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Petro Mohyla

Petro Mohyla (01.10.1597, Suceava, Moldova – 01.01.1647, Kyiv) – a political, ecclesiastical, and educational figure, writer, Archimandrite of the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra, Exarch of the Patriarch of Constantinople, Metropolitan of Kyiv, Halych and all Rus, patron and philanthropist of the Kyiv-Mohyla Collegium and the Kyiv Epiphany Monastery. He came from an ancient Moldovan boyar Orthodox lineage. He studied at the Lviv Brotherhood School, the Zamość Academy (Zamość, Poland), and at educational establishments in Holland and Paris. Returning to the Commonwealth of Poland, he served in the Polish army, participated in the battles under Ţuţora (1620) and Khotyn (1621). Under the influence of Metropolitan Job Boretskyi, he chose a church career, taking a monastic vow in the Kнiv-Pechersk Lavra in 1625. In 1627 he was consecrated to the Archimandrite of Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra with the support of Job Boretskyi and influential Orthodox noble families. In 1631, by the spiritual will of Job Boretskyi, Nohyla became a member of the Kyiv Brotherhood, its patron and sponsor, as well as that of the Kyiv Epiphany Monastery and the Kyiv Brotherhood School.

In 1632, on the basis of the union of the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra School and the Kyiv Brotherhood School, he founded a collegium, modelled after Jesuit schools. He constantly provided financial assistance to the Collegium, its students and professors, as well as the monastery, and sent students to study abroad at his own expense. For the needs of the monastery and the collegium, he donated his own village Pozniaky (now a residential area of Kyiv). In 1633 he was elected Metropolitan of Kyiv, Galicia and all Rus. He built temples and monasteries, established educational institutions, organized the liturgical practice, published the liturgical literature. He is the author and compiler of 19 works of the church-theological, polemical, educational, philosophical, and moral character. He is buried in the Assumption Cathedral of the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra.
In 1996, on the 400th anniversary of his birth, Petro Mohyla was canonized by all 15 autocephalous Orthodox churches and proclaimed saint. In 1996, the National Bank of Ukraine issued a silver anniversary coin in the series “Prominent Personalities of Ukraine”, dedicated to the 400th anniversary of Petro Mohyla.

According to Petro Mohyla’s spiritual will, the Kyiv-Brotherhood Collegium was the first heir to all his property, including all real estate, 81 thousand Zloty, jewels, metropolitan clothing and the library. Petro Mohyla’s book collection was once one of the largest libraries in the Ukrainian territories and included works by Roman philosophers and writers, Western European scholars and theologians, Old Rus chronicles, documentaries, Polish chronicles, and much more. The private library of Petro Mohyla started the library of the Kyiv-Mohyla Academy and established the tradition of donating books for the needs of the university. The first library of the Kyiv Brotherhood Collegium was located on the second floor of the Refectory built by Petro Mohyla.

During the life of Petro Mohyla, the Kyiv Brotherhood Collegium was named the Kyiv-Mohyla Collegium. The successor to the collegium, the Kyiv-Mohyla Academy retained the name of its founder in its name. The Academy was re-established in 1992 under the name “The National University of ‘Kyiv-Mohyla Academy’”and is named after Petro Mohyla. The highest award of the NaUKMA for significant contribution to the development of the national education, science, and spirituality is the Peter Mohyla Medal.

Source: Kyiv-Mohyla Academy Reflected in Names: XVII-XVIII, 2001.