv Metropolis
The secretary of the Primate of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church
The Peresopnitsa Gospels (1556-1561)
and Its Reproduction, with the Support of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, as a Tool in the Creation of a Stronger Public Image of Ukraine
2011 will mark 500 years since the completion of the Peresopnitsa Gospels, which exemplifies the hand-crafted treasure within Ukrainian language and art.
I. Background and Creation of the Peresopnitsa Gospels
The Peresopnitsa Gospels is an outstanding work of art and literature. Created in the middle of the sixteenth century, it is the first known translation of the Gospel's sacred text written in Old Ukrainian. Being a symbol of Ukrainian spiritual and cultural heritage, the Peresopnitsa Gospels is becoming "a political symbol of the nation," and has been used in the inauguration ceremonies of all the Presidents of the young country: L.M. Kravchuk (1991), L.D. Kuchma (1994, 1999), and V.A. Yushchenko (2005).
The Language of the Peresopnitsa Gospels
Written in the Ukraine's old language of high literature, the Peresopnitsa Gospels is a literary monument. It has a distinctly Ukrainian syntax and its morphological and phonetic structures speak of the Gospel's close connection to the living Ukrainian language of the time. It is the earliest translation of the Gospels into the Ukrainian literary language of the mid-sixteenth century known today. The final footnote says that the translation had been done "from Bulgarian into the Old Slavonic language" although textual analysis of the Gospels' indicates the wide use of ancient Greek texts and West Slavonic, probably Polish, translations.
The Development of the Peresopnitsa Gospels and its Designers
The Gospel's uniqueness is in the fact that the place and dates of its creation and those who gave birth to it are known. It all began on 15 August, 1556 in the Zaslavskiy monastery, at the Church of the Holy Trinity in Volyn' (now in the town of Eazyaslav, in Khmelnitskiy Oblast). The Gospels was completed on 29 August, 1561 at the Peresopnitsa monastery (now in the village of Peresopnitsa in Rivne Oblast). The benefactors of the Gospel were members of the shlyakhta (Ukrainian gentry): the duchess of Volyn, Anastasia Yuryevna Zaslavska-Golshanska, and her son-in-law and daughter, Duke Ivan Chartoryiskiy and his wife, Yevdokiya Chartoryiska. The translation was done by Grygoriy, the archimandrite of the Virgin Mary's Monastery in Peresopnitsa, with Mykhailo Vasylievich, the son of an archpriest of Sianik, putting it into writing.
The Written Structure of the Gospels
The text layout of the Peresopnitsa Gospels shows that it is a Divine Service Gospel. That is, it is the text of the four Gospels with the text divided into chapters and pericopes (sections to be read as complete units) for reading in Orthodox divine services. This affirms that the translation was done with the Divine Service in mind. Inna Chepiga, a senior researcher at the Institute of Ukrainian Language, says that "The concluding commentary on the Gospel According to St John says that the text is intended for reading in churches and for teaching the Christian people. The Peresopnitsa Gospels begins with a special index to make it easy to find a particular passage for reading, for every Evangelist. Thus, in the middle of the sixteenth century, a Ukrainian translation of the Sacred Scriptures was introduced into Ukrainian churches. This was how Ukrainians caught up with the world's dominant trends". [footnote 1]
A novel feature of the Peresopnitsa Gospels is the inclusion of summaries at the beginning of every pericope (reading section). Also, the margins contain explanations of words and ideas which could be difficult for the readers to understand.
