Nine facts about Kyiv church to be used by Ecumenical Patriarch

Nine facts about Kyiv church to be used by Ecumenical Patriarch

To His All Holiness Bartholomew from Francesco Bartolomeo Rastrelli

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has tabled in the Verkhovna Rada a bill that proposes transferring St. Andrew's Church in Kyiv to permanent use by the Ecumenical Patriarch. If that happens, then it will be a temple, a residence, a stauropegic monastery for the Ecumenical Patriarch, as indicated in the communique of the Holy Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople.

What is known about the temple in which Greek worship songs will soon be heard and the hierarchs and clergy of the Ecumenical Patriarchate will hold church services?

1. The temple was built on the slope of the Old Kyiv plateau, which served as a kind of natural pedestal for the church. According to the chronicle of Nestor of the Chronicler, Saint Andrew the Apostle came to Kyiv in those distant times. He climbed the mountain and predicted that here, on the mountains of Kyiv, "the grace of God will shine, a great city will grow, and God will put up many churches." And he put up a cross on the mountain to commemorate his words.

2. Senior court architect Francesco Bartolomeo Rastrelli was tasked with designing St. Andrew's Church. The church is often called a "swan song" of Bartolomeo Rastrelli. It was built in the Baroque style during 1747-1762. It preserved its architectural forms and interior decoration, which is an example of Baroque church interiors.

The main shrines of the church are a part of the holy relics of Andrew the Apostle, brought from Italy, and the Gospel in a precious ornament - a gift from Emperor Alexander.

3. St. Andrew's Church is 50 meters high.

4. The world society added St. Andrew's Church to the catalog "1000 Wonders of the World. Mankind Treasures of Five Continents," which was published in Germany in 2002. It was also proposed to inscribe it on in the UNESCO World Heritage List.

5. Since 1949, the stylobate of the temple was home to the Kyiv seminary (closed in 1960), and the temple itself housed the relics of the Holy Great Martyr Varvara. Soon after the closure of the seminary, the church was also closed, under the pretext of an "emergency state" (the Holy Varvara's relics were transferred to St. Volodymyr's Cathedral).

6. The basement of St. Andrew's Church served as a residence of a famous legendary personality – holy fool Ivan Bosoy (Rastorguev). This is the first holy fool in Kyiv who was engaged in patronage. The alms collected by Ivan Bosoy sufficed for the maintenance of a charity shelter for three hundred people, who were provided with medical aid and received clothes and shoes.

7. The scene of the marriage of movie characters Pronya Prokopyvna and Svirid Golokhvastov was shot at the steps of St. Andrew's Church.

8. Father Mykola (Kapshuchenko), the father of famous artist Raisa Okipna, was the dean of St. Andrew's Church in the 1950s.

9. Future Patriarch Mstyslav (Skrypnyk) was ordained a bishop of Pereyaslav at St. Andrew's Church on May 14, 1942. He also held church services during his stay in Ukraine in 1990-1992.

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St. Andrew's Church was supposed to be the church of the royal family. In modern times it was the temple of the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church (UAOC). Therefore, there is symbolism in the fact that now it should be the temple of the first hierarch who will grant autocephaly to Ukraine.

Lana Samokhvalova. Kyiv

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