To The Reposed Metropolitan Ilarion Unto Eternal Memory (1972 Visnyk Supplement)

This article was taken from the May/August 1972 English Supplement Issue of The Herald/Visnyk. The content has been scanned and converted to text; some words may be incorrectly translated. If you find any typographical errors, please contact us.


In the year of our Lord 1972, in the month of March, on the twenty-ninth day, at the hour of 10:15 in the evening, the Lord called Vladyka Ilarion, Primate of the Ukrainian Greek-Orthodox Church of Canada to Eternity.

The Illustrious Man of the Age of our people, and one of its greatest sons, passed away from us into eternity, leaving among us his Word and the stamp of his spirit.

Being unable to inter with him a portion of the Ukrainian sod from his distant native Brusyliw, Kiev province, and unable to give him the last kiss from the family of his parents and relatives, we prayerfully give him our farewell, on behalf of the entire Ukrainian people, on his Road to Eternity.


On March 29, 1972, the Ukrainian Greek-Orthodox Church of Canada and the whole Ukrainian people in general suffered the loss of a great thinker, scholar and man of God, His Beatitude, Vladyka Ilarion, Metropolitan of Win¬nipeg and all Canada. In view of this event, we devote this entire issue to the publication of a biography and commentary on the life and work of this Man of an Age, prepared by a distinguished Ukrainian Orthodox philosopher and lay theolo¬gian, Dr. George Mulyk-Lucyk.

Dr. Mulyk-Lucyk, a long-time member of the Theological Faculty of St. Andrew’s College in Winnipeg, had a lengthy personal and academic relationship with the late Metropolitan and is especially qualified to author this tribute to the Man.

As we read Dr. Mulyk-Lucyk’s work we can not help but note that the story of Metropolitan Ilarion’s life and work unfolds as a period in the history of the Ukrainian people, their Church, language and literature. This is properly so, for to Metropolitan Ilarion the Ukrainian people were the flock entrusted to him by Our Saviour Him¬self—that he might see to its every need. That the Hierarch also emerges as a figure of world-renown and significance indicates the stature of this Beloved Pastor and Scholar, the solemnity of the moment, the profoundness of the loss, and the gratitude we must all feel, as Ukrainian Orthodox, for having lived in the Age of the Servant of God, Metropoli¬tan Ilarion.

We published, as well, an Easter message of Metropolitan Ilarion‘s that we had selected to be the editorial of the Easter issue prior to news of his being called from this world.

May His Memory Be Eternal!


With the repose of His Beatitude, the Most Reverend Vladyka Metropolitan Ilarion, the first chapter of the history of the Ukrainian Greek-Orthodox Church of Canada, as a Metropolia Church of which he was the first primate, has drawn to an end.

Founded (in 1918) by the former members of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church (whose Orthodox ancestors had never been subordinated to the jurisdiction of the Patriarchate of Moscow) with the spiritual assistance of Metropolitan Ger-manos, the American Exarch of the Patriarch of Antioch, the Ukrainian Greek-Orthodox Church of Canada, the authocephalous Church of Orthodox Ukrainians in this country, designated itself as a Metropolia with the moment of election of Metro¬politan Ilarion as its Primate.

Vladyka Ilarion was elected to the Metropolitan See by the Special Sobor (Church council) which took place in Winnipeg on August 8, 1951. His installation on the Metropolitan Throne took place on August 10, 1951, in the Church of St. Michael in Winnipeg.

The Cathedral of the Most Holy Trinity in Winnipeg (which was built later) became the Metropolitan Cathedral, in which the Metropolitan, as Protodean of this chief church (Sobor), served most often.

“The foremost and highest teacher” is the catechetic definition of the spiritual authority of the primates of our Church, and this is formally confirmed by its Statute. His jurisdictional title “Metropolitan of Winnipeg and all Canada” was the statement of his position as Metropolitan-Primate of our Church in Canada, who was also the president of the Consistory.

According to the tradition of the Orthodox Church, the primate (not only in the dignity of Metropolitan, but even in the dignity of Arch¬bishop) of each autocephalous Church automatical¬ly has the right to the title of Beatitude (“Blazhen-nishy”), and this title also belongs to the Primate of our Church, as an autocephalous Church, that is, jurisdictionally independent of all other primates.

Due to the illness and weakness of His Beatitude Metropolitan Ilarion, in the final years of his life— the declining years (he had passed 90 years of age)—his activities were taken over in actuality by his Vicar, the Most Reverend Vladyka Michael, Archbishop of the Eastern ‘diocese with his cathedral in Toronto.

In routine matters related to the functions of the Presidium of the Consistory in Winnipeg, he was replaced, when necessary, by the Right Reverend Vladyka Boris, Bishop of Saskatoon.

From the archives of Archpresbyter S. W. Sawchuk: A photograph of Prof. I. Ohienko with a hand-written dedication:

“To the Esteemed Administrator of the Greek-Orthodox Ukrainian Church in Canada, Father Semen Sawchuk, with sincere greetings to all the Clergy and with the ardent bequest that you love Ukraine with all your soul and praise God in its Native Tongue.” 2.11.1923. Rector of the University Prof. I. Ohienko.


Metropolitan Ilarion (secular name, Dr. Ivan Ohienko) was born on January 15—New Calendar (January 2, Old Calendar)—1882, in the small town of Brusyliw, district of Radomysl, Kiev province, into a poor peasant family. His father, Ivan Ohienko, died in an unfortunate accident in 1884, and his mother Evfrosynia, of the family Petrychcnko, was left with four small children. The life of this widow without property was very-difficult.

The life of her children was also difficult. Three of them were taken to be reared by good people, and the fourth, Ivan, stayed with his mother, who earned a difficult living by hard daily work at the local manor.

Following his completion of the local four-year elementary school in 1896, he entered, that same year, into a military medical school in Kiev, because it was thereby possible to obtain free education and support. After completing this school, he had to carry out a compulsory six-year term of service in a hospital in Kiev (in the psychiatric division).

In 1903 be completed bis matriculation examina¬tions in the gymnasium in Ostrih in Volyn’ as an extra-mural student. Having obtained his matricu¬lation here, Ivan Ohienko left his work at the hospital, with the obligation of entering the Medical Faculty of St. Volodymyr University in Kiev, which also assured him of free education and support. Later he transferred into the Historico-Philological Faculty in this university because his inclination towards the humanities was greater than his incli¬nation toward medicine. As a result of this he was left without means of support, and had to earn the university fees and a living by tutoring.

In 1907 student Ivan Ohien’ko married teacher Dominikia Lytvynchuk from Brusyliw.

Ivan Ohien’ko completed the Historico-Philologi¬cal Faculty of St. Volodymyr University in Kiev in 1909, obtaining a diploma of the first standing. The subject of his candidate—diploma—work was “The Key of Understanding” (Klyuck Rozumin-nya) by Ioanykiy Halyatovsky. During the years 1909-1911, he taught in a secondary commercial school in Kiev, and at the same time was an auditor of pedagogical courses, which he completed in 1912. After intercessions (which began as early as 1909) by noted scholars from St. Volodymyr University in Kiev, the Russian Ministry of Educa¬tion finally accepted the candidacy of Ivan Ohienko (whom the Russian authorities did not tolerate because of his “Ukrainian separatism”), and granted him a professorial stipend at the chair of Russian Language and Literature at this university. In 1915 he completed his magistral examinations there and was promoted to Private lecturer at this chair. After this university was transferred to Saratov in 1915 due to war develop¬ments, lecturer Ivan Ohienko, preferring to remain in Kiev, taught Russian Language and Literature in the Sixth State Gymnasium in this city. When in 1916 St. Volodymyr University was retransferred to Kiev, Lecturer I. Ohienko taught History of the Eastern-Slavic Tonic Accent there.

During the Revolution which erupted in the Russian Tsarist Empire, the Ukrainian Central Rada (Council) was formed in Kiev in 1917. At that time Lecturer I. Ohienko was commissioned to teach the History of the Ukrainian Language in St. Volodymyr University. That same year, 1917, St. Volodymyr University gave him the status of professor and invited him to join the chair of Ukrainian Language and Literature.

In 1917 Prof. Ivan Ohienko was nominated a member of the Council of the Minister of Educa¬tion. During that same year, 1917, he organized the Pan-Ukrainian Church Rada together with Archbishop Oleksiy Dorodnytsia.

The main talk at the Pan-Ukrainian Church Sobor (Council) in Kiev on January 13, 1918, was Prof. I. Ohienko’s lecture on the subject, “Revival of the Ukrainian Church.”

In 1918 Prof. Ohienko was invited to the chair of Ukrainian Language at the Higher Courses for Women in Kiev, and to the same chair at the Theological Academy in that city.

During the government of Hetman Pawlo Skoro-padsky in 1918, he was one of the organizers of the Ukrainian State University in Kiev. During the time of this same government, Prof. I. Ohienko taught at this university and, at the same time, was chairman of the commission in charge of drawing up a new constitution for the academic institutions in Ukraine, as well as chairman of the Orthograph¬ical Commission in Kiev.

Later, during that same year, 1918, Professor I. Ohienko was invited to accept the position of rector of Kamyanets-Podilsky University which was established at that time. Prof. I. Ohienko had played an important role in the founding of this academic institution. Prof. I. Ohienko held the Position of rector of this university until 1920.

During the time of the Directorate of the Ukrainian National Republic under the leadership of Symon Petlura, Prof. I. Ohienko was at first Minister of Education in the government of the U.N.R. (1918-1919), and later Minister of Religious Affairs from 1919 until 1924. That is, he held this post even after the Government of the Ukrainian National Republic found itself in emigration.

In January of 1919 the Government of the Uk¬rainian National Republic commissioned Prof. I. Ohienko to draw up the program of the solemnities of the Proclamation of the Act of Unification of Ukraine and to preside over the ceremonies. Prof. I. Ohienko fixed the date of this holiday at January 22nd (1919).

Symon Petlura, Chief Otaman (Commander) of the Army and President of the Ukrainian National Republic, was forced to move, together with the rest of the members of the Government of the U.N. R., to the territory of the Polish State, due to the military and political situation which came about in the fall of 1919. At the temporary seat of the Ukrainian National Republic, which at that time was Kamyanets-Podilsky, Prof. I. Ohienko was commissioned by Symon Petlura to be the Attorney-in-Chief of the Government of the U.N.R., tbe Supreme Representative of the Government, and in this Post he actually had to assume the duties of managing the state apparatus of the U.N.R. from this place from November of 1919 until 1920.

Archbishop Ilarion, his first Hierarchial Blessing of the People, Kholm 1940.

In emigration, in the city of Tarnow in Poland, Prof. I. Ohienko, Minister of Religious Affairs of the U.N.R., commissioned by the Government headed by S. Petlura, addressed the Request (with the signatures of several thousand Ukrainians) to the Patriarch of Constantinople, in 1921, that he bless (authorize) the autocephalous (independent) status of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church. How¬ever, further measures in this matter were curtailed, because all the Ukrainian lands at that time found themselves under occupations.