Factors Influencing the Translation
According to academician P. Tolochko, on analysing the translation of the text and the factors which promoted its creation, "One can conclude that its emergence was caused not only by internal, but also by external (European), development. It can hardly be assumed that either the translators or their patrons were under the influence of the Protestant Reformation in Europe, started by Martin Luther" [footnote 2]. While not disregarding the possibility of Reformation influence, we believe it should not be overstated. Translating the Sacred Scriptures was not just an attempt to support an ideology, but an effort by clergymen to meet the needs of believers and to catch up with the global changes in the thinking and culture of sixteenth century Europeans. Moreover, the traditions of the Orthodox Church had neither made restrictions on reading the complete text of the Sacred Scriptures [footnote 3] nor opposed the translation of the sacred texts into language that the people could better understand [footnote 4]. That is why the translation of the Sacred Scriptures into the simple Ukrainian language used by the common people was even more fundamental and significant for the Orthodox Church than Luther's translation, which was regarded as revolutionary for the Catholic Church. One cannot underestimate the patriotic intentions of the people behind the Peresopnitsa Gospels who, as Petro Zhytetsky states, "were still dedicated to Russian and Orthodox ideas" in the sixteenth century. [footnote 5]
The Peresopnitsa's Creation and Subsequent History
The writing of the Peresopnitsa Gospels as well as the Church's cultural development are the result of not just random, impersonal, historical events, but also of devoted personal work, inspired by silent prayer. The manuscript itself states that there were only two people working on it-Grygoriy, the Archimandrite of the Virgin Mary's Monastery, and the scribe, Mykhailo Vasylievich. Historians claim that there must have been more people involved because the illustrations and ornamentations were created in a way that demanded not fewer than two artists. One of them might have been Mykhailo Vasylievich himself, and the other an unknown artist. However, this claim is of no real importance as the tremendous amount of work involved in translating and decorating the text of the Peresopnitsa Gospels was nonetheless done through the efforts of a small number of people. This fact should be kept in mind by anyone trying to explain his failures on the lack of a qualified team of assistants.
The history of the Gospels demonstrates that we forget of our holy relics and spiritual heritage quite quickly, but it is impossible to get these out of our historical records. After the destruction of the Virgin Mary's Monastery, no one knew anything about the Peresopnitsa Gospels until, in 1701-140 years after its creation-Ivan Mazepa, a Cossack chieftain, presented it to the Bishop of Pereyaslavl. Later on, the Peresopnitsa Gospels became the jewel of the library of the theological seminary in Poltava, where an outstanding scholar named Osyp Bodyanskiy (1808-1877) got access to it. This occurred after the seminary was transferred from Pereyaslav to Poltava in 1862 and this holy relic was taken with the rest of the library collection. At the beginning of the twentieth century it was in Poltava's depositary (safe-keeping vault) and in 1947, after the WWII evacuation of Ukraine's national treasures, the holy relic was brought to Kyiv. It has been in the Vernadsky Ukrainian National Library since then.
II. The Peresopnitsa High-Quality Reproduction Project and It's Support by the Ukrainian Orthodox Church
The Peresopnitsa Gospels was reborn in the autumn of 2007, when, after receiving the First Hierarch his Beatitude Metropolitan Volodymyr's blessing, the Kyiv metropolis together with the Academy of Science of Ukraine initiated a project to create high-quality reproductions of the Peresopnitsa Gospels. But the project was not limited only to the high-quality reproduction of the Peresopnitsa Gospels: it also included its restoration (it had been damaged by fungus), the publishing of scientific research about the history of the Gospels, the holding of conferences, and the making of presentations of this national treasure, both in Ukraine and abroad.
To preserve the rarity of the Peresopnitsa Gospels it was decided to publish a restricted number of copies-only one thousand. With the blessing of his Beatitude Metropolitan Volodymyr, these unique copies were for presentation to the first hierarchs and to honourable archpriests of Orthodox Churches, national museums, scientific and educational establishments, and international scientific and diplomatic organisations. Some of them were for giving to certain church benefactors who contributed to the construction of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church Cathedral in the capital city of Ukraine.
Printing Preparations and Publication
With the blessing of his Beatitude Metropolitan Volodymyr and involvement by the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, the publishing was carried out by the ADEF-Ukraina publishing house. The Academy of Science of Ukraine handed slides of the 964 Peresopnitsa Gospels' pages over to it. Because the book was 13 centimetres thick the scanned images came out distorted. As a result, editors had to expend a lot of effort to correct blurred areas in order to prepare perfect pages for printing. Editors had set their objective to make the copies like the original, in all respects, as much as possible. The head of the ADEF-Ukraina publishing house, Alla Istomina, pointed out "Our task is to make the readers feel the spirit of the centuries this book has acquired. This means to reprint the Peresopnitsa Gospels in such a way that it accurately reflects the original version" [footnote 6]. One of the obstacles encountered was the choice of paper. The editors agreed that the texture of the chosen paper should be the same as that of papyrus. Every page had to have exactly the same colours the original had. The next step was to decide on a cover design. The Peresopnitsa Gospels changed its cover over the ages. The remains of the last one, which has reached our times, is made of green velvet. The publishers, however, decided to go back to the original cover, publishing the copies of the Peresopnitsa Gospels complete with a leather dust jacket decorated with metal medallions.
