Order of Saint Basil the Great

The Order of Saint Basil the Great (O.S.B.M. Latin: Ordo Sancti Basilii Magni, Portuguese: Ordem de São Basílio Magno, Ukrainian: Чин Святого Василія Великого, Chyn Sviatoho Vasyliia Velykoho) also known as the Basilian Order of Saint Josaphat is a monastic religious order of the Greek Catholic Churches that is present in many countries and that has its Mother House in Rome (Santi Sergio e Bacco degli Ucraini). The order received approbation on August 20, 1631 and was based at the Holy Trinity monastery in Vilnius. Its monks, brothers, and priests work primarily with Ukrainian Catholics and are also present in other Greek-Catholic churches in central and eastern Europe.

In 16th century on efforts of Metropolitan of Kiev Josyf Veliamyn Rutsky and Archbishop of Polotsk Josaphat Kuntsevych the monastic order was revived on territory of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. Following the World War II, the order was completely eliminated by the Russian Orthodox from its original territory and forced into exile. With fall of the Soviet Union, it was reestablished again in modern Ukraine as part of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church.

Beside the Order of Saint Basil the Great, there is a smaller order of Studite Monks that was revived at the end of 19th century by Metropolitan of Galicia Andrey Sheptytsky and is based in the Univ Lavra.


Antony and feodosy
Sts. Anthony and Theodosius
Saint Josaphat Kuntsevych

The order is based upon the ascetic writings of Saint Basil the Great (329-379, in accordance with the Rule of St Basil laid down by him and later developed by Saint Theodore the Studite (760-826), Saint Theodosius of Kiev (†1074), Saint Josaphat Kuntsevych (1580-1623) and the Metropolitan of Kiev Joseph Benjamin Rutsky (1574-1637).

Monastic life began to develop in Ukraine in the times of Saint Vladimir the Great (980-1015), when the first monks settled in the caves near Kiev led by Saints Anthony and Theodosius. After the Mongol invasions in the 13th century the monks fled to western lands of Halych-Volhynia and the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, spreading Eastern Monasticism there. After the Eastern Rite Ruthenian Church (in modern-day Belarus and Ukraine) has re-affirmed its communion with the Catholic Church in the Union of Brest in 1596. The monasteries living according to the rules of St. Basil and St. Theodore Studite, previously undergoing a period of laxity and decline, were reformed by the initiative of Saint Josaphat Kuntsevych and Joseph Benjamin Rutsky started in the monastery of the Holy Trinity in Vilnius. Following this reform in 1617 the individual monasteries united into a single congregation under a Protarchimandrite directly subject to the Metropolitan, similar to the path Western Rite monasticism took during the Middle Ages. In 1739 a second congregation was formed by monasteries in Halychyna and in 1744 both congregations were united in the Ruthenian Order of St. Basil the Great by Pope Benedict XIV.

The Order of Saint Basil the Great spread and flourished across modern day Belarus and Ukraine and played a key role in the education both of laity and clergy and helped preserve the distinctiveness of the Ruthenian culture in the predominantly Polish and Roman Catholic Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth until the partitions of Poland by the end of the 18th century. In 1772 the Order had over 200 monasteries and over 1000 monks, six seminaries, twenty schools and colleges and four printing houses.

In the last years of the 18th century most of the Ruthenian lands came under the Russian Empire, where the Order along with the whole Ruthenian Church was persecuted and eventually the monasteries were subjected under the Russian Orthodox Church. A small part of modern-day Ukraine came under the Austrian rule were the fate of the Ruthenian Church was much better. However, the Order suffered under the policies of Emperor Joseph II, directed generally against all religious orders. In the second half of the 19th century efforts were undertaken to renew the Order. By 1882 it was reduced to just 60 monks in 14 monasteries. With permission from Pope Leo XIII the Basilian Constitution was updated with help from the Society of Jesus starting with Dobromyl monastery, changing the character to one less sedentary and more missionary, among other things allowing the monks to work with Ukrainian diaspora overseas. The Basilians reached Brazil (1897), Canada (1902), United States (1907) and Argentina (1934). New provinces were established covering Transcarpathia, Hungary and Yugoslavia and Romania. By 1939 the number of monks rose to over 650. In 1944, the order purchased the John E. Aldred Estate at Lattingtown, New York and it is known as St. Josaphat's Monastery.[1]

Following the Second World War, the Soviets entered further into Europe and forced the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church into the catacombs. In all of the Soviet controlled territories only a single Basilian monastery was left open, in the Polish capital of Warsaw. Nonetheless, the Order survived among the Ukrainian diaspora in the free world (and in communist Yugoslavia where the regime was relatively benign) and in Ukraine itself where the monks secretly prayed and catechesized.

After the collapse of the Soviet Union the Order was reestablished in independent Ukraine and other Central and Eastern European countries such as Hungary, Romania and Slovakia. Some old monasteries have been restored and new ones established. In 2001 there were over 600 monks, 300 of them in Ukraine.

List of monasteries



Notable Basilians

See also


  1. ^ Terry Winters and Austin N. O'Brien (May 1979). "National Register of Historic Places Registration: John E. Aldred Estate". New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation. Retrieved 2010-11-20.