In 1920 all the central and eastern lands of Ukraine were occupied by the armies of the Bolshevik regime in Moscow. Prof. I. Ohienko settled in the town of Vynnyky near Lviv, and lived there with his family, with no definite means of support, until 1924. In the years 1924-1926, he taught Ukrainian Language and Literature in a pedagogical institute in Lviv. When the Polish government discharged him from this post, he was invited, that very year, 1926, to teach the Church-Slavonic language and Cyrillic paleography at the Orthodox Theological Studium of the Warsaw University.

The President ex officio of the Pre-So’bor Assembly which took place in 1930, was Metropoli¬tan Dionysiy (Veledynsky), and his vice-president and planner, as well as actual leader of this organ, was Prof. I. Ohienko. However, the Polish authori¬ties prohibited the calling of the Sobor of the Orthodox Church in Poland, which had been prepared by the Pre-Sobor Assembly was practically headed by Prof. I. Ohienko.

The Czechoslovakian university in the city of Brno, in 1931, gave Prof. I. Ohienko the degree of Doctor of Philosophy for his monumental work, The Ukrainian Language of the Sixteenth Century and the Krekhiw Apostol of 1560 (Apostol—Book of Epistles written by the Apostles).

The Ukrainian Students’ Community in Warsaw-gave him the title of Honorary President, and at the same time he was president of the Students’ Aid Committee.

By the order of the Polish Ministry of Internal Affairs, in 1932, Prof. I. Ohienko was discharged (without Prior notice, without statement of reasons, and without any assurance of means of support) from his work at the University of Warsaw.

In 1933 Prof. I. Ohienko founded the popular-scholarly monthly Ridna Mova (Native Language) and published it until Warsaw was occupied by the Germans in September of 1939. Aside from this, in 1935 he commenced publication of a monthly journal Nasha Kultura (Our Culture). During the years 1933-1939, 81 issues of the journal Ridna Mova were published, as well as 31 volumes of Nasha Kultura (from 1935 to 1937).

During this period (after his discharge from work at the University of Warsaw), Prof. I. Ohienko devoted a great deal of time and effort to work in the field of research into various aspects of the Ukrainian language and to the matter of the pro¬pagation and practical realization of his imperative: “One people—one literary language, one ortho¬graphy and pronunciation.” At the same time, he concentrated a great deal on the translation of the Bible into the Ukrainian language, which he was doing on the commission of the British and Foreign Bible Society in London.

In 1937 Prof. I. Ohienko experienced a family tragedy: on May 19(1937) his wife, who had been his constant assistant in his work, deceased pre¬maturely. At that time, their three children, a daughter and two sons, were studying at academic institutions in Warsaw.

In the fall of 1939, when the Germans occupied Poland and officially called it the “General-Government,” a Ukrainian Church Rada was formed in Warsaw (it was secret because the German authorities did not give permission for the establishment of this type of organization), headed by Prof. I. Ohienko. The aim of this Church Rada was to establish the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church in the General-Government (which included also a portion of Ukrainian lands: Kholmshchyna, Pidlyashya, Lemkiwshchyna and Zasyannya).

The Orthodox Church in Poland (which had received autocephalous status from the Patriarchate of Constantinople in 1924) under the leadership of its Primate, Metropolitan Dionysios with the cathe¬dral in Warsaw, continued its existence during the German occupation, but was then officially called the Orthodox Church in the General-Govern¬ment, within whose borders the city of K’holm was the centre of Ukrainian Orthodox life.

On the proposal of the Ukrainian Church Rada in 1940, the Synod of Bishops (under the leadership of the reigning Metropolitan, Dionysiy) of the Orthodox Church in the General-Government elected Prof. I. Ohienko candidate for the Episco¬pate, specifically for the post of Bishop of Kholm¬shchyna and Pidlyashya, with the episcopal Cathedral in the city of Kholm. The ancient Ukrainian Orthodox church, dating from the middle of the thirteenth century—a cathedral on Danylo Hill in Kholm—which the Polish authori¬ties had given to the Roman Catholic Church in Poland in 1918, was returned to the Ukrainian Orthodox in the spring of 1940.

All the consecrations of the episcopal Candidate were conferred not in Warsaw, but on native soil, in Kholmshchyna. In October of 1940, Prof. I. Ohienko left for the Yablochynsky Monaster)’ of St. Onufriy and there, on October 9th (1940), Metro¬politan Dionysios conferred the monastic tonsure on him, giving him the name Ilarion. On the next day (October 10), Metropolitan Dionysios conse¬crated him as a Deacon, and on October 11, as a Hieromonarch (Priest-Monk) with an elevation to the dignity of Archimandrite.

The Ecclesiastical Episcopal Designation of Archimandrite Ilarion was solemnized in the Kholm Cathedral on October 19, 1940, by the Primate of the Orthodox Church in the General-Govern¬ment, Metropolitan Dionysiy; Exarch of the Ecumenical (Constantinople) Patriarch, Vladyka Sabbatheus, Archbishop of Prague; and Vladyka Timothy (Shreter), Bishop of Lublin. On the next day (October 20), in the Kholm Cathedral, these same Hierarchs solemnized the Chirotony (episcopal Consecration by laying on of bands) uPon Bishop-Nominee Ilarion, and during the Great Entrance Metropolitan Dionysios in accordance with the resolution of the Synod of Bishops, elevated Bishop of Kholmshchyna and Pidlyashya, Ilarion to the dignity of Archbishop, with the Archipiscopal Cathedral in Kholm.

The Synod of Bishops of the Orthodox Church in the General-Government, under the leader¬ship of Primate-Metropolitan, Vladyka Dionysiy, on March 16, 1944, deemed him (Ilarion) worthy of the title of Metropolitan of Kholmshchyna and Pidlyashya.

Vladyka Ilarion administrated the Archdiocese of Kholmshchyna and Pidlyashya until July 18, 1944, that is, until the day When the German authorities formally ordered an evacuation and proclaimed Kholmshchyna and Pidlyashya as territory of front¬al activities.

Metropolitan Ilarion rode out uPon the evacua¬tion train, with a portion of his clergy, to the city of Kielce, and from there to Krynytsia in Lem-kiwshchyna. That same year he moved from Kryn-ytsia to Strbske Pleso in Slovakia, and from there to Zakopane in Poland (1944). Shortly thereaiter when the Soviet-German front moved to this territory, Metropolitan Ilarion departed for Austria and settled in the Herzogenburg Monastery near the city of Sankt-Poelten near Vienna. From there he moved further to the West, to the city of Feld-kirchen on April 2, 1945, and from there, on April 30, 1945, to the city of Lauzanne in Switzerland. He was ill here for some time and underwent three difficult operations.

Metropolitan Ilarion remained in Switzerland from April 30, 1945, until September 16, 1947. He came to the city of Winnipeg in Canada on September 19, 1947.


During the time of Metropolitan Ilarion’s admini¬stration of the Archdiocese of Kholmshchyna and Pidlyashya, the situation of the Ukrainian Ortho¬dox (as well as the situation of the Byelorussian Orthodox) with regard to the matter of jurisdiction already had a long history behind it, marked by some complications during the course of events.

The Kievan empire, Rus’, comprised all tribes of the eastern Slavs, that is, the ancestors of the present Ukrainians, Belorussians and Russians. Similarly, the Kievan Metropolia, i.e., the Church of Rus’, which belonged to the dioceses of the Patriarchate of Constantinople, from its very beginning until 1448 covered all territories of the eastern Slavs.

In the 13th century, the Kievan empire was conquered by the Mongols. In 1240 they destroyed the capital, Kiev, and then invaded the empire’s western and eastern provinces (principalities). The western provinces, with Kiev, were controlled by the Mongols for about a century and the eastern provinces, with Moscow, for about two centuries.

As the Mongols withdrew from the western provinces, the Poles and Lithuanians moved in. In 1340, the Poles invaded Galicia. Following their example, the Lithuanians invaded all the rest of those lands that constitute the present territory of Ukraine. (Kiev was occupied by the Lithuanians in 1362). Simultaniously they invaded those west¬ern provinces which constitute the present territories of Belorussia.

Until 1448, there was at least one link between the two zones of occupations, western (Polono-Lithuanian) and eastern (Mongolian),—namely, the Kievan Metropolia, i.e., the Church of Rus’, which was in the jurisdiction of the Ecumenical Patriarch (of Constantinople).

From 1439 (when the Patriarch of Constanti¬nople signed a declaration of union with Rome at the Council in Florence) until 1453 the Patriarch of Constantinople, to which the Kievan Metropolia belonged, was in the jurisdiction of Rome.

As the grand duke of Moscovy repudiated that union, the eastern dioceses seceded from the Kievan Metropolia, and the Council of Bishops in Moscow established the Church of Moscovy (1448).

From this time on, the Kievan Metropolia, i.e., the Church of Rus’, was confined to the territories of the Ruthenians (the ancestors of the Ukrainians and Belorussians, who called themselves Rusyny) that were occupied by the Poles and Lithuanians. Under the Mongol occupation, the rulers of Moscow imposed the name of their small province, Muscovy, on the zone of the Mongol occupation (the eastern provinces) as a whole.

With the liberation from the Mongol yoke (1480) the eastern provinces emerged as the state of Muscovy. In 1547, the grand duke of Muscovy, Ivan IY the Terrible, was crowned tsar. Later on, the Church of Muscovy was given the status of Patriarchate (1589).

In the western provinces (under the Polish and Lithuanian occupation the situation of Orthodoxy was different.

The act of Lublin Union (1569) between Poland and Lithuania signified the subordination of Lith¬uania to Poland and the incorporation of the Lithuanian zone of occupation of the western east Slavic provinces, with Kiev, into the territories of the Polish state. As a result, the Kievan Metropo¬lia, which constituted the Church of the Rutheni¬ans (Rusyny) and was called the Church of Rus’ (Ruskaya Tserkva), found itself within the state bounderies of Poland. In this state with the Roman Catholic government, the history of the Kievan Metropolia was the history of discrimination, persecutions and martyrdom.

The Patriarchy of Constantinople was not in the position to defend the Kievan Metropolia because the Patriarchs of Constantinople practically be¬came “Turkish prisoners.”

When the Turks occupied Constantinople (1453) the Ecumenical Patriarchate’s union with Rome was annuled, and Orthodoxy was restored. How¬ever, all of those patriarchs who were not willing to meet the requirements of the Turkish govern¬ment’s policy died as martyrs.

