Samuil Myslavskyi (secular name – Symeon Hryhorovych Myslavskyi)

Samuil Myslavskyi (secular name – Symeon Hryhorovych Myslavskyi)

Samuil Myslavskyi (secular name – Symeon Hryhorovych Myslavskyi) was born on May 24, 1731 in the Poloshky village of the Hlukhiv Regiment in the family of a priest. In 1752–1754 he studied at the Kyiv-Mohyla Academy, after which he was ordained a monk in St. Sophia Cathedral in Kyiv and was enrolled in the academy as a teacher of analogy, Latin grammar and poetry. Since 1756 – hieromonk, teacher of rhetoric; since 1759 – professor of theology; since 1761 – rector of the academy, archimandrite of the Fraternal School Monastery and a member of the Kyiv consistory. He was engaged in improving the economic condition of the academy, improving the educational process, introduced new teaching courses. In 1766 he obtained from the tsarist government an increase in state subsidies for the maintenance of the academy.

On June 28, 1768, in St. Sophia Cathedral, in honor of the 6th anniversary of the accession to the throne of Russian Empress Catherine II, he delivered a sermon, which was published and attracted the attention of the Empress. Subsequently, Samuil was summoned to St. Petersburg and, by royal decree appointment, ordained in December 1768 as bishop of Belgorod and Oboyan. From 1771 he was a bishop Krutytsky of the Moscow Diocese, a member of the Synodal Office with instructions to complete the renovation of the Kremlin convocations. From 1775 he was a member of the Holy Synod, and in 1777 he was appointed archbishop of Rostov.

From September 22, 1783 – metropolitan of Kyiv and Halych. In this position he continued to take care of the academy – introduced reforms that changed the principles of teaching disciplines in public schools in Russia, such as the educational process. He introduced the study of arithmetic, history, geography, drawing, Russian and French. To train teachers a new way of educating, they were being sent to Russian folk schools, as well as to Moscow and Vienna universities. The metropolitan also sent gifted students to study at European universities at his own expense. At the printing house of the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra he founded an academic printing house with a civil font, took care of filling the library of the Kyiv Academy with textbooks. In 1792, with the assistance of Metropolitan Samuil, a Free Poetry Society was formed at the Academy under the leadership of a student of the metropolitan, the eminent scientist I. Falkovskyi. As a result, the Kyiv-Mohyla Academy raised the level of education and became on a par with the Moscow Academy, and its students were invited to teach in the best educational institutions in Russia.

Metropolitan Samuil succeeded in canceling the decision to transfer the Academy to the Sophia Monastery and the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra, to transform the Fraternal Bohoiavlenskyi Monastery into a hospital, and to transfer their estates to the state department.

If at a young age Samuil (Myslavskyi) was a defender of the ancient rights of the Ukrainian Church and the Kyiv-Mohyla Academy, then, becoming a metropolitan, he became a faithful and conscientious leader of the policy of the Russian Empress Catherine II. The most important event in his time was the secularization of church lands in the Left Bank of Ukraine in 1784. After the introduction of ecclesiastical states in Ukraine in 1786, metropolitan Samuil managed to protect some Ukrainian monasteries from liquidation. According to the decree “On the state of the Kyiv, Chernihiv, and Novgorod-Siversky Dioceses,” the Kyiv metropolitan house was equated with the Moscow bishop’s house, and the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra with the Trinity-Sergius Diocese. The Kyiv-Sophia Cathedral Monastery was renamed the Cathedral with a state of white clergy, as in Moscow’s Arkhangelsk Cathedral.

He studied the history of Kyiv, the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra, and Kyivan Rus’. He published a number of theological works, the textbook “Latin Grammar” (1765), which was taught in many schools. Samuil (Myslavskyi) was elected a member of the Russian Academy of Sciences for his work.

He assembled a valuable collection of books and manuscripts, which is stored in the State Library of Russia in Moscow (most of them), as well as in the National Library of Ukraine named after V.I. Vernadskyi in Kyiv.

The bishop died on January 5, 1796, buried in the crypt of St. Sophia Cathedral.