On 20 January, 2008 there was a ceremonial printing of the first sheet of print of the Peresopnitsa Gospels on the printing floor of the ADEF-Ukraina publishing house, located in the town of Buchi, Kyiv Oblast, with the participation of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church. The ceremony started with a prayer service which was finished by the First Hierarch of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, his Beatitude Metropolitan Volodymyr. Also present were the first President of Ukraine, Leonid Kravchuk; the former minister of culture and tourism, Yuriy Bogutskiy; an academician of the Academy of Science of Ukraine, Petro Tolochko; poet Boris Oliynyk; and others.
After the prayer service and Mother Superior Seraphima's (Shevchik) opening speech, the first President of Ukraine addressed the audience. "I know how significant this book is for Ukraine. The Peresopnitsa Gospels is not just a sacred book of independent Ukraine. God meant it to become an official state book, used by the newly elected Presidents of Ukraine to take their oath during inauguration. I was honoured to put my hand on this sacred book and to take the oath to serve my Homeland. It was the first time in Ukrainian history".
The climax of this solemn occasion was the reprinting of the holy relic's first page, which was then given to the First Hierarch of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church. Thereafter, registered certificates, authorising recipients to obtain their copy of the Gospels, were given to benefactors of the project. His Beatitude Metropolitan Volodymyr in his turn stated, "I am truly grateful to each of you for responding to this initiative to revive this holy relic with all your heart. This confirms the eternity of our faith, the eternity of our lives, and the eternity of our hopes. The sacred moments we feel here should never be forgotten because they will help us to remember the priceless treasure of our people, our culture, and our Orthodox faith.[footnote 7]"
III. The International Presentation of the Peresopnitsa Gospels
After publication, the Ukrainian Orthodox Church launched an international presentation programme of the Peresopnitsa Gospels' high-quality reproduction. Its main target was to promote the Peresopnitsa Gospels and Ukrainian culture on the whole, throughout the world.
The Peresopnitsa Gospels' Presentation in Britain [footnote 8]
In early May 2008, a Peresopnitsa Gospels high-quality reproduction was presented at well-known educational institutions of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
On 9 May a copy was presented to the University of Oxford. The presentation took place in one of the oldest university buildings, which has housed the Department of Theology since the fifteenth century. The presentation was organised by the Bodleian Library, Oxford University's central library. The representatives of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church taking part in the presentation were: Superior of the Glinsk Monastery of the Nativity of the Most Holy Lady, Archbishop Luke of Konotop and Glukhov; Rector of the Kyiv Theological Academy and Seminary, Bishop Anthony of Boryspil; secretary of the First Hierarch of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, Bishop Olexandr of Pereyaslav-Khmelnitskiy; the head of the International Department of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, Archimandrite Cyril (Govorun); and Superior of the St Uspensk Convent of Odesa, Mother Superior Seraphima (Shevchik). Also present were the Director of the Archaeology Department of the Academy of Science of Ukraine, academician Petro Tolochko and many other members of the Ukrainian delegation. The Bodleian Library was represented by its associate director, Richard Ovenden. Also present were representatives from the teaching staff and students, and the Orthodox archbishops Metropolitan Kalist of Diokliy and Bishop Yelisey of Surozh. After Archbishop Luke's and academician Petro Tolochko's presentations Richard Ovenden, the associate director of the library took the floor. He thanked the Ukrainian Orthodox Church's delegation for the precious gift. According to Ovenden, from now on everyone can become enlightened on Ukrainian cultural and moral heritage, while the Peresopnitsa Gospels becomes one of the diamonds of the eleven-million-piece collection of the Oxford library.