That was the situation of the Kievan Metropolia when the Council of Bishops was convoked in Kiev in 1685 to elect a new Metropolitan. Actually, the Council elected not a Metropolitan but a candi¬date; and the candidate was Hedeon (Swiatopolk-Chetvertynsky), Bishop of Lutsk. To his election was attached one unusual stipulation; namely, he was supposed to transfer the Kievan Metropolia from the jurisdiction of the Patriarch of Constan¬tinople to that of the Patriarch of Moscow. The Metropolitan-elect immediately left for Moscow and was ordained by the Patriarch of Moscow, Ioakim, on November 8, 1685. In the course of the solemnities that took place in the patriarchal cathedral he accepted the jurisdiction of the Patriarch of Moscow.

Indeed, this act was uncanonical in nature, because the Orthodox Canons do not allow clergy¬men to leave their Primate without his permission. And the hierarchs of the Kievan Metropolia with their Metropolitan left their Primate, the Patriarch of Constantinople, without his consent. Later on, in 1696, the Patriarch of Constantinople, Diony-sios, approved the act of subordination of the Kievan Metropolia to the authority of the Patri¬arch of Moscow.

In 1924, the Patriarch of Constantinople, Gregory YII, officially declared that the juris¬diction of the Patriarchy of Constantinople over the Kievan Metropolia (i.e., the Church of the Ruthenians) had not discontinued. “The first separation of the Kievan Metropolia and the Orthodox Eparchies of Poland and Lithuania, that were subordinated to it, from Our See, and their incorporation into the Church of Muscovy came about through the violation of Canons,” Patriarch Gregory YII said in his Tomos (1924) — a document on which the status of autocephaly of the Orthodox Church in Poland was based. This autocephaly, granted by the Patriarch of Constan¬tinople in 1924, did not separate the Orthodox Church of Poland from the Kievan Metropolia, for the said document (Tomos) extends this same autocephaly over the dioceses which constituted the Kievan Metropolia, i.e., the Church of Ruthen¬ians during the period 1448-1686. In other words, the Patriarchal Tomos of 1924 authorized the See (in Warsaw) of the Orthodox Church in Poland to put into effect the extention of this autocephaly over the territories of the historical Kievan Metropolia.

During World War II, when German armies occupied Lithuania, Poland, Belorussia and Ukraine, with Kiev, the See of the Orthodox Church of Poland, relying upon the 1924 Tomos of the Patriarch of Constantinople, practically re¬stored the historical Kievan Metropolia on the above-mentioned territories. The Primate of the Orthodox Church in Poland, Metropolitan Diony-sios, with the cathedral in Warsaw, who was elected locum tenens of the Throne of the Kievan Metropolia, governed this multi-national Church, covering the territories of a number of countries, with the assistance of his Synod and administrat¬ors. His administrator on the so-called “Reichsko-missariat Ukraina” whose dioceses covered the larg¬est area of this multi-national Metropolia, was Me¬tropolitan Policarp, Bishop of Lutsk. His office (Administratura), of course, did not imply any attributes of autocephaly whatsoever. Instead it points out the fact that this hierarch was in the jurisdiction of the Primate (Metropolitan Diony-sios) of the Church which covered a number of dif¬ferent countries: Poland, Lithuania, Belorussia and Ukraine.

The administrative-political situation of Ukrain¬ians was as follows: the Ukrainian lands to the west of the Buh and the Syan (rivers) and all of Halychyna were within the “General-Govern-merit” (in “Poland”), and there, among the Ortho¬dox hierarchs, were also two Ukrainian hierarchs (in the jurisdiction of Metropolitan of Warsaw, Dionysios): Vladyka Ilarion (of Kholmshchyna and Pidlyashya) and Vladyka Palladiy (Vydybida-Rudenko)—Archbishop of Cracow and Lemkiwsh-chyna. The Ukrainian lands to the east of the Buh and beyond the boundaries of Halychyna made up the so-called “Reichskommissariat Ukraina”. — There was an official border between the “Reichskommissariat Ukraina” (including Kiev) and the Ukrainian lands in the General-Government. The German authorities sternly prohibited the crossing of this border. The Church Administrator of these territories “Reichs¬kommissariat Ukraina”) was Metropolitan Polikarp in the city of Lutsk (in Volyn’), who, together with the Bishops directly under bis authority, was in the jurisdiction of Metropolitan of Warsaw, Dionysios, the Primate of the autocephalous Ortho¬dox Church on the Ukrainian and Byelorussian territories. On these Ukrainian lands (including Kiev) the Ukrainian Orthodox dioceses under the direct leadership of the Metropolitan-Administrator Polikarp (Sikorsky) practically made up an auto¬nomous Ukrainian Orthodox Church within the canonical jurisdiction of Metropolitan of Warsaw, Dionysios, the Primate of the Church that until 1939 was called the Orthodox Church in Poland. This was the Church (on the territories of Western Ukraine and Western Byelorussia under the Polish rule) that was granted autocephaly in 1924 by the Tomos of the Patriarch of Constantinople.

Following the end of World War II, all those Ukrainian bishops who during the war were in the canonical jurisdiction of Metropolitan of Warsaw, Dionysios, emigrated: Metropolitan of Kholmshchy¬na and Pidlyashya, Ilarion, and Archbishop of Cracow and Lem’kiwshchyna, Palladiy (both from the General-Government) and the Ukrainian Episcopate from the so-called “Reichskommissariat Ukraina”, where practically existed an autonomous Ukrainian Orthodox Church under the leadership of Metropolitan-Administrator, Polikarp. (Later, the Ukrainian Episcopate in emigration in the countries of Western Europe—specifically in Ger¬many, under the leadership of Metropolitan Poli¬karp, formally proclaimed the authocephaly of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church.)

When the Ukrainian Episcopate of the so-called “Reichskommissariat Ukraina” went into emigra¬tion and was left in the jurisdiction of Metropolitan Polikarp, the Ukrainian Greek-Orthodox Church of Canada turned to this Metropolitan with the request that he bless (allow) Archbishop Mstyslaw to leave his jurisdiction and assume the spiritual leadership of the Ukrainian Orthodox in Canada. When Metropolitan Polikarp agreed to meet this request, the Special Sobor of the Ukrainian Greek-Orthodox Church of Canada which took place in Saskatoon on November 12-13, 1947, formally in¬vited Archbishop Mstyslaw to head this Churc’h.

Following the end of World War II, Metropolitan Dionysios, in whose direct jurisdiction Metropolitan Ilarion was then, found himself in the position of a prisoner of the new regime in Poland. The Moscow Patriarchate announced that it “annuls” the autocephaly granted the Orthodox Churc’h in Poland by the Patriarch of Constantinople in 1924, and gives this Church autocephaly from itself. However, the canonicity of the Episcopate which was in the jurisdiction of the Metropolitan of War¬saw during the Second World War was never called into question by anybody.

Metropolitan Ilarion was brought from Switzer¬land to Canada by the Parish of St. Mary the Protectress (Pokrova) in Winnipeg, and he remain¬ed in this Parish from September 19, 1947, until the time he was elected to the See of the Metropolitan-Primate of the Ukrainian Greek-Orthodox Church of Canada.

The Tenth Sobor of the Ukrainian Greek-Ortho¬dox Church of Canada which took place in Saskatoon on June 18-20, 1950, recognized the resignation of its Primate, Archbishop Mstyslaw, who that very year (1950) was taken into the Episcopate of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church in the U.S.A. led by Metropolitan John (Theodoro-vich). According to the decision of this Sobor, the leaders of the Ukrainian Greek-Orthodox Church of Canada turned to Metropolitan Polikarp (who resided in West Germany) with the request that he agree to give temporary spiritual sustenance to this Church until the time when the Consistory (commissioned by this Sobor) might find a candi¬date for permanent primacy.

Meanwhile, the Ukrainian Greek-Orthodox Church of Canada invited two hierarchs from the Episcopate of Metropolitan Polikarp (who blessed them to leave his jurisdiction) to join it: Archbishop Michael and Bishop Platon. Archbishop Michael, invited as candidate for Primate, on his own ini¬tiative and of his own desire asked the leaders of the Ukrainian Greek-Orthodox Church of Canada to forego his candidacy, when he learned about the possibility that Metropolitan Ilarion might eventually agree to have his own candidacy for Primate presented before the Sobor. Metropolitan Ilarion was elected as Primate of the Ukrainian Greek-Orthodox Church of Canada by the Special Sobor of this Church which took place in Winnipeg on August 8, 1951.

The “chapter” in the history of the Ukrainian Greek-Orthodox Church of Canada, when its Pri¬mate was Metropolitan Ilarion, was epochally marked by the stamp of his spirit. It was the time when the Chirotony of Vladyka Andrew, Arch¬bishop of Edmonton and the Western Archdiocese, and later the Chirotony of Vladyka Boris, Bishop of Saskatoon, took place. Metropolitan Ilarion un¬folded the Theological Faculty of St. Andrew’s College in Winnipeg (founded in 1946)—whose graduates have greatly filled the ranks of Clergy of our Church in Canada, and partially also the ranks of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church in the U.S.A. For many years Metropolitan Ilarion was Dean of this Faculty and this had a beneficial effect on the Orthodox-Ukrainian religious atmos¬phere of this institution.

Metropolitan Ilarion, with authority and a pro¬found knowledge of the matter, standardized the Ritual aspect of the Church, especially in the field of Divine Service Books. He founded and headed the Scholarly-Theological Society, whose leadership consisted chiefly of the instructors of the Theologi¬cal Faculty of St. Andrew’s College, upon whose qualifications—with regard to faith and conduct as well as knowledge of subject-matter—he made serious demands; this was the reason for the Theological Faculty being on a high level in all aspects: religious-moral, academic in general, and theological, Ukrainian and Ukrainological espe¬cially.

During the Period of the spiritual primacy of Metropolitan Ilarion over the Ukrainian Greek-Orthodox Church of Canada, an event of historical significance occurred in the ecclesiastical sphere of Ukrainian Orthodox outside the boundaries of Ukraine. During the days April 28-30, 1960, the Act of Spiritual Union of all three Ukrainian Orthodox Metropolias was drawn up and announced in Winnipeg—of the Ukrainian Greek-Orthodox Church of Canada, the Ukrainian Or¬thodox Church in the U.S.A. and the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church in Exile (with the centre in West Germany).

In his inaugular address Metropolitan Ilarion gives a word of thanks to the Special Sobor of the Ukrainian Greek-Orthodox Church of Canada, August 8, 1951.


In 1907 Ivan Ohienko, student of the Historico-Philological Faculty of St. Volodyrnyr University in Kiev, began writing a monography about Ioanykiy Halyatovsky, the foremost Ukrainian Orthodox preacher of the seventeenth century and the author of the first Ukrainian textbook on homiletics. Ivan Ohienko began writing this monography two years before completing his university studies. This was the first scholarly research work of this future scholar. The choice of this topic (about the re¬nowned Archimandrite and foremost Ukrainian theologian of the time) was not accidental. Student Ivan Ohienko was fascinated by early Ukrainian theological literature. At the same time, however, he was aware that the research of this literature had to be based on a comprehensive method— called “pluralism”—that is, upon the learning of all relevant aspects of the spirit of the age in which Ioanykiy Halyatovsky lived and wrote, as well as learning the old Ukrainian literary language, the history of the Ukrainian Church, the history and theory of homiletics, canons, dogmas, and so on. Without the understanding of these and similar subjects it was impossible to research the work of Ioanykiy Halyatovsky.

