Gavryil Kremenetskyi (secular name – Hryhorii Fedorovych Kremenetskyi)

Gavryil Kremenetskyi (secular name – Hryhorii Fedorovych Kremenetskyi)

Gavryil Kremenetskyi (secular name – Hryhorii Fedorovych Kremenetskyi) was born on November 20, 1711 in the town of Nosivka (now Chernihiv region) in the family of a wójt (city prefect). He studied at the Kyiv-Mohyla Academy, from 1732 – at the Kharkiv School Board, then – at the Moscow Slavic Greek Latin Academy, which he graduated in 1736 “with great success”.

After graduating at the invitation of his teacher and patron Stefan (Kalinovskyi), who was then rector of the Olexander Nevsky Monastery (later – Lavra), he was transferred to the seminary founded at the monastery. From April 1, 1736, he taught Latin, Greek grammar, mathematics, Hebrew, philosophy, and theology at the seminary. Together with another native of the Kyiv-Mohyla Academy, the famous religious figure Andrii Zertis-Kamensky, they translated from Latin into Russian the work of Adam Selli (in the monastic order Nycodym) “Historical Mirror of Russian Sovereigns from Rurik to Elisaveta Petrovna” and on behalf of the seminary presented this work to Empress Elizabeth. From 1740 to 1748 he held the position of rector of the Olexander Nevsky Seminary.

In 1739 Kremenetskyi took monastic vows under the name Gavryil. In 1748 he became archimandrite of the Moscow Novospasskyi monastery, in 1749 – a member of the Holy Synod. In 1749 he was ordained a bishop of Kolomna and Kashira. During his stay at the department he spent a lot of time at the Kolomna Theological Seminary. From 1755 – bishop of Kazan and Svyaz; took an active part in the creation of the Kazan gymnasium. In 1762 he headed the St. Petersburg Diocese. Promoted the distribution of synodal publications, in 1769 issued orders for compulsory preaching activities for all clergy who taught in schools. On his initiative, construction was actively carried out in the Olexander Nevsky Monastery, new stone cells were erected.

Gavryil Kremenetskyi was a member of the imperial commission for the secularization of church property.

On September 22, 1770, he became Metropolitan of Kyiv and Halych. However, he arrived in Kyiv only in February 1772 after the end of the plague epidemic. In the Kyiv metropolitanate, Gavryil tried to reform the church service in accordance with the norms established in the Great Russian Dioceses, and introduced a staffing schedule for parish churches.

Following his predecessors, metropolitan Gavryil took care of the financial condition of the Kyiv-Mohyla Academy and supported needy students. Contributed to the revival of the academic library, the collection of which was badly damaged during the fire of 1780. Reformed the educational process, reducing the period of study from 12 to 9 years, introduced new courses. He annuled the elections of the rector, prefects and professors, who, according to his reform, could be appointed only by the metropolitan personally. He bequeathed for the needs of the academy 73 thousand rubles in silver.

During his ministry, a bakery was rebuilt in Sophia of Kyiv (the first floor was added to house the Kyiv Spiritual Consistory), and a risalit was erected on the north side of the Metropolitan’s House, in which the stairs leading to the Church of the Resurrection of Christ on the first floor were later arranged.

Metropolitan Gavryil died on September 17, 1783, buried in the crypt of St. Sophia Cathedral.