On 12 May, Oxford's copy was presented a second time. This event was the main purpose of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church's delegation coming to Britain-to present a copy of the Peresopnitsa Gospels to one of the largest and best-known libraries of the world. This presentation, held in the morning, was attended by: the head of the library's collection, Ronald Milne; the manager of the European collection, Janet Zmroczek; the manager of the Ukrainian collection, Olga Kerziouk; several of the library staff; Ukrainian ambassador to Great Britain, Ihor Kharchenko; Bishop Yelisey of Surozh with his priests and parishioners; the Secretary General of the Fellowship of St Alban and St Sergius, priest Stephen Platt; some representatives of London's Ukrainian community; and various British who are interested in the history and culture of Ukraine. This presentation was broadcast on TV channel Inter as well as BBC Ukraine.
That same day the Ukrainian delegation was received by the Archbishop of Thyateira, Gregorios (under the Patriarchy of Constantinople). He greeted the guests and wished his Beatitude Metropolitan Volodymyr and all the others good health and strength of mind to go on serving the believers in Ukraine. On the morning of 13 May the delegation was received by Primate of All England, Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, at his London residence, Lambet Palace. During the meeting, Lambet Palace Library, one of the oldest libraries in Britain, was presented with a copy the of Peresopnitsa Gospels. In his speech Archbishop Rowan Williams thanked the delegation for their precious gift and stated that the Peresopnitsa Gospels is a symbol combining two Ukrainian distinctive features: spirituality and scholarship. On 13 May there was a presentation of the Peresopnitsa Gospels at the Orthodox Institute's building on the Wesley House campus, in which one of the copies was presented to the Institute's library. In his speech of welcome, the rector of the institute, D. Frost, pointed out that the Peresopnitsa Gospels is not just a cornerstone of the Ukrainian statehood, not just a monument of Ukrainian written language, but it is also a basis for self-identity and morality for all Ukrainian people.
The Peresopnitsa Gospels' Presentation in Ukraine's Capital
On 23 May, 2008 there was a conference entitled The Peresopnitsa Gospels is a Holy Relic of the Ukrainians held at Kyiv's House of Teachers. At the beginning of the conference the First Hierarch of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, his Beatitude Metropolitan Volodymyr, spoke to the audience. He blessed the public and welcomed them. Then the president of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, Boris Paton, took the floor. He emphasised the fact that the creation of the Peresopnitsa Gospels was a very important step in the formation of Ukrainian literary language. The Peresopnitsa's high-quality reproduction makes it available to a wide range of readers. The collection of the Vernadsky National Library of Ukraine possesses manuscripts, treasured for the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, including the documents of the Brotherhood of Saints Cyril and Methodius. The Ukrainian Orthodox Church and the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine benefit from the opportunities provided by the Library's close cooperation.
Later on, the President of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine was presented with a copy of the Peresopnitsa Gospels. Another significant present was money donated to the Vernadsky National Library of Ukraine by the First Hierarch of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church for scientific research in developing technology to keep centuries-old manuscripts and books safe. Registered certificates, authorising the owners to receive a copy of the Peresopnitsa Gospels, were given to: the Institute of Ukrainian Language of the Academy of Science of Ukraine, the Shevchenko Institute of Ukrainian Literature of the Academy of Science of Ukraine, the National Historical and Cultural Preserve Pereyaslav, the Hetman Museum, the National Museum of Literature, the National Kyiv-Pechersk Historic-Cultural Preserve, the State Book and Typography Museum of Ukraine, and the Ukrainian Museum Association. Registered certificates were also presented to benefactors, sponsors, and scientists who took part in this outstanding project.