Thus, his (student Ivan Ohienko’s) researching of early Ukrainian ecclesiastical literature auto-matically demanded theological study.

The above-mentioned monography fey Ivan O’hienko remains unpublished. His diploma work entitled Ioanykiy Halyatovsky’s “Key of Under¬standing” (Kliuch Rozuminnya Ioanykiya Halya-tovskoho), which was completed in 1909, has also remained unpublished. Both of these early disser¬tations of the student, Ivan Ohienko, may probably be considered as lost. Neither do we have the text of his talk on the topic, ‘ ‘Revival of the Ukrainian Church,” given by Professor Ivan Ohienko at the first—in contemporary times—Pan-Ukrainian Church Sobor held in Kiev on January 13, 1918, many participants of which were Russified clergy. If the text of this talk had been preserved, then it would be our first treatise on the topic “Revival of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church.” It was not by accident that Professor Ivan Ohienko, and no other, was asked to deliver this talk at the Sobor, many of whose participants were consecrated men, among them also theologians. We may get an idea of the contents and main thought of the talk on the basis of Professor Ivan Ohienko’s work entitled Ukrainian Culture (Ukrayinska Kultura), which was published at that time (1918). In this rela¬tively short work, a large proportion of space was devoted to the matter of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church.

Besides, the very fact that the Chief Otaman and President of the Directorate of the Ukrainian National Republic, in 1919—at a time when he vvas very concerned with the matter of choosing suitable members of the Government—appointed Professor Ivan Ohienko, and no other, to be Minister of Religious Affairs, proves that this renowned scholar, statesman and Ukrainian na¬tional worker was thoroughly prepared in the field of theology. We should also remember that Symon Petlura was profoundly concerned about the fate of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church.

When the Government of the Ukrainian National Republic needed a theological justification of the right of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church to a auto-cephaly, as well as to present this justification in the form of a request to the Patriarch of Constantinople from the Government of the U.N.R. and the Ukrainian people of Orthodox Faith, the Govern¬ment entrusted this grave task to Professor I. Ohienko (1921).

When an Orthodox Theological Studium was founded at the University of Warsaw (1926), with Metropolitan Dionysios as its Dean, the professors of this Studium (most of them were eminent theologians) appointed Professor Ivan Ohienko assistant-dean, because he had a ‘broad and pro¬found theological knowledge. For this very same reason the Professors of this Theological Studium proposed his candidacy (which was accepted) in 1930, to the post of vice-President (the President was Metropolitan Dionysios) of the Pre-Sobor Assembly of the Orthodox Church in Poland. It is obvious that they did not elect people who were not qualified in the field of theology to such important positions.

After its flowering in the sixteenth and seven¬teenth centuries, our research in the scholarly-theological field gradually began to decline because of the termination of such centres of Ukrainian Orthodox thought as Ostrih Academy, and later, Mohyla College with its Atenaeum, which provided a work environment for the foremost Ukrainian theologians, gathered by Metropolitan Petro Mohy¬la.

The Ukrainian scholarly theological thought of Ukrainians was revived by Metropolitan Ilarion and it was he who created, chiefly by his own works in this field, the next age of the flowering of scholarly theological thinking in the history of the Ukrainian nation.

Metropolitan llarion in his library in Winnipeg. The late Hierarch possessed one of the largest private libraries, which with a grand collection of manuscripts and unique old publications was donated to St. Andrew’s College in Winnipeg.

The theological acquisitions of Metropolitan Ila¬rion should be classified on the basis of two principles: (I) on the principle of topical com¬prehensiveness, and (II) on the principle of character of didactic goals.

I. In the first case, we would divide his scholarly theological works into: (1) the universal and (2) the national. (II( In the second case, we would divide them into: (1) scholarly research works and (2) popular works.

I.(1) His greatest scholarly theological work of a universal character is his historico-canonical monography entitled The Division of the One Church of Christ and the First Attempts to Reunite It (Podil Yedynoyi Tserkvy Khrystovoyi i pershi sproby yiyi poyednannya), at which Metropolitan Ilarion worked almost unceasingly for seven years (1945-1952).

There are many scholarly theological works in the Catholic Church whose authors maintain that all Christians from the very beginning of the Christian Church considered the Patriarch of Rome to be the Successor of Apostle Peter and Vicar of Christ on earth, that is, the One Ecumenical Head of all the Church—the supreme and infallible hierarch. Catholic theologians maintain especially that the Catholic Church had, and still has, historical jurisdictional rights to the Metropolitan See of Kiev, because, they state, Kievan Rus’ accepted Christianity from Greece at the time when the Patriarch of Constantinople (the Primate of the Greek Churc’h) himself acknowledged the ecclesiastical authority of the Pope over him.

In the work The Division of the One Church of Christ and the First Attempts to Reunite It, Metropolitan Ilarion is the first in the history of Ukrainian scholarly theological thought to thoroughly deal with the analysis of the jurisdic¬tional structure of the Churc’h of Christ up to 1054, that is, until the time when the division of the One Church of Christ into Eastern and Western came about. The historian of the Ukrain¬ian Church, who is concerned, with the matter of historical jurisdictional rights to the Metropolitan See of Kiev can not do without works of this kind.

Here he finds a treatment of the question: did or did not the Patriarch of Constantinople come under the jurisdiction (ecclesiastical authority) of the hierarch of Rome (the Pope) at the time when Kievan Rus’ accepted Christianity (from Constan¬tinople).

This example illustrates the fact that, in this case, the knowledge of the history of Ukraine and its Church, by itself, is not enough, that is, know¬ledge of the matter merely in its national aspect (which is a partial and particular aspect) is insufficient, because data from these sources will not always be entirely clear, if we do not see them in a universal theological light—in the light of the history of Christ’s Church and its dogmas, canons and so on (especially when we are dealing with early times), with special emphasis on the acts of the first Seven Ecumenical Councils. Naturally, Metropolitan Ilarion approaches these questions from an Orthodox position, in his work, and justifies this position by scholarly theological arguments.

The above-mentioned example shows that par¬ticular historical questions—questions dealing with local Churches, including the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, may not be dealt with in isolation from the universal scholarly theological basis.

If one wished to look into the history of Ukrainian theological thought for analogies or similarities, he would not fail to note the fact that, from the appearance of the monumental theologi¬cal work of Zakharia Kopystensky entitled Palynodia (Resistance), written in the years 1619-1622, there was no equal work (to this work by Zakharia Kopystensky) in Ukrainian scholarly theological literature until the appearance of Metropolitan Ilarion’s work entitled The Division of the One Church of Christ and the First Attempts to Reunite It.

The monumental work by itself would be sufficient to confirm Metropolitan Ilarion’s name at the head of a new chapter in the history of Ukrainian scholarly theological thought. However, this work is mentioned here only in a symbolic sense, to show the way in which Metropolitan Ilarion understood and dealt with the essence of theology. For actually Metropolitan Ilarion wrote many theological works—books, brochures and articles—which make up a large portion of his general contribution (over 1000 publications) to Ukrainian culture and scholarship.

(2) Among those of Metropolitan Ilarion’s works whose topics deal with the national aspects of the Church of the Ukrainian people, we should first of all emphasize his historiographical works. In contrast to the stand of those scholars who—from the start—begin writing general synthetic works on the topic of the entire history of the Ukrainian Church, under the title “History of the Ukrainian Church,” Metropolitan Ilarion preferred, first of all, to thoroughly study separate periods of the history of our Church, taking note of the various aspects of that particular age in Ukraine (religious, political, cultural, and so on), and to publish such works in the form of special monographies. Finally, when these kind of monographies make up a system of basic sources, it is possible to write a “History of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church.” Representative of this kind of special historiogra-phic monographies by Metropolitan Ilarion are his works entitled The Ukrainian Church in the Days of Bohdan Khmelnytsky (1647-1657) (Ukrayinska Tserkva za Bohdana Khmelnytskoho) and The Ukrainian Church in the Days of the Ruins (Ukrayinska Tserkva za chas Ruyiny).

II. (1) There is an imposing number of popular scholarly works of a universal character among the acquisitions of Metropolitan Ilarion. As a matter of fact, some readers will probably find difficulty in finding criteria to distinguish his scholarly academic works from his works of a popular scholarly kind. This is because Metropolitan Ilarion, as a matter of principle, strove to convey his scholarly acquisi¬tions to the reader by means of the most approach¬able method of teaching and by use of language commonly understood.

With regard to this, we should emphasize one especially noteworthy fact: Metropolitan was able to convey in a typical popular scholarly form the results of his study in the field of methodology of translating Holy Scripture and Service Books— results which make up a portion of the themes in his article entitled “The Methodology of Transla¬tion of Holy Scripture and Service Books into the Ukrainian Language” (Metodolohiya perekladu Sv. Pysma i Bohosluzhbovykh Knyh na ukrayinsku movu), published in issues 19-27 of the journal Dukhovna Besida (Spiritual Talk) in 1927. This fact is interesting, because in scholarly work the methodology of translating the Bible is a relatively new, but very complicated, aspect of study. Among us, Metropolitan Ilarion himself paved the way in this field of work.

(2) We find a great many popular scholarly works of the theological kind in the sphere of his study of the history of the Ukrainian Church. A part of the result of these studies, as a matter of interest, is given in a popular concise form as, for example, in the work entitled The Ukrainian Church Is First-Called (Ukrayinska Tserkva— Pervozvanna).


We generally understand the matter of “rebirth of the Ukrainian Church” in the sense of the revival of its ancient actual (but not canonical-jurisdictional) independence, with a projection of the need to fortify its jurisdictional status on the basis of autocephaly. On the Pan-Ukrainian eccle¬siastical forum, Metropolitan Ilarion was the first to set the demand for the rebirth of the Ukrainian Church on the jurisdictional basis of autocephaly.

Metropolitan llarion with professors and students of the Theological Faculty of St. An¬drew’s College. The photograph was taken in 1966.

Metropolitan Ilarion set this demand in its full magnitude, and justified it in his talk on the subject “Rebirth of the Ukrainian Church” given by him at the Pan-Ukrainian Church Sobor in Kiev on January 13, 1918. Later, in 1921, he formulated and justified this demand in the Request written by him and presented by the Government of the U.N.R. to the Patriarch of Constantinople.

However, the idea of “rebirth of the Ukrainian Church” in the teachings of Metropolitan Ilarion does not mean simply the necessity of leading the Ukrainian Church to autocephalous status, but also the necessity of preserving its Orthodox essence and the revival of the better Ukrainian traditions in various aspects of its form.

