Vassyl Kotchoubey’s 1684 Eucharist prayer request to Ste. Catherine’s Monastery in Sinai

The 1684 Eucharist prayer request of General Judge Vassyl Kotchoubey (1640-1708) to Saint Catherine's Monastery on Mount Sinai
The 1684 Pomyanyk from the Regent of the Military Chancellery (later appointed General Judge) Vassyl Kotchoubey (1640-1708) to Saint Catherine’s Monastery on Mount Sinai

The 1684 Eucharist prayer request from the Regent of the Military Chancellery  (later appointed General Judge) Vassyl Kotchoubey (1640-1708), a photocopy of which is displayed above, was discovered in the archives of Saint Catherine’s Monastery on Mount Sinai.

Enclosed is the prayer request / pomyanyk to be read during the proskomedia ahead of the Eucharist and in this case at the Eucharists officiated during the Divine Liturgies in Saint Catherine’s Monastery below Mount Sinai.  It was sent by Vassyl Kotchoubey from Baturin to the Sinai in 1684.

The  document was published by scholars at the Ukrainian Institute of Harvard University in 1992. It appearsfor the first time in a Harvard University book entitled Saint Catherine’s Monastery, Mount Sinai, An Orthodox Pomjanyk of the Seventeenth – Eighteenth centuries. edited by Moshé Altbauer with the collaboration of Ihor Sevcenko and Bohdan Struminsky.  Amazingly, it testifies to the correspondences between the Hetmanate state and the Holy Land and further shows the extwnt to which the leadership was not only communicating with the Holy Land but as far south  as Mount Sinai.  The pomyanyk would have been accompanied by a considerable donation of gold and silver.

It is interesting to note that from a historical perspective of the family’s genealogical records there is no mention yet of Vassyl Leontievitch’s daughter Motrya Vassilievna, who would later fall in love with Hetman Ivan Stepanovitch Mazeppa or that of his son Vassili Vassilievitch who would be the General Judge’s only surviving male heir with issue.  Furthermore, we may be able to date for the first time, Vassili Vassilievitch’s birth which historical documents omit to site but this documeny suggests that it was at least 1685.  We know he died in 1743 and we also know that his older brother Feodor died in 1729, although his birth date is unkown too, and based on the pomyanyk we can assume that Feodor was born before 1684.

Additionally, the first name on the pomyanyk request for prayers of rememberance for the dead is that of Vassyl’s father Leonti Andreeivitch (c1620-c1680).  We have no known dates of birth or death for him but we can assume for the first time that he died after 1654 as he was known to be a comrade-at-arms of Hetman Boghdan Khmelnitsky during the founding of the Hetmanate state and before 1684.  For the first time,  we learn that Vassyl Leontievitch’s mother was probably called Maria, as she is the second name on the list. There is reference to Efsfimia (?), Paraskeva, baby girls Marina and Anna, as well as baby boys Simeon, Ivan and Ivan. Their identity is unknown but some of these may be children that Vassyl and his wife lost.

Regarding the prayers for the living, Vassyl mentions himself, his wife, Lyubov (née Zhuk / Zhuchenko), Feodor Vassilievitch (their son), and their daughters Maria Vassilievna and Ekaterina Vassilievna.

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