The core scientific event was academician Petro Tolochko's report, Cultural and Historical Reasons for the Peresopnitsa Gospels' Creation, and a report from the Kyiv Theological Academy and Seminary (KDAiS) rector, the Right Reverend Bishop Anthony, Historical and Theological Preconditions for the Peresopnitsa Gospels' Creation. Other reports were made by: KDAiS associate professor, Priest Vasily Zayev (The Sacred Scripture's Translation into Ukrainian: From Peresopnitsa to the Present); director of the Manuscript Institute of the Vernadsky National Library of Ukraine, L. Dubrovina (The Peresopnitsa Gospels as an Outstanding Monument of Ukrainian Intellectual Wealth: Chronicles of Creation); director of the Institute of Ukrainian Language of the Academy of Science of Ukraine, V. Shirokova (The Peresopnitsa Gospels as an Object of Computer Palaeography); art historian H. Yukhymets (The Peresopnitsa Gospels as a Masterpiece of Ukrainian Manuscript Craft); historic art critic, O. Galchenko (Evaluating Manuscript Covers of the 16th and 17th Centuries based on Ukrainian Church Books and the Peresopnitsa Gospels); director of the Institute of Ukrainian Language of the Academy of Science of Ukraine, P. Gryshchenko (Research into the Linguistic and Cultural Aspects of the Peresopnitsa Gospels).
On 20 July there was a presentation entitled The High-Quality Reproduction of the Peresopnitsa Gospels as the Ukrainian Orthodox Church's Gift to the Ukrainian People which was held at the Kyiv Centre of Ukrainian Culture. His Beatitude Metropolitan Volodymyr emphasised the significance of the Peresopnitsa Gospels and thanked the benefactors of the project and all those who supported the construction of the Holy Resurrection Cathedral. To encourage benefactors and cultural workers his Beatitude Metropolitan presented them with almost 300 copies of the Gospels.
The Peresopnitsa Gospels' Presentation in the Holy Land
On 26 September, as a pilgrim to the Holy Land to celebrate the 1020th anniversary of the Christianization of Kyiv Rus, his Beatitude Metropolitan Volodymyr presented a copy of the Peresopnitsa Gospels to his Beatitude Patriarch of Jerusalem, Theophilus III. There were about 800 pilgrims from all over Ukraine together with hierarchs and priests from various dioceses of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church under the guidance of the First Hierarch of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church. The presentation took place at the great Assembly Hall of the Jerusalem Diocese.
In his opening speech to his Beatitude Patriarch Theophilus, his Beatitude Metropolitan Volodymyr spoke about the pre-history of the Gospel's creation and the Ukrainian Orthodox Church's initiative to produce a high-quality reproduction of this literary monument of Ukraine. He mentioned the close relations between the Ukrainian Orthodox Church and the Patriarch of Jerusalem, pointing out the significance of the Patriarch of Jerusalem, Theophanes II, who re-established the Orthodox Hierarchy in Ukraine in 1620. The First Hierarch of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church thanked the Patriarch of Jerusalem for the his Church's support to the Orthodox Church of Ukraine. As a sign of great devotion and appreciation to the old Church of Jerusalem, his beatitude Metropolitan Volodymyr presented his Beatitude Patriarch of Jerusalem Theophilus with a copy of the Gospels.
In his turn, to thank the First Hierarch of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, his Beatitude Theophilus pointed to the mutual love and help which had always united Jerusalem and Ukrainian Orthodox Churches. The Holy Church always helped the Orthodox Ukrainians when they really needed it. Nevertheless, according to his Beatitude, it should be kept in mind that the Ukrainians had also given help to the Holy Land and helped preserve its church treasures for centuries.
On 28 September, in the context of a pilgrimage to the Holy Land, the Peresopnitsa Gospels was presented in the Courtyard of Alexander of the Imperial Palestinian Orthodox fellowship. At the ceremony, which was led by the First Hierarch of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, his Beatitude Metropolitan Volodymyr, present were: the head of the Imperial Palestinian Orthodox Fellowship, Count M.O. Vorontsov; the Ukrainian ambassador to Israel, I.V. Timofeyev with his wife and embassy officials; and archpriests and numerous pilgrims of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church. On the same day a high-quality reproduction of the Peresopnitsa Gospels was presented at the Church of the Holy Trinity in Jerusalem.