To speak of the significance of the Mohyla Era in the history of the Ukrainian Church from a purely theological position, means to bear in mind the purifying of the essence of Orthodoxy in Ukraine from the non-Orthodox influences that had gradually crept in to the fields of teaching of Faith, Divine Services, Ritual and others, during the long period of hard times that it had under¬gone, due to the assault upon it of various hostile forces.

Metropolitan Petro Mohyla wrote in the Preface to the Book of Needs (“Trebnyk”—Church Service Book containing the order of Holy Mysteries and other rites), published by the “Atenaeum” in 1646, that non-Orthodox influences had crept into our Church in Ukraine and Byelorussia “by the in-cautiousness of the scribes” (that is, the incautious-ness of our copyists of Church Books), and also because of the fact that during the time when we had no Bishops (because of prohibition by the Polish authorities), those “who took it upon them¬selves to censor such books and publish them for the world, did not have much knowledge about such matters, and took little heed of what consti¬tuted the essence of Mysteries, and what consti¬tuted the form, caring more for their own gain, and for this reason they omitted many essential things, and added many that were non-essential.”

Thus, Metropolitan Petro Mohyla made his chief goal the purification of the Orthodox Church in Ukraine and Byelorussia of non-Orthodox influences. This means that he strove to revive the Orthodox Church in these countries in the sense of purifying its Orthodox essence of non-Orthodox influences. After Metropolitan Petro Mohyla, there were no more efforts made in this field until the time of Metropolitan Ilarion.

On the occasion of his ecclesiatical episcopal Election, solemnized on October 19, 1940, Archi¬mandrite Ilarion (in the world, Professor Ivan Ohienko), in his speech on the subject The Diffi¬cult Tasks of a Ukrainian Hierarch (Vazhki zavdannya ukrayinskoho arkhyiereya), emphasized especially these points of his ideology witb regard to the national aspects of the Church of the Ukrainian people: (1) The Ukrainian Church is a First-Called Church, because its Founder was the Apostle Andrew, the First-Called, himself. (2) The Ukrainian Church is self-reliant because it is characterized by many formal Ukrainian specifics. (3) The Ukrainian Church is governed conciliarly (i.e. by Sobors, that is, Councils).

Metropolitan Ilarion was profoundly convinced that the maintaining of national specifics in Church forms could in no way violate the essence of the Church—the essence of the Orthodox Faith.

In conjunction with this Chirotony, which was conferred upon him on October 20, 1940, he took an obligatory oath to faithfully follow all the dogmas and canons of the Universal Holy Orthodox Church, as they are set forth in the Book of Rules. He also presented this oath in written form to the Hierarchs who conferred the Chirotony upon him.

Constantly defending Ukrainian national attri¬butes in the forms of Church life of the Ukrainian people, Metropolitan Ilarion followed with convic-tion and devotion the essence of the Orthodox Faith in all aspects: dogmatic, canonical, Dnine Service, and so on. No one in the history of the Ukrainian Church worked more than he in the field of accurate publication of Divine Service Books. And be also translated the greatest number of Divine Service Books into the Ukrainian language.

The beginning of Metropolitan Ilarion’s work in Church translations is dated to 1917, when he— student Ivan Ohienko—edited in Kiev Archbishop Oleksiy Dorodnytsia’s Prayerbook in the Ukrainian Language (Molytovnyk ukrayinskoyu movoyu). and included in this Prayerbook several prayers of his own translation.

Beginning in 1921, when he published his trans¬lation of several Prayers, School Prayers (Shkilni molytvy) in Tarnow, Metropolitan Ilarion, during the remaining 36 years, has given us 44 translations of Divine Service Books—a record which is equalled by very few in the history of Christianity.

The matter of translating is not simply a matter of translating sounds, but also a matter of accurate conveying of thoughts. In order that the translation not become a “free interpretation” of the text of Divine Service Books (which would threaten the authenticity of their contents), the translator must be not only a good linguist and aesthetestylist, but also a good theologian. The fact that the name Professor Ivan Ohienko, and later the name Metropolitan Ilarion, became synonymous with the idea of translation of Divine Service Books into the Ukrainian language, must be studied not only in the light of purity of Ukrainian language, but also in the light of purity of the Orthodox Faith, whose identity is now so threatened by various conjunc¬tival “interpretations” accommodated to all sorts of “practical needs” (social, political, and so on), just as it was threatened by heterodox influences and the spirit of indifference in the days when Metropolitan Petro Mohyla—who clearly saw the need to purify our Divine Service Books and theological works from non-Orthodox influences— lived and worked. The work of Metropolitan Petro Mohyla along the lines of that purification was the Rebirth of the Orthodox Church in Ukraine and Byelorussia. In our times, the age of such a rebirth of the Church of the Ukrainian Orthodox was begun and led by Metropolitan Ilarion. In the monthly, Slovo Istyny (Word of Truth)—published by Metropolitan Ilarion in 1947-1951—he paid thorough attention to the matter of necessity of following the dogmas and canons of the Orthodox Church, which he explained to his readers in an expansive, thorough and popular manner. He also placed special emphasis on the history of the Orthodox Liturgy, on the essence and form of the Holy Mysteries, on the teachings of the Holy Church Fathers, and so on. He spoke consistently, logically and clearly, affirming that there is no Orthodoxy where the truth and teachings of the Universal Orthodox Church are not followed—in their entirety, or even in part.

Beginning with the teaching about the essence of Orthodoxy (explained by him in the work The Orthodox Faith— “Vira Pravoslavna”), through the explanation of the essence of the Cross (in the work The Sign of the Cross— “Khresne Znamen-nya”), the essentials of the veneration of Holy Icons (in the work Iconoclasm—”Ikonoborstvo”), the spirit of divineness of the Holy Mystery of Baptism (in the work The Mystery of Baptism of the Orthodox Church—”Tayinstvo Khreshchennya Pravoslavnoyi Tserkvy”), the normative aspects of the Holy Liturgy (in the work How to Celebrate the Holy Liturgy—”Yak pravyty Sv. Liturhiyu”), and many other things, and ending with practical suggestions for worshippers (in the work How to Conduct Oneself in the Temple of God—”Yak povodytysya v Bozhomu Khrami”), Metropolitan Ilarion spanned the whole sphere of Orthodoxy by his Archpastoral teachings, also placing special emphasis on the ethical imperatives of the Gospel, as is only right, for these are inseparable from the concept of Orthodoxy. Many Ukrainians know the familiar pastoral imperative of Metropolitan Ilarion, which is most popular in its shortened version: “To serve’ the people is to serve God.” And to serve the people means to serve one’s neighbour, to serve every man, because to love is to serve, explains Metropolitan Ilarion in his work entitled To Serve the People Is to Serve God (Sluzhyty narodu—to sluzhyty Bohu).

The profoundness of Metropolitan Ilarion’s understanding of his calling in the field of Christian Mission is shown, by the way, by the following significant fact of a “circumstantial character.” Everyone knows that Professor Ivan Ohienko was the one who led the movement for the Ukrainian-ization of the language of Divine Services, in the sense that the Liturgy was celebrated in the contemporary Ukrainian literary language. This was one of the very foundations of his national ideology in the Ukrainian Church. However, when the overwhelming majority of Ukrainian Orthodox in Kholmshchyna and Pidlyashya desired that the old Divine Service language (so called “Church-Slavonic” language” with the Ukrainian Pronun¬ciation be allowed to remain in the Holy Liturgy, because it sounded “extraordinary” to them, and when the First Diocesan Sobor of Kholmshchyna and Pidlyashya (which took place in Kholm in the days of October 19-21, 1941) expressed its approval of this matter by the first item among its resolu¬tions, Metropolitan Ilarion did not hesitate to give his blessing for this decision, because otherwise it might have weakened the feeling of attachment the inhabitants of these old Ukrainian districts to the atmosphere of their Orthodox Church.

One of the first tasks of Vladyka Metropolitan Ilarion, as Archbishop of Kholmshchyna and Pidlyashya, was to accomplish the matter of establishing an Orthodox school. And soon, in 1941, a religious seminary was founded there, which in 1942 was elevated to the level of a religious academy, whose professors were qualified Ukrain¬ian Orthodox theologians.

Wherever Metropolitan Ilarion served as Arch-pastor, there always was a Ukrainian Orthodox theological school, and Metropolitan Ilarion’s spirit created in this institution the necessary religious atmosphere which ruled over all Political groupings. In the grandeur of this atmosphere, the students knew their direction—without hesitation, doubts, apathy and indifference—because this was the atmosphere of the Christian Faith. The students devoutly respected their Archpastor. This respect was not forced, for its foundation was their sincere devotedness and love towards him. And it was indeed a rare occurence if any of them, after being educated in this religious atmosphere, later hesi¬tated to go to serve in Christ’s Vineyard—to serve not as politician, nor as a professional, nor as a public figure, but to serve as a Priest, as the servant of Christ who stands above social classes, parties and organizations.

Nothing that was “human” was outside the bounds of the attention of Metropolitan Ilarion. Where many considered Communism to be merely a matter of collectives, “capitalism of the state,” totalitarianism, and so on, Metropolitan Ilarion for his Part approached the essence of Communism in a more profound way. He felt that it was an obvious fact that the essence of Communism con¬sisted in its world-view with its “materialized psychology” and its fanatical faith in materialism. For this very reason, he had not the slightest doubt that, as he emphatically stated, “there is no new ideology against Communism; the One Teaching of Christ can stand against Communism” (the journal, Vira y Kultura—”Faith and Culture,” No. 6 (4). Winnipeg, 1957).

However, it is understood that only those people can stand up against Communism through Christ’s Teachings, who believe in the existence of God and live according to Christ’s Teachings, and nowhere and never hesitate to openly confess the Christian Faith.


The first translation of the Bible into the Ukrainian language, in the history of the Ukrainian people and the history of their Church, was completed in the nineteenth century by Pantelei-mon Kulish. This translation first appeared in print in 1903, in a rather meagre quantity. At that time the norms of the Ukrainian universal literary language were not yet completely settled. Besides, at that time the methodology of translating the Bible did not stand at the high level it does today. P. Kulish, on his part, tried to do the best that he could in the circumstances of his time, with regard to the state, at that time, of the Ukrainian literary language and the methodology of translating Holy Scripture.

The second translation of the Bible in the history of the Ukrainian people and the history of its Church is that of Metropolitan Ilarion.

This translation of the Bible is distinguished by three special characteristics: (1) the quality of the Ukrainian language, (2) the rhythmic quality of the sentences, and (3) the accurate rendering of the meaning.

