Platon Gorodetskyi (secular name – Mykola Ivanovych Gorodetskyi)

Platon Gorodetskyi (secular name – Mykola Ivanovych Gorodetskyi)

 

Platon Gorodetskyi (secular name – Mykola Ivanovych Gorodetskyi) was born on May 5, 1803 in the family of a village priest in the Pogorile-Gorodishche village of the Tver province. He was educated at the Rzhev Theological College and the Tver Theological Seminary, after which in 1823 he entered the St. Petersburg Theological Academy.

After receiving his master’s degree (1827), he was appointed professor at the Orel Theological Seminary, where he also held the position of inspector of the seminary and taught French (according to other sources – Greek).

In 1829 he was transferred to the St. Petersburg Theological Academy, where a year later he took monastic vows and was ordained first a hierodeacon, and eventually a hieromonk. In 1831 he was elevated to the rank of archimandrite.

In 1837 he was appointed rector of the Kostroma seminary, professor of theology. At the same time he managed the Kostroma Bohoiavlenskyi Monastery. Two years later (1839) he was transferred to Vilno to the position of abbot of the Holy Spirit Monastery.

Then he held the position of bishop of various dioceses: bishop of Kaunas (1843-1848), bishop of Riga, headed the Pskov Diocese (1848-1867). During his episcopate in Riga, he strengthened the position of Orthodoxy, tidied up the temples, and facilitated the peaceful conversion of the Old Believers to Orthodoxy. He also headed the dioceses of Don (1867–1877), Odessa, and Kherson (1877–1882).

On February 4, 1882, he was ordained metropolitan of Kyiv, Holy archimandrite of the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra. Member of the Holy Synod.

Unlike many other Holy archimandrites of the Lavra, Platon lived in the Metropolitan’s residence in the Sophia courtyard. During this time, significant construction and repair and restoration works were carried out in St. Sophia Cathedral: the western porch was restored (a narthex was added on the site of the destroyed external gallery), forced air heating was installed, and some mosaic and frescoes were opened and restored. The Metropolitan’s House was also repaired and renovated: in 1884–1886, the southern extension was dismantled according to the project of the diocesan architect V. Nikolaev (a small part of it remains to this day), the west courtyard was filled with a new volume with rounded corners, in its interior there is a large hall and a grand staircase to the second floor.

As the head of the Kyiv metropolitanate, bishop Platon paid considerable attention to improving the system of eparchial administration and its staffing. He succeeded in transferring to the Kyiv metropolitanate in 1886 the land and premises for the restoration of the Mezhyhirsk Savior-Transfiguration Monastery and its charitable institutions, and donated considerable funds for their improvement (in 1935 the monastery was destroyed).

He took care of the Kyiv Theological Academy, regularly participated in final and annual exams, as well as academic celebrations. He took part in organization the Bohoiavlenske fraternity to support needy students (1883). With its founding, accepting the title of patron, bishop Platon made a contribution of 1,500 rubles to the main capital, in addition, annually donated 500 rubles. From 1882 until the end of his life he was the trustee of the church-archaeological society at the academy.

His Eminence Platon often provided material assistance not only to the needy of his subordinate diocese, but also to representatives of other lands, in particular, the inhabitants of the areas he had previously ruled. Such activity of the metropolitan secured for His Eminence Platon the title of one of the most generous benefactors of his time.

Bishop Platon died on October 13, 1891 in Kyiv, buried in the northern gallery of St. Sophia Cathedral.