|Latin: Ordo Sancti Basilii Magni|
|Formation||20 August 1631|
|Founder||Saint Josaphat Kuntsevych|
|Type||Monastic order of pontifical right (for men)|
|518 (357 priests)|
|Genesio Viomar, OSBM|
|Greek Catholic Church|
The Order of Saint Basil the Great (Ukrainian : Чин Святого Василія Великого, romanized: Chyn Sviatoho Vasyliia Velykoho; Latin : Ordo Sancti Basilii Magni, abbreviated OSBM), also known as the Basilian Order of Saint Josaphat, is a Greek Catholic monastic order of pontifical right that works actively among Ukrainian Catholics and other Greek-Catholic churches in central and Eastern Europe. The order received approbation on August 20, 1631, and is based at the Monastery of the Holy Trinity, Vilnius.
In the 16th century, with the 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 World War II, the order was eliminated by the Russian Orthodox from its original territory and forced into exile. With the fall of the Soviet Union, it was reestablished again in modern Ukraine as part of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church.
Besides 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.
The order is based upon the ascetic writings of Basil of Caesarea (329-379, in accordance with the Rule of St Basil laid down by him and later developed by Theodore the Studite (760-826), Theodosius of Kiev (†1074), Josaphat Kuntsevych (1580-1623), and the Metropolitan of Kiev Joseph Benjamin Rutsky (1574-1637).
Monastic life began to develop in Ukraine in the time of Vladimir the Great (980-1015), when the first monks settled in caves near Kiev, led by Anthony and Theodosius. After the Mongol invasions in the 13th century, the monks fled west to Halych-Volhynia and the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, spreading Eastern Monasticism there. 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 Josaphat Kuntsevych and Joseph Benjamin Rutsky, beginning with 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 to preserve the distinctiveness of the Ruthenian culture in the predominantly Polish and Roman Catholic Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth until the partitions of Poland at 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. Eventually the monasteries were subjected to the Russian Orthodox Church. A small part of modern-day Ukraine came under Austrian rule where the fate of the Ruthenian Church was much better. However, the Order suffered under the policies of Emperor Joseph II directed 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 the Dobromyl monastery, by which it became less sedentary and more missionary, among other things allowing the monks to work with the 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, now known as St. Josaphat's Monastery.
Following the Second World War, the Soviets entered further into Europe and forced the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church underground. 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 catechized.
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, Slovakia and Portugal. Some old monasteries have been restored and new ones established. In 2001 there were over 600 monks, 300 of them in Ukraine.
The Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church is an autonomous ritual Eastern Catholic Church that is in full communion with the Holy See and the rest of the Catholic Church. It is the second-largest particular church in the Catholic Church, second only to the Latin Church. As a major archiepiscopal church, it is governed by a Major Archbishop; the incumbent is Sviatoslav Shevchuk.
Josaphat can refer to:
Josaphat Kuntsevych, OSBM was a Basilian monk and archeparch of the Ruthenian Catholic Church who on 12 November 1623 was killed by an angry mob in Vitebsk, in the eastern peripheries of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth. He is said to be the best-known victim of anti-Catholic violence related to implementing the Union of Brest, and has been declared a martyr and saint of the Catholic Church.
Meletius Smotrytsky, né Maksym Herasymovych Smotrytsky, Archbishop of Polotsk, was a writer, a religious and pedagogical activist of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, a Ruthenian linguist whose works influenced the development of the Eastern Slavic languages. His book "Slavonic Grammar with Correct Syntax" (1619) systematized the study of Church Slavonic and became the standard grammar book in Russia right up till the end of the 18th century. He believed in the revival of the Orthodox religion in traditionally Slavic lands centered in the Tsardom of Muscovy.