(1) Among the distinguished Ukrainian linguists, Metropolitan Ilarion was foremost in his knowledge of the Ukrainian language. Besides this, he placed special emphasis on expressing thoughts in the most comprehensible way possible; he himself had the special gift of expressing complex thoughts in a way that all could understand. All this taken together shows that the language of his translation of the Bible is a classical type of the contemporary Ukrainian literary language and that the majestic Biblical simplicity of expression is not thereby violated (by him).

(2) In the translation of the Bible completed by Metropolitan Ilarion, the rhythmic quality of the original is kept intact (this characteristic is quite rare in the history of translations of the Bible). Being himself a poet, Metropolitan Ilarion did not only focus attention on the meaning of words and the logical development of sentences, but also on the poetic particularities of Biblical expression, in¬cluding the rhythmic quality of sentences. To Preserve this rhythmic quality of the sentences without changing the grammatical norms of the Ukrainian language, the Biblical style and the accurate presentation of thoughts is a difficult task.

(3) Nevertheless, the most difficult matter in the translation of the Bible is accurate rendering of meaning. Words exist that have several (plausible) meanings. The difficulty here is to determine what meaning was used to render a thought in Hebrew for the Old Testament and in Greek (Koine) for the New Testament. Besides this, one must take into consideration whether a given expression in the original stood for a poetic figure, or perhaps to clearly convey a thought or idea. Without a proper knowledge of Hebrew and Greek, and without an understanding of the spirit of the time when the Old Testament and the New Testament were written, the translator can not render his assign¬ment properly.

Metropolitan Ilarion began a thorough study of Hebrew and Greek (as well as Latin and Church-Slavonic) while yet in his student days. The ‘beginnings of the preparation for translating the Bible can be dated from the year 1917.

The late Metropolitan Ilarion lies in state at the Holy Trinity Cathedral in Winnipeg. Funeral Services were held at the Cathedral on April 11 and 12, 1972.

Besides the constant study of these languages (of interest is the fact that Metropolitan Ilarion deepened his study of Hebrew under the tutelage of a famous Hebrew scholar in Warsaw between the two World Wars), Metropolitan Ilarion also studied various areas of the life of ancient Israel: its history, religion, culture, world-view, traditions, customs, laws, ethnopsychology, and so on. In addi¬tion, he studied various aspects of the period when the New Testament was written. These kind of studies are an integral part of the scholarly methodology of translating the Bible.

The Greek Church prohibited the translation of the Bible from early Greek (Koine) into modern Greek, because of the fear that translators would unintentionally insert into the text of Holy Scrip¬ture thoughts which were not found in the original. Inaccurate translations of the Bible actually do contain a smaller or larger quantity of such thoughts, which in reality are not Biblical. Thus, the Greek Church became very cautious in this field for their Church leadership sees many contra¬dictions among the various translations of the Holy Scriptures.

In order to avoid errors, Metropolitan Ilarion prepared himself for a considerable length of time before undertaking such an important and respon¬sible task as the translation of the Bible into the Ukrainian language. His translation is in reality the work of that period of his life which began with his university studies.

His sporadic attempts at translation, between 1917 and 1925, must be looked at in light of his simultaneous work in the area of methodology of translating Holy Scripture and Divine Service Books. His studies and then simultaneous transla-tion of the Bible, beginning in 1921, became systematized. This is shown by the fact that up to 1927 Metropolitan Ilarion was able to prepare the basis of the methodology of (Biblical) translation, on which he reported in his article “Methodology of Translating the Bible and Divine Service Books into the Ukrainian Language” (Metodolohiya pere-kladu Sv. Pysma y Bohosluzhbovykh knyh na ukrayinsku movu), published in 1927, issues 19-27 of the journal Dukhovna Besida (Spiritual Talk). The contract for the right to translate the Bible into the Ukrainian language was signed by Profes¬sor I. Ohienko with the British and Foreign Bible Society on April 1, 1936. From that time on, he concentrated almost entirely on translating Holy Scripture. In 1937 his translation of the Gospels appeared (in Lviv)—Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. In 1939 his translation of the entire New-Testament with the addition of the Psalms appeared in Warsaw. The translation of the entire Bible was completed on July 11, 1940; however, due to the second World War the manuscripts could not be delivered for printing. After the war various circumstances including, later, procedural formali¬ties (revision committee, and so on), dragged out this important work to March 14, 1955. This date marks the formal agreement with the British and Foreign Bible Society to accept this translation for printing, which was completed in April 1958. As the author of the first scholarly translation of the Bible into the Ukrainian language, Metropolitan Ilarion was named Honorary Member of the British and Foreign (Bible) Society.

The goal of this great work, to which Metropoli¬tan Ilarion devoted the most time, attention and energy throughout forty years of his life—the work of translating the Bible—had an exclusively mis¬sionary character. He wanted the Ukrainian people to have the Possibility of reading the Holy Scrip¬tures in an accurate and comprehensible translation into the Ukrainian literary language. When it happened that as a result of the second World War a large number of Ukrainian refugees found themselves in various Western European countries, they received free of charge (in 1946-1947) hundreds of copies of the Gospels in Ukrainian translation from Metropolitan Ilarion.


The Holy Fathers of the Church were not merely learned theologians but also religious thinkers (philosophers). In the late periods of the Middle Ages, religious thinking was highly developed even in the western countries of Europe. Traces of reli¬gious (philosophical) thinking can be found also in the early Ukrainian Orthodox theologians and in Church writers. After a century of flowering in the sphere of Ukrainian religious literature of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, religious thinking in Ukraine started to decline. For this very reason, Metropolitan Ilarion, as a religious thinker, became a solitary figure among us in this regard.

The reflective gift and inclination, which can be seen in many aspects of Metropolitan Ilarion’s works, belong to the essential characteristics of his personality. This fact can be illustrated by examples even from such spheres, in which, before Metropo¬litan Ilarion, none among us sought any objectives of philosophical thinking.

Only now, for example, do we consider it possible to discuss such questions as: Can or can not Ukrainians in diaspora maintain their national identity (individuality) without the preservation of their native language? Aside from this, we are used to hearing only about the memorization of Ukrain¬ian words and phraseology, about the teaching of Ukrainian grammar and orthography, and similar things, because all of these things are necessary to preserve the Ukrainian language as a means of communication among Ukrainians.

However, Ukrainians heard from Professor I. Ohienko that the matter of language is not only a matter of dictionary, grammar, phraseology, linguistic styles, orthography, and so on, because at the essence of native language lies something more profound.

Officiating Divine Liturgy are Hierarchy and Clergy at the moment of partaking of the Precious Gifts, April 12, 1972

Language is “the soul of every nationality,” said he in his work entitled Ukrainian Culture (Ukra-yinska kultura), written in 1918.

As a linguist, he develops his professional study of the Ukrainian language (its morphology, lexicon, syntax, tonic accent, history, and so on) to the level where the interest and competence of academic professional linguists end. However, Metropolitan Ilarion does not stop here; as a thinker, he goes further and tells us figuratively: “The language is the soul of every nationality.” Here he enters the sphere of philosophy of native language, which he examines in the light of the substance of nationality.

Being a thinker, Metropolitan Ilarion primarily concentrated his thought in the sphere of religion. For him, the poetic form is only a means which serves his reflective objective. And that objective lies in his expression of those truths which are revealed to him in the mirror of his intuition.

The common thread between poetry and philosophy is formed by the fact that both poet and philosopher strive to understand the highest essence of being by the path of intuition. It is for this very reason that all philosophers utilized, to a greater or lesser extent, the poetic form of expres¬sion.

Religion is a matter not only of the rational aspect of man’s spirit, but also a matter of his will and feelings, that is, a matter of the whole soul. And religious poetry emerges first of all from religious feelings, which assist the mind of the believer to reach intuitively towards the essence of the most profound truths of being. And for this very reason, religious poetry sometimes resembles prayer.

In the preface to the first volume of his Philosophical Mysteries (Filosofski misteriyi), Me¬tropolitan Ilarion explains Why the Bible contains many poetical resources of expression; why the Psalms were created in the form of religious poetry; why the Holy Fathers of the Church con¬veyed their knowledge of truths through religious-poetical works.

Just as in the area of Ukrainology, his chief aim is to strive to reveal the substance or essence of the Ukrainian nationality, and for this reason he concentrated so much on the matter of the Ukrain¬ian language and culture (as shown by the titles of journals he edited in Warsaw: Ridna Mova— “Native Language,” and Nasha Kultura—”Our Culture”), so also in religious thinking he concen¬trates chiefly on the matter of truth and the relationship between Faith and culture, in which, naturally, he includes the sphere of learning. From this come the names of the journals that he Published in Winnipeg: first Slovo Istyny—”Word of Truth” (1947-1951) and later on the journal Vira i Kultura—”Faith and Culture” (from 1953 on). In between the two, in the years 1951-1953, he published in Winnipeg the journal Nasha Kultura—”Our Culture.”

The aim of so-called “pure science” (or as they say, “science for the sake of science”) is to strive to discover the mysteries of nature, or generally speaking to disclose reality (truth), without any thought as to what practical aim that finding or disclosure of truth might be used for. But it is important for a Christian scholar that his discover¬ies serve the good of humanity.

As a learned humanist and theologian, Metro¬politan Ilarion always endeavored to discover the truth (reality). And he did this without fear, not paying attention to the fact that on more than one occasion he had to experience a considerable amount of unpleasantness and even tragedy.

In his Philosophical Mysteries (Filosofski mister¬iyi), written in poetic-verse form, he especially emphasizes that fact that historians manifest to a greater or lesser extent, consciously or unconsciously, the tendency to show historical facts in such a light that people are no longer able to find out what the far-removed events were really like.

This is what Metropolitan Ilarion says of this (tendency):

“And all ‘true history’
That claims to strike Truth home to the eyes Is like the weather that always changes,
Just as the mood of the author desires.”

In Ukrainian popular language the word “truth” (pravda) means also the affirmation of reality and justice. Both of these meanings of “truth” are used also by Taras Shevchenko. How may one harmonize in the one word (“pravda”) the affirmation of reality and the meaning of justice?

In his work The Birth of Man (Narodzhennya lyudyny), Metropolitan Ilarion replies to this ques¬tion thus:

“The Lord is the Truth most Perfect; There is no crumb of evil in Him.”

Only belief in the existence of God and life according to the teachings of Christ will enable man to resolve the problem of the interrelation of the recognition of reality and justice, which are denoted by one term “truth,” and in this case, by the term “Divine Truth.”

His Grace Bishop Theodosios speaks on behalf of His Holiness the Ecumenical Patriarch Athenagoras and Archbishop lakovos. He said:

“On behalf of His Holiness the Ecumenical Patriarch Athenagoras, on behalf of His Eminence Archbishop lakovos of North and South America, on behalf of Clergy and Laity of the Greek Archiocese of North and South America I would like to express our sympathy to our Sister Ukrainian Church.
We pray that Almighty God will rest in peace the soul of His servant Metropolitan Ilarion.
May his memory be eternal! May his memory be eternal! May his memory be eternal!