External links

Antin Sielava

Anton Atanas Sielava (Belarusian: Антон Сялява, Ukrainian: Антін Селява, Polish: Antoni Sielawa) (1583 – 5 October 1655) was the Metropolitan of Kiev, Galicia and Russia of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church from 1641 to his death in 1655.

Atanasie Rednic

Atanasie Rednic (1722–1772) was Bishop of Făgăraş and Primate of the Romanian Greek Catholic Church from 1765 to his death in 1772.

Dionisio Lachovicz

Bishop Dionisio Paulo Lachovicz, O.S.B.M., (Ukrainian: Діонісій Павло Ляхович; born 2 July 1946 in Pombas, Itaiópolis, Santa Catarina, Brazil) is a Brazilian-born Ukrainian Greek Catholic hierarch. He is currently Apostolic Visitor for the Ukrainian Greek Catholics in Italy and Spain. Prior to this appointment, he served as a Curial Bishop of the Major Archeparchy of Kyiv-Halych from December 21, 2005, until January 19, 2009, under the title of Titular Bishop of Egnatia.

Dmytro Hryhorak

Bishop Dmytro Bohdan Hryhorak, O.S.B.M. (Ukrainian: Дмитро Богдан Григорак; born 1 January 1956 in Stanislaviv, Ukrainian SSR) is a Ukrainian Greek Catholic hierarch as an Eparchial Bishop of Buchach since 23 July 2011. Previously he served as an Apostolic Administrator of the same Eparchy from 28 July 2007 until 21 July 2011.

Florian Hrebnicki

Florian Hrebnicki (born as Franciszek Hrebnicki; Polish: Florian Hrebnicki; 1683 – 18 July 1762) was a bishop of the Ruthenian Uniate Church, Metropolitan bishop of Kiev, Galicia and all Ruthenia.

On 14 March 1716 Hrebnicki was ordained by Primate of the Uniate church Leo Kiszka as a archbishop of Polock.

On 16 December 1748 he was confirmed as the Metropolitan bishop of Kiev, Galicia, and all Ruthenia.

He consecrated following bishops Maksymilian Rylo and Theodosius Godebski.

Hrebnicki died in 1762 at a residence of the Polotsk Archbishops that he built in village of Strunie (today in Polotsk District).

Ioan Giurgiu Patachi

Ioan Giurgiu Patachi (or Latin: Ioannes Nemes de Pataki, 1680–1727) was Bishop of Făgăraş and Primate of the Romanian Greek Catholic Church from 1721 to his death in 1727.

Iryney Bilyk

Bishop Iryney Ihor Bilyk, O.S.B.M. (Ukrainian: Іриней Ігор Білик; born 2 January 1950 in Knyazhpil, Dobromyl Raion, Drohobych Oblast, Ukrainian SSR (present day – Staryi Sambir Raion, Lviv Oblast, Ukraine)) is a Ukrainian Greek Catholic hierarch. He served as Auxiliary Bishop of Ukrainian Catholic Eparchy of Ivano-Frankivsk from 15 August 1989 until 21 July 2000 (from 16 January 1991 as Titular Bishop of Novae), as an Eparchial Bishop of Buchach since from 21 July 2000 until 27 July 2007 and as Canon of Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore since 27 July 2007.

Meron Mazur

Bishop Meron Mazur, O.S.B.M. (Ukrainian: Мирон Мазур; born 5 February 1962 in Prudentópolis, Paraná, Brazil) is a Brazilian Ukrainian Greek Catholic hierarch. He is currently as Eparchial Bishop of Ukrainian Catholic Eparchy of São João Batista em Curitiba from 12 May 2014. Before it, from 21 December 2005 until 12 May 2014 he served as Titular Bishop of Simitthu and Auxiliary Bishop of São João Batista em Curitiba.

Monastery and church of St. Onuphrius, Lviv

The Basilian monastery and Greek Catholic church of St. Onuphrius in Lviv, Ukraine is located north of the Old Town, at the base of the Castle Hill.

Records mention a wooden church existed at this site already in the 13th century during the reign of Leo I of Halych. During the second half of the 15th century a monastery was built next to the church. A stone church was built in 1550 and in 1585 a monastery surrounded with fortifications. The church was destroyed and rebuilt several times. Damaged by Turks in 1672, it underwent a major reconstruction in 1680. In 1776 the church was connected with the previously separate chapel of the Holy Trinity, adjoining it to the north, a new classicist bell tower was built in 1820 and in the years 1821-1824 the presbytery was extended and a sacristy added. The churches present day look dates to 1902 when the southern nave was constructed symmetrically and both were topped with hexagonal domes. Inside the church holds 18th century polychromies and an iconostasis from 1908.

Under Soviet rule the church was closed and changed into a museum of the first Ukrainian printer Ivan Fedorovych, who worked in the monastery at the end of the 16th century and is buried there. After the collapse of the Soviet Union it was returned to the Basilians and restored.

Paul Chomnycky

Paul Patrick Chomnycky, OSBM, (born 19 May 1954) is a bishop of the Ukrainian Catholic Church and the current bishop of the Diocese of Stamford, Connecticut.