Basilian may refer to a number of groups who are followers of Saint Basil the Great and specifically to:
The Russian Greek Catholic Church, Russian Byzantine Catholic Church or simply Russian Catholic Church, is a sui iuris Byzantine Rite Eastern Catholic jurisdiction of the worldwide Catholic Church. Historically, it represents the first reunion of members of the Russian Orthodox Church with the Catholic Church. It is in full communion with and subject to the authority of the Pope of Rome as defined by Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches.
Basilian monks are Roman Catholic monks who follow the rule of Basil the Great, bishop of Caesarea (330–379). The term 'Basilian' is typically used only in the Catholic Church to distinguish Greek Catholic monks from other forms of monastic life in the Catholic Church. In the Eastern Orthodox Church, as all monks follow the Rule of Saint Basil, they do not distinguish themselves as 'Basilian'.
Eastern Christian Monasticism is the life followed by monks and nuns of the Eastern Orthodox Church, Oriental Orthodoxy, the Church of the East and Eastern Catholicism. Eastern monasticism is founded on the Rule of St Basil and is sometimes thus referred to as Basilian.
The Ukrainian Studites are a monastic order of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church.
Klymentiy Sheptytsky, was an archimandrite of the Order of Studite monks of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church and was a hieromartyr. Klymentiy has been beatified by the Catholic Church, as well as awarded the title of Righteous Among the Nations by the State of Israel for saving Jews. As effective leader of the church, he was arrested and died a prisoner of the Soviet Union.
Josaphata Hordashevska, born Michaelina Hordashevska an ethnic Ukrainian Greek-Catholic in the Austro-Hungarian Empire Religious Sister, was the first member and co-foundress of the Sisters Servants of Mary Immaculate.
Joseph Velamin-Rutski - was the Metropolitan of Kiev, Galicia and all Ruthenia in the Ruthenian Uniate Church — a sui juris Eastern Catholic Church in full communion with the Holy See. He reigned from 1613 to 1637. He worked to build the Greek Catholic Church in the first few decades after the Union of Brest of 1596; he also reformed the Basilian monks.
Josaphat Joseph Kotsylovsky (Ukrainian: Йосафат Йосиф Коциловський) was a Ukrainian Greek Catholic bishop and martyr.
Lev Shlubych Zalenskyj was the Metropolitan of Kiev, Galicia and all Ruthenia in the Ruthenian Uniate Church — a sui juris Eastern Catholic Church in full communion with the Holy See. He reigned from 1694 until his death in 1708.
Kyprian Zochovskyj (1635—1693) was the Metropolitan of Kiev, Galicia and all Ruthenia in the Ruthenian Uniate Church — a sui juris Eastern Catholic Church in full communion with the Holy See. He reigned from 1674 until his death in 1693.
Yuri Havryil Kolenda (1606—1674) was the Metropolitan of Kiev, Galicia and all Ruthenia in the Ruthenian Uniate Church — a sui juris Eastern Catholic Church in full communion with the Holy See. He reigned from 1665 to his death in 1674 having served as administrator of the metropolis from 1655.
Anton Atanas Sielava was the Metropolitan of Kiev, Galicia and all Ruthenia in the Ruthenian Uniate Church — a sui juris Eastern Catholic Church in full communion with the Holy See. He reigned from 1641 until his death in 1655.
The Archeparchy of Polotsk(-Vitebsk) was an eparchy of the Ruthenian Uniate Church in the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth from 1596 to 1839.
Monastery of the Holy Trinity is a monastery built in Vilnius by the Ruthenian Uniate Church and Grand Hetman of Lithuania Konstanty Ostrogski as a thanksgiving to the God for the victory in Battle of Orsha. It belongs to the Order of Saint Basil the Great and the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church.
Yosyf Semashko was a Uniate priest and bishop who played a central role in the conversion of the Ruthenian Uniate Church of the western provinces of the Russian empire to Russian Orthodoxy in 1837–1839. Subsequently, he became an archbishop in the Russian Orthodox hierarchy, elevated to the Metropolitan bishop of Vilnius and Lithuania in 1852.