The world is very complex and interesting be¬cause it is a cosmic mystery. God gave man intelligence so that he would understand the world. For this reason, belief in the existence of God and pious living do not contradict the matter of science. But science can not reveal everything to us. For example, the human brain will never recognize this Divine Mystery: God’s aim in creating the world and the final goal of man’s life. Believers are aware that these mysteries are known only to God.

It is thus that we must understand that basis on which true science can not be in collision with Faith; concerning this Metropolitan Ilarion speaks thus in the above-mentioned work:

“Learning and Faith are dear sisters, And Truth is their own dear mother — ‘Though in life sometimes they go different paths, They always arrive at the common Palace.”

This same idea is expressed by him in yet another version:

“Knowledge is a road to Truth; It is laid by the sons of God — In learning we draw nearer to God, And God thereby draws nearer to us.”

To learn, to recognize reality, and at the same time, to live virtuously, to love one’s neighbour, to forgive one’s enemies and to rely upon God because only He knows the highest mysteries of the world, including the mystery of the goal of man’s being.

The object of man’s being—this is a question (similar to the question of truth) which has per¬turbed philosophers from antiquity.

In his work The Divinization of Man (Obozhen-nya lyudyny), Metropolitan Ilarion teaches that only the believing person can recognize the goal of his being on the earth; this goal is the divinization (transfiguration) of man, that is, the drawing nearer to the essence of God, as far as it is possible for man; to draw nearer by means, at the same time, of a pious life and faith in God’s Providence. Believing and pious persons feel no need to ask about the aim with Which God created them.

The above-mentioned examples, to a partial extent, illustrate for us the themes of Metropolitan Ilarion’s religious-philosophical thinking.

When the sermons of Metropolitan Ilarion are published (probably this year) the future researcher will have the complete material upon which the fullness of his (the Metropolitan’s) “spiritual portrait” as a religious thinker will be painted.


In the area of Ukrainiology there are subjects which did not exist until Metropolitan Ilarion’s time. They exist today due to the pioneering work of Metropolitan Ilarion. Thus, he belongs to the most distinguished pioneers of Ukrainology. With regard to this, let us mention as examples at least several of the most important facts.

The author of the first synthetical work on the theme of Ukrainian culture is Professor I. Ohieriko. This work, entitled Ukrainian Culture (Ukrayinska kultura) was published in 1918.

The History of Ukrainian Printing (Istoriya ukrayinskoho drukarstva) published in 1925 is the first work on this theme which spans the entire history of Ukrainian printing. This monumental work was written by Prof. I. Ohienko.

Up to the year 1927, there was no work on the methodology of translating Holy Scripture and Divine Service Books into the Ukrainian language. Professor I. Ohienko was the first to write a scholarly study on the subject, published in 1927.

The History of Ukrainian Literary Language (Istoriya ukrayinskoyi literaturnoyi movy), pub¬lished in 1950, is a work of Metropolitan Ilarion’s which filled a deep gap in this field, because prior to Metropolitan Ilarion there was no systematic study on the history of our literary language.

Such an important matter in the history of the Ukrainian people as its pre-Christian religion was not a subject of expansive and profound study up to the time when it was undertaken by Metropolitan Ilarion (while in Lauzanne). He wrote a large monography on this subject entitled Pre-Christian Beliefs of the Ukrainian People (Dokhrystiyanski viruvannya ukrayinskoho narodu). The first study on the topic of the lexical resources in the creative works of Taras Shevchenko was written by Metro¬politan Ilarion. This work is entitled The Dictionary of Shevchenko’s Language (Slovnyk Shevchenko-voyi movy). The first monography on the topic Ukrainian Literary Tonic Accent (Ukrayinsky literaturny naholos) is the work of Metropolitan Ilarion. In addition, we must underline that he continually devoted special attention to the study of the Ukrainian tonic accent. He specialized in this area from the very beginning of his work in the field of Ukrainian learning. In his lectures (the course “History of the Eastern-Slavic Tonic Accent”) at St. Volodymyr University in Kiev in 1916, Prof. I. Ohienko devoted much attention to the Ukrainian tonic accent.

Metropolitan Ilarion was first to become inter¬ested in the religious motifs in the themes and literary style of the works of Taras Shevchenko, and he Placed special emphasis on them in his monography entitled The Religiousness of Taras Shevchenko (Relihiynist Tarasa Shevchenka).

Due to the fact that the number of Metropolitan Ilarion’s publications is expressed in over a thousand titles, it is not possible to list here all of the areas of Ukrainology whose beginnings are ascribed to the initiative and work of Metropolitan Ilarion.

The figure of Metropolitan Ilarion as a scholar became well-known as the figure of a great scholar on a world-wide scale. With regard to this, we must underline the fact that those among his greatest works which have an international significance for example, Beginnings of the Alphabet and Literary Language among the Slavs (Pochatky azbuky i literaturnoyi movy v slovyan) and especially Constantine and Methodius (Konstyan-tyn i Mefodiy), 1927-1928, to which no other nation has an equal—are related with the history of the Church.

The distinguished German Slavist, Prof. Pauls, correctly emphasized in his Grammar of the Church-Slavonic Language that the works of Prof. I. Ohienko contain an enormous number of scholarly sources. It is indeed true that he (Prof. I. Ohienko) studied many thousands of scholarly works in the process of his own scholarly research. In addition, it will be to the point to note the fact that his monography entitled The Methodology of Scholarly Work (Metodolohiya naukovoyi pratsi) is the only study of its kind on this topic. (This work, as well as many other works by Metropolitan Ilarion, has not yet been published).

Metropolitan Ilarion was a member of the following learned institutions before the first World War:

  1. Scholarly Society in Kiev;
  2. The Society of Nestor the Chronicler in Kiev;
  3. Society of Lovers of Early Literary Works in Petersburg;
  4. Archival Commission in Kiev;
  5. Military Archival Commission in Kiev;
  6. Archival Commission in Katerynoslav.

In the period between the two World Wars he was a member of the following learned centres:

  1. The Taras Shevchenko Ukrainian Scholarly Society in Lviv;
  2. The Commission on the History of Bibliology in Kiev (named a member in 1926);
  3. The Slavic Institute of Prague; and
  4. The Polish Linguistic Society.

Following World War II:

  1. The Taras Shevchenko Ukrainian Scholarly Society (transferred from Lviv to the emigra¬tion) ;
  2. Ukrainian Free Academy of Learning (in emi¬gration);
  3. The Research Institute of Volyn’ in Winnipeg;
  4. The Scholarly-Theological Society in Winnipeg;
  5. The British and Foreign Bible Society in London.

A list of names of Prof. I. Ohienko’s scholarly publications during his first twenty years of acade¬mic work (1905-1925) is given in the following source: V. Zayikyna: Prof. Ivan Ohienko during His Twenty Years of Work: 1905-1925. (A list of works by Prof. I. Ohienko) (Prof. Ivan Ohienko za dvadtsyat lit pratsi: 1905-1925). This list was published in the July to December issues of the journal Dukhovna Besida (Spiritual Talk) in Warsaw, 1925.

Following this Prof. I. Korovytsky completed in retrospect the above-mentioned list of Prof. I. Ohienko’s publications (beginning from 1897) and took it to the year 1937. This list is included as part of an article of Prof. I. Korovytsky entitled “The Work of a Scholar” (Chyn uchenoho), which was published in the book entitled A Scholarly Collection on the Thirtieth Anniversary of the Scholarly Work of Prof. Dr. I. Ohienko (Naukovy zbirnyk v 30 richnytsiu naukovoyi Pratsi Prof. D-ra Ivana Ohienka), Warsaw, 1937.

After a year of research (1957-1958), Prof. Dr. G. Mulyk-Lucyk established that the two above-mentioned published lists (1925 and 1937) were incomplete. He corrected the list of omitted (because forgotten) publications of Metropolitan Ilarion during the period between 1897 and 1937, added their titles to the list published in 1937, and presented all this to Metropolitan Ilarion. He terminated his work on the bibliography of Metro¬politan Ilarion’s works, as well as his work on the bibliography of this bibliography, because at that time (1957) there were some forty-two unpublished works of Metropolitan Ilarion’s and there was no one to publish them. In time, several of these were jointly Published by the Society “Volyn’ ” in Win¬nipeg and the Research Institute of Volyn’ in Winnipeg. After this, Metropolitan Ilarion present-ed all his unpublished works to the Society “Vo¬lyn’ ” which publishes them periodically and also re¬publishes those of his works which are no longer available and now belong to the list of rare publications.

We do not have the list of Metropolitan Ilarion’s works during the period from 1937 to the present time. And there are a great many of these works (books, brochures and articles).

Metropolitan Ilarion approached the sphere of Ukrainology not only as an ordinary scholar—a “professional” or specialist—but also as a scholar and patriot. As a scholar, he strictly followed the scholarly method of research, which in the first place requires objectivity. As a patriot, he chose for himself, first of all, areas of scholarly research which were connected with the primary needs of the Ukrainian people.

History shows that even upon the ruins of Russian Tsarism (which fell in 1917 due to the Revolution), the act of Ukrainian sovereignty by the proclamation of the Ukrainian National Repub¬lic in 1918 was not an easy matter to achieve. But it was even more difficult to transform our ethnos (a people as such) into a nation—into a monolithic community, aware of its name, selfhood, individ¬uality and unity.

Without the transformation of the people, as an ethnic mass, into a nation, it was not possible to build a state in the situation in which Ukraine found itself in 1918.

The completion of the Funeral Rites for Metropolitan Ilarion. Officiating members from left to right: Archpresbyter S. W. Sawchuk, His Grace Bishop Theodosios — representative of His Holiness Patriarch Athenagoras and His Grace Archbishop of Greek Archdiocese in North and South America, Commander T. S. Burham — Honorary Aide to the Governor General of Canada, and Archbishop Michael.

Therefore, when the opportunity arose, on the horizon of the Revolution in the Russian Tsarist empire, for Ukraine to achieve state independence, Prof. I. Ohienko left his scholar’s cabinet and went to serve Ukraine in a practical manner—to work in the field of spiritual self-liberation of his people by means of its transformation into a nation.

In the year 1918, he published his work—of an epochal significance—entitled Ukrainian Culture, the first edition of which was published in 100,000 copies and the second (printed especially for the Ukrainian army) in a million copies. Prof. I. Ohienko’s first task was to tell the millions of his people that they possessed one common language and one common culture which distinguish them from all other nations and constitute the essence of Ukrainian nationality.

“I will inform you about the Ukrainian culture, about the ages-old culture of our people as a nation, about the culture that it has arrived at by a long road,” said Prof. I. Ohienko to his nation in 1918 (Ukrainian Culture, p. 4).