Rafajil Korsak

Rafajil Nikolai Korsak (Belarusian: Рафал Мікалай Корсак, Ukrainian: Рафаїл Корсак, Polish: Rafał Mikołaj Korsak) (c. 1599 – 28 August 1640) was the Metropolitan of Kiev, Galicia and Russia of the Ruthenian Uniate Church from 1637 to his death in 1640.

Samuil Micu-Klein

Samuil Micu Klein (September 1745 – 13 May 1806) was a Romanian Greek-Catholic theologian, historian, philologist and philosopher, a member of the Enlightenment-era movement of Transylvanian School (Şcoala Ardeleană).

Severian Baranyk

Blessed Severian Stefan Baranyk (Ukrainian: Северіян Бараник; 18 July 1889 - ? 1941) was a Ukrainian Greek Catholic priest and martyr.

Baranyk was born in Austrian Galicia (today Western Ukraine). He entered the monastery of the Order of St Basil the Great in Krekhiv in 1904. On 16 May he took his first monastic vows and then on 21 September 1910 he took his perpetual vows. He was ordained to the priesthood on 14 February 1915. Baranyk was known for his preaching, and his life was noted for his special kindness to youth and orphans. In 1932 he was made the prior of the Basilian monastery in Drohobych.

On 26 June 1941 the NKVD arrested him. He was taken to Drohobych prison and never seen alive again. After the Soviets withdrew from the city his mutilated body was found in the prison with signs of torture, including cross shaped knife slashes across his chest.

He was beatified by Pope John Paul II on 27 June 2001.

Severian Yakymyshyn

Bishop Severian Stefan Yakymyshyn, O.S.B.M. (Ukrainian: Северіян Стефан Якимишин; born 22 April 1930 in Plain Lake, Alberta, Canada) is a Canadian Ukrainian Greek Catholic hierarch. He served as an Eparchial Bishop of Ukrainian Catholic Eparchy of New Westminster from 5 January 1995 until his retirement 1 June 2007.

Stephen Chmilar

Stephen Victor Chmilar (Ukrainian: Стефан Віктор Хміляр; born 24 May 1945 in Lamont, Alberta, Canada) is a Canadian Ukrainian Greek Catholic hierarch. He is currently as Eparchial Bishop of Ukrainian Catholic Eparchy of Toronto from 16 December 1992.

Theodosius Wislocki

Theodosius Wislocki (Polish: Teodozy Wisłocki; 23 February 1738 – 28 April 1801) was a bishop of the Ruthenian Uniate Church, Bishop of Suprasl and all unites in New East Prussia.

After the third partition of Poland, on initiative of Theodosius Rostocki in 1778 Wislocki was appointed administrator of newly created Suprasl diocese (eparchy) which became part of the Prussian province of New East Prussia. It was not until 1800 when he was finally ordained on 27 April by Jesuit bishop John Baptist Albertrandi.

Valdomiro Koubetch

Valdomiro Koubetch, O.S.B.M. (born 27 March 1953, Mandaguaçu, Paraná, Brazil) is the Archbishop-Metropolitan of the Ukrainian Catholic Archeparchy of São João Batista em Curitiba.

In May 2014, the Eparchy became an Archeparchy (Ukrainian-rite metropolitan archdiocese) with its own ecclesiastical province, with one newly erected Eparchy as its Suffragan See, and so Koubetch became its first Archeparch (Archbishop).

Vasyl Tuchapets

Bishop Vasyl Volodymyr Tuchapets, O.S.B.M. (Ukrainian: Василь Володимир Тучапець; born 29 September 1967 in Yavoriv, Lviv Oblast, Ukrainian SSR) is a Ukrainian Greek Catholic hierarch as an Archiepiscopal Exarch of Ukrainian Catholic Archiepiscopal Exarchate of Kharkiv and Titular Bishop of Centuriones since 2 April 2014.

Wasyl Medwit

Bishop Wasyl Ihor Medwit, O.S.B.M. (Ukrainian: Василь Ігор Медвіт; born 23 July 1949) is a Polish-born Ukrainian Greek Catholic hierarch, Titular Bishop of Hadriane since 30 March 1994. He is currently retired. Before it, from 30 March 1994 until 30 September 1996 he served as an Auxiliary Bishop of Lviv, from 30 September 1996 until 8 November 2002 as Apostolic Visitor in Kazakhstan and the Middle Asia, from 20 September 1997 until 6 December 2004 as an Archiepiscopal Exarch of Kyiv-Vyshhorod, from 6 December 2004 until 17 March 2009 as a Curial Bishop of the Kyiv-Halych and from 17 March 2009 until 25 October 2013 as an Auxiliary Bishop of Donetsk-Kharkiv.


Protoarchimandrites of the Order of Saint Basil the Great
Holy Trinity
Congregation (1617—1743)
Intercession of the Theotokos
Congregation (1739—1741)
United order (1743—1804)
Basilian order of
St. Josaphat (since 1931)

This page is based on a Wikipedia article written by authors (here).
Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license; additional terms may apply.
Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.