The Peresopnitsa Gospels' Presentation in Canada
During the official visit of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church to Canada on 28 November there was a conference devoted to the background of the Peresopnitsa Gospels' creation, which took place at the University of St Paul, in Ottawa. Among the staff and students of the University who attended the conference were: the chancellor Dale Schlitt; the director of the Metropolitan Andrey Sheptytsky Institute of Eastern Christian Studies, Archpriest Stephen Wojcichowsky; and teachers of the Institute, Archpriest Peter Galadza and Priest John Jillions. Among the Church representatives were Archbishop of Ottawa and all Canada, Seraphim (Orthodox Church of America); a representative of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Constantinople Patriarchate in Canada, Archpriest Igor Kutash; clergyman of the Canadian Carpatho-Russian Diocese, Archpriest Maxym Lysack; and other representatives of Orthodox and Greek-Catholic communities of Ottawa. The presentation aroused great interest among Canadian and Ukrainian mass media.
On the first of December there was a presentation of the Peresopnitsa Gospels at the Canadian Library of Parliament in Ottawa.
At the beginning of his speech, Archimandrite Cyril (Govorun) welcomed his Beatitude Metropolitan of Kyiv and all Ukraine and the other participants of the presentation. In his speech his Beatitude noted: "By presenting this rarity to the Canadian Library of Parliament, we would like Ukrainian Orthodoxy and culture to be known among the scientific and intellectual circles of Canada as well as among our compatriots who live in this great country which has been closely united to Ukraine from time immemorial". [footnote 9]
The Gospels' presentation at the Library of Parliament was made possible by the Canadian Member of Parliament of Ukrainian origin, James Bezan, and the Ukrainian Embassy in Canada and its ambassador, Ihor Ostash. Among the other high-ranking statesmen present was Canada's Speaker of the House of Commons, Peter Milliken, who came to the presentation in spite of the political problems at Parliament that day. Representatives of diplomatic bodies of Australia, Argentina, Belarus, Bulgaria, the Dominican Republic, Greece, Latvia, Lebanon, Mexico, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Slovenia, the USA, Croatia, and Sweden were also present at the solemn event.
the First Hierarch of the Orthodox Church in the USA, his Beatitude Metropolitan Iona, sent his greetings to the people who organised this presentation.
The Peresopnitsa Gospels' Presentation in the USA
On 30 March, 2008 the Peresopnitsa Gospels was presented at the Headquarters of the UN in New York. The presentation took place in one of the conference halls of the UN General Assembly building. Among those who took part in it were UN representatives, ambassadors and UN representatives of various member countries, Ukrainian Diaspora members, and representatives from Orthodox Churches of the USA of several jurisdictions. A copy of the Peresopnitsa Gospels was given to the members of the UN Library. The Library was also given one more monument of old Ukrainian writing-the Apostle of Christonopol from the twelfth century. This monument underwent high quality restoration by the Ukrainian Orthodox Church working together with the USA's Embassy in Ukraine.
The Peresopnitsa Gospels' Presentation at the American Library of Congress
On 1 April the Peresopnitsa Gospels was presented at the Library of Congress in Washington. This presentation was made by the Ukrainian Orthodox Church in cooperation with the Ukrainian Embassy in the USA and Russian Orthodox Church representatives at the UN. Among those taking part in this presentation were representatives of the Library of Congress, experts from Ukraine, Russia, and other countries working in the USA, the Ukrainian Diaspora, and diplomats. On behalf of the Library authorities, doctor Deanna Marcum welcomed the audience and thanked the Ukrainian Orthodox Church for the completion of the high-quality reproduction of the Gospels project. She laid stress on the importance of this project and compared the Gospels to Lincoln's Bible kept at the Library of Congress, which was used during the recent inauguration of the American President, Barak Obama.
The Peresopnitsa Gospels' Presentation in Poland
From the seventh to the tenth of May 2009, the Ukrainian Orthodox Church together with the Orthodox Church in Poland presented high-quality reproductions of the Gospel at four Polish cities: Warsaw, Lublin, Cyanik, and Gorlice.
On the seventh of May the Gospels was presented at the Christian Theological Academy in Warsaw. Here the delegation was met by professor and vice-chancellor of the Academy, Bishop Victor (Vysochanskiy). In his opening speech, Archbishop Augustine presented a registered certificate to the Academy, entitling them to a copy of the Gospels. Later, the delegation was received by his Beatitude Sava, Metropolitan of Warsaw and all Poland. The presentation aroused great interest in Polish and Ukrainian mass media, including the weekly publication, Nashe Slovo.
