House Church in the History of the Kyiv-Sophia Theological School

House Church in the History of the Kyiv-Sophia Theological School

In 1839, through the efforts of saint Filaret (Amfiteatrov), Metropolitan of Kyiv and Galicia, a county parish school and Bursa (dormitory for students) were established affiliated with Kyiv-Sophia Cathedral. The premises, built in 1763 – 1767 as the building of the cells of Kyiv-Sophia monastery, was chosen for the educational institution. Church service had a great importance in the spiritual environment of the students of the Sophia School. It was an integral part of the daily life of Bursa and its students. The arrangement of the church contributed the improvement of the spiritual educational institution, and especially the practical acquaintance of the pupils with the service, so in 1886 a house church was built in the stone school building in honor of Our Lady of Education.

The throne was consecrated in honor of the Blessed Virgin. The temple day was celebrated on March 5, the day of the appearance of the miraculous Byzantine icon of Our Lady of Education. It is logical to believe that one of the copies of the icon was in the house church of the Sophia Theological School. The disciples, teachers and parents prayed in front of the icon, asking the Blessed Virgin to send intelligence and fill the heart with wisdom. Iconography of the image of the Icon of the Mother of God “Education” by its type refers to Hodegetria (i.e. the One who points the way) (Draw. 1).

According to the location of the cross in the drawings of architect M. Damilovsky (Draw. 2), it can be assumed that the school house church was located on the second floor of the risalit of the eastern wing of the southern facade of Kyiv-Sophia Bursa. Apparently, the altar of the church came out here.

The Sophia Theological College, as well as the House Church of Our Lady, functioned before the beginning of the Ukrainian Revolution of 1917 – 1921. Nowadays the Central State Archive-Museum of Literature and Arts of Ukraine is located in the building of the former Bursa (Draw. 3).

Author: Inna Chygyryk

1. Icon of Our Lady of Education. E. Poselyanyn. Repr. 1914 edition

2. South facade of Bursa (detail). View from the south. M. Damilovsky 1920

3. Kyiv-Sophia Bursa. Modern look.