In the years 1917 and 1918, he wrote and published the following texts which were of primary necessity: Ukrainian Writing—grammar (Ukrayin-ske pysannya), an edition published in some million copies, and A Course in the Ukrainian Language (Kurs ukrayinskoho yazyka), and a handbook entitled The Ukrainian Language (Ukrayinska mova).

The matter of Ukrainian unity required much effort in the area of practical Ukrainology.

Especially was it necessary to work out a common orthography, universal for all Ukrainians. The Government of Hetman Pavlo SkoroPadsky entrust¬ed this matter to Prof. I. Ohienko.

But to develop universal grammatical norms of the Ukrainian language and a universal orthogra¬phy—one of the most important tasks of Prof. Ohienko—was not the whole of it. A universal language is the most important formal mark of a nation. However, the native language is a matter of a national substance.

“Language is our national mark; in our language lies our culture, the level of our consciousness,” he wrote in 1918. “Language is the form of our life— cultural and national life—it is the form of national organization. Language is the soul of every national¬ity, her sacred possession, her most valuable sacred possession, her most precious treasure . . . Of course, not merely the language, but the language as a specific organ of culture, tradition. In language lie our early and new culture and the mark of our national profession. Language is not merely a simple symbol of understanding, because it evolves in a specific culture, in a specific tradition. In such a case, the language is the clearest expression of our psychology; it is the prime guardian of our psy¬chological ego . . . And as long as the language exists, the nation exists also, as a nationality. If the language dies, neither will the nationality re¬main: for it will become dispersed within some stronger nation. This is the reason why language has such great importance in a national movement; this is why it is placed in the first position of honour among our most important questions. This is why our enemies have always been so concerned to prohibit our language, to bring it low, to utterly destroy it.” (Ukrainian Culture, pp. 240-41).

Thus spoke the greatest linguist-Ukrainologist to his people. None before him nor after him spoke thus to our people about our native language— about language as an “expression of the national Psychology,” about the native language as the “soul of every nationality.”

He spoke thus in order to reveal to his people the secret of self-preservation of a nation, in order to show the people that state independence must be founded on the awareness of the people about its national-spiritual independence, and that the geographic-political unity of a people must be based on spiritual unity. Because only the awareness of a people of its national-spiritual independence and unity has the power to transform it into a nation. During the time when Ukraine found itself under occupations, and when, during the course of cen¬turies, she lost her leadership almost entirely, and our people were almost entirely reduced to the level of the so-called “third class” (peasantry), to the level of enslavement in the national-political, religious-political, cultural, social and economic aspects—at this time Professor I. Ohienko spoke out to his oppressed people about the lofty culture of their forefathers who civilized the entire Slavic East. And he showed that the Church and culture of the Russian Tsarist empire was based upon the groundwork which was long in preparation toy Ukrainian “plowmen”—the spiritual missionaries, scholars, writers and technicians. He first spoke of this to our people in 1918, as the author of Ukrainian Culture. Afterwards he repeated this more expansively in a series of his other works— both large and small.

These words of Metropolitan Ilarion’s enfold us with the spirit of Messianism of our forefathers: that spirit which the author of the Tale of Ihor’s Campaign (Slovo o polku Ihorevi) was filled by in the twelfth century—he who showed his contempo¬raries their greatest mission: “the defense of Chris¬tians before the heathen.”

During the course of centuries, our knights of the Royal and Kozak (historic) eras protected the Christian nations of the West from the hordes of enemy forces. But the missionaries and scholars of our forefather carried the Cross, Gospel and the word of learning to the far East of Europe—and Prof. I. Ohienko showed this fact to his unfortu¬nate people to strengthen its spirit, faith in its powers and in its historical calling.


Behind Metropolitan Ilarion’s short maxims, some of which have already become familiar to all of us—for example: “To serve the people is to serve God”; “To love is to serve”; “Language is the soul of a nation,” and others—lies the great parity of his works. All of these maxims are his testaments. An especially essential and important great testa¬ment for us in the great dispora is his Book of Our Being in a Foreign Land (Knyha nashoho buttya na Chuzhyni). These are his commandments to us: how to preserve our nationality in our dispersion in the dense mass of other nationalities.

Compared to many other peoples, our mass “exodus” from Ukraine is still relatively recent. Thus, there was not much time for us to recognize within ourselves the great losses due to massive assimilation in massive societies composed of other nationalities. And that feeling of “security” turned our thoughts away from the need of an ideology of self-preservation in such surroundings. But without such an ideology, it is almost impossible to find successful methods of national self-preservation.

Archbishop Michael, Acting Metropolitan of the Ukrainian Greek-Orthodox Church of Can¬ada, places into the coffin of Metropolitan Ilarion a small container of soil brought from Ukraine.

If anyone wanted to express the entire contents of the Book of Our Being in a Foreign Land in one sentence, he could express it by Metropolitan Ilarion’s well-known imperative: “Let us love everything that is our own!” This means: let us love our language, our native Church, our culture, our customs, our history, our forefathers and our descendants—let us love our people!

“To love all our own” means to be a patriot. To try to seed the knowledge of the Ukrainian language, literature and history on soil where there is no patriotism—this is the “task of Sisyphus”—a futile endeavour. Where there is no Ukrainian patriotism, there is the spiritual “rocky ground” in which the seed of the native language will not germinate; and even if it does germinate, then it will sprout with difficulty, grow a little and quickly wilt.

The commandments of Metropolitan llarion are written for us. Not to fulfil his testaments means to be in great spiritual arrears before him.

Besides the legacy which has already taken root in us in the form of some aspects of his ideology and learning (in the sphere of the Church, religious and national world-view, national learning and culture and so on), there is yet another legacy: Metropolitan Ilarion’s books and manu¬scripts. This legacy demands that we learn it. This would then constitute a great branch of our studies: a branch which we could call “Ohienkiana.”

The coffin of the late Metropolitan Ilarion being carried down the stairs of the Holy Trinity Cathedral in Winnipeg.

First of all, it would be necessary to list the titles of all his works, authored by him throughout some seventy years. (He actually first began to write as a fifteen-year-old boy in 1897). To collect, arrange and classify the titles of all of his works (more than a thousand) and to publish this as a “Bibliography of the Works of Metropolitan Ilarion” would be an important task. And it is of necessity that someone must soon complete this work so that we could show the world concrete published facts about the scholarly, reflective, literary and ecclesiastical works of Metropolitan llarion. For when he himself could write so many works for us, and publish a large majority of them with his own hard-earned finances, there would be no justifica¬tion on our part if we were not able to compile and publish at least the titles of his works.

The works of Metropolitan Ilarion were often quoted by other authors and scholars (and some¬times used as the main resource material without giving the name of Metropolitan Ilarion, or his secular name, Professor I. Ohienko). To list the •titles of the works of other authors in which Metropolitan Ilarion’s works were quoted means to create a “Bibliography of Bibliographies” in Ohienkiana. And this should also be done by someone.

There should be analytical monographies on some of his works. Most important, we must publish a monumental work on Metropolitan Ilarion—first of all a work of an academic nature, which should contain in detail every aspect of his work.

To study in a “scholarly” manner the life, work and creativity of Metropolitan Ilarion, that is, to do formal research, is not enough. We must recog¬nize his stature and experience his creativity with our heart and soul. He did not act and create mechanically: it can be said, using his own style, that he “burned” with the fire of his own spirit. For this reason, future researchers, who will have only his works, and not knowing his living stature from autopsy, will not be able to reach the depths of their reality.

The spiritual legacy bequeathed by Metropolitan Ilarion is immense. But also great are our debts before him; great are our moral debts of obligation.


During the time of the Chirotony of Metropolitan Ilarion (1940) in the city of Kholm, the Ukrainian lands west of the rivers Buh and Syan, that is, the lands of Kholmshchyna, Pidlyashya, Zasyannya and Lemkiwshchyna, were in the borders of the “General-Government” (as the German authori¬ties called Poland) under German occupation. The rest of the Ukrainian lands were occupied by Soviet armies. In proposing the candidacy of Prof. I. Ohienko for the Episcopate, the Ukrainians of the General-Government had no doubt that should the path to Kiev be opened to him, he would have become Metropolitan of Kiev, the Primate of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church with the Metro¬politan Throne in Kiev.

In 1941 the Germans led an assault on the U.S.S.R. from the General-Government and rapidly occupied all the Ukrainian lands together with Kiev; but the boundary of the General-Government was not opened to Kiev. The border lay on the rivers Buh and Syan, guarded by the Germans. The Ukrainian Orthodox population east of the Buh and Syan, in Polissya, Volyn’ and the Dnieper valley region, and especially in Kiev, anticipated that Vladyka Ilarion (who in 1941 was honoured by the dignity of Metropolitan) would immediately come to Kiev to the Metropolitan Throne as the most worthy successor of such pri¬mates as Metropolitan Ilarion of Kiev (of the eleventh century) and Metropolitan Petro Mohyla. However, the German authorities forbade Metro¬politan Ilarion to travel beyond the borders of the General-Government. Especially was he forbidden to cross the border into the Ukrainian lands (including Kiev) to the east of the river Buh, that is, the lands of Polissya, Volyn’ and the Dnieper valley region.

The late Metropolitan Ilarion is laid to rest at the Cemetery of the Holy Resurrection, Glen Eden Memorial Gardens, Winnipeg.

Professor Ivan Ohienko was well known to the entire Ukrainian people as a former Minister of the Ukrainian National Republic, as a great Ukrainian scholar, theologian and Church worker. Therefore, it is completely understandable that the Ukrainian Orthodox clergy, the intelligentsia and all the people could not imagine a more worthy candidate for the Metropolitan Throne in Kiev, than Professor Ivan Ohienko. However, the Ger¬man authorities in principle forbade the filling of the (vacant) Kievan Metropolitan Throne. Besides this, the German leaders were especially hostile to Vladyka Metropolitan Ilarion.

For the millions of Ukrainian Orthodox, this fact was something much worse than disappoint¬ment: this was a great blow because they all knew that the appearance of a candidate for the Metropolitan Throne of Kiev such as Vladyka Ilarion is sometimes awaited for centuries.

However, during the war years, millions of Ukrainian Orthodox continually turned, in their thoughts and feelings, to Danylo’s Hill in Kholm, where, as it was generally said, was kept “the prisoner of the Germans,” Vladyka Ilarion, whom the general mass of Ukrainian Orthodox con¬sidered their unofficial Primate.

The Ukrainian Greek-Orthodox Church of Canada was not only aware of the fact that Metropolitan Ilarion was a figure of pan-Ukrainian renown—more than this, a figure of world rank— but also considered the fact that he was a Man of an Age, for he was indeed a figure whose like is rarely found in the history of the Ukrainian people.

And the very fact of this awareness, which in this case is common to all Ukrainians, constitutes our Spiritual Pantheon in which the Ukrainian people has placed his Memorial not made by hands —’its soul.

May his memory be eternal!