On 8 May a presentation took place in Lublin. It was organised by the Orthodox Diocese of Lublin and Holm, the Ukrainian Lublin Fellowship, and the Department of Humanities at the University of Maria Curie-Sklodovskaya. At the Royal Tribunal building the delegation was welcomed by the Archbishop of Lublin and Holm, Avel. The solemn meeting was officiated by the head of the Ukrainian Lublin Fellowship, Professor Grygoriy Kupriyanovych, a PhD in history. The opening speech was given by Archbishop Avel. Famous Ukrainian poet Thaddeus Karabovich, PhD at the Department of Humanities of the University of Maria Curie-Sklodovskaya, presented his report entitled The Peresopnitsa Gospels and Its Significance for Ukrainian culture.
On the ninth of May a presentation took place in the town of Cyanik. The presentation was organised by the Diocese of Peremyshl and Novosanchivsk, the Cyanik Historical Museum, and the Institute of Culture of the Professional Association in Cyanik. The ceremony was held at the historical museum, which is located in the early-medieval castle where the 15th-16th century icon show takes place, which is near an Orthodox cathedral. The audience was welcomed by the museum's Director, Vieslav Banakh, and Cyanik's Orthodox Archpriest, Yulian Felenchak. In his opening speech Archpriest Adam emphasised the importance of the Gospels' presentation, especially in Cyanik-because it is the place which the scribe-artist Mykhailo Vasylievich, the son of Cyanik's Archpriest Vasyl Zhuravnitskiy, came from.
On the tenth of May the Gospels was presented in the city of Gorlice, in the Lemkovshina area. The event was held at the Elpis Centre of Orthodox Culture. The Superior of Gorlice Parish, Archpriest Roman Dubets, presented his report, The Peresopnitsa Gospels, after which Mother Superior Seraphima introduced her multimedia presentation. Gorlice Supervisor Kaziemish Strekovich shared his thoughts with the guests.
In summing up, it should be mentioned that the high-quality reproduction of the Peresopnitsa Gospels project has become a bright example of the productive patriotism of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church and its First Hierarch. It has promoted the international image of Ukraine and contributed sufficiently to monetary donations for the Ukrainian Orthodox Church's Cathedral-building. The reprinting of the Peresopnitsa Gospels has not only become a symbol of Ukraine's national cultural rebirth, but has also promoted the consolidation of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church and the brainpower of Ukraine. This project has proved that today's Orthodox Church is a coherent and patriotic constituent of Ukrainian society with a strong desire to participate in the cultural and national revival of Ukraine.
(Translated into English by the English language teaching and translation company, ARPI Company.
 Inna Chepiga: Two Important Dates in the Life of the National Treasure
2 Academician Petro Tolochko: Historical Context of the Peresopnitsa Gospels
3 As was the case in the Catholic Church as per a Papal Bull issued by Pope Gregory IX in 1231
4 This was clearly displayed by a histiric deed by Sts. Cyril and Methodius
5 Petro Zhytetsky: Description of the 16th Century Peresopnitsa Gospels' Original Manuscript Complete with the Gospel of Luke and Extracts from the Other Gospels and Four Pages of Photos. Kiev, 1876, p. 11
6 "As the result of an initiative by the Office of the Metropolitan of Kiev and the Academy of Science of Ukraine, reproduction of the Peresopnitsa Gospels has begun." (From the Ukrainian Orthodox Church's official website; October 15, 2008.)
7 Here and hereafter we use information found on the Ukrainian Orthodox Church's official website (orthodox.org.ua), written by the chief editor, who participated in the majority of the events described. Information about any particular event or development shall be placed on the website same day or the next.
8 As Archimandrite Cyril (Govorun) stated, "...a delegation of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church made presentations of a Peresopnitsa Gospels reproduction in London and Cambridge."
9 From an address by the Metropolitan of Kyiv and All Ukraine, Volodymyr during the presentation of the Peresopnitsa Gospels. Placed on the official Ukrainian Orthodox Church, Moscow Patriarchate, website