Sts. Anthony and Theodosius of the Kiev Caves Skete in Odrynki

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History of the Skete

History | Calendar of Historical Events

Skete The origins of the Hermitage of Sts. Anthony and Theodosius of the Kiev Caves is closely connected with the history of the Monastery of the Ascension of the Lord in the Białowieża Forest. In 1518, Prince Ivan Mikhailovitch Viskovatyi, when crossing the Narew river by raft on his way to Vilnius, saw a light before an icon of St. Anthony of the Kiev Caves.  Seeing this as a sign from God, the Prince funded the construction of a new chapel in the vicinity of the Narew river crossing. This event most likely took place not too far from where the Olszanica river flows into Narew, not far the settlement called “Kudok” surrounded by old oak trees. The Monastery of the Ascension of the Lord was established in the area of the former Błudowska Forest which connected Odrynki with the Narewska Forest. On October 8, 1574, Feodor Massalsky, the Marshal of Grodno, established in my city named Nowa Wola, the Church of the Ascension of our Lord God and Saviour Jesus Christ, which we have named and built to be a men’s monastery according to the Ancient Greek rite, in which the Divine Services will be served unceasingly.

o. Gabriel The Monastery of the Ascension of the Lord was established on the territory bordering the Błudowska Forest (which belonged to the Chodkiewicz family) and Narew. The Monastery was built in the vicinity of the present village of Odrynki. To this day, two  locations called Monaster and Krynoczka are found on the Olszanica river at the tributary flowing into the river Narew.  The monastery was established by monks from the Supraśl Lavra, where the cult of St. Anthony of the Caves was particularly important as a result of its connection with the Kiev Pechersk Lavra. The Ascension Monastery was built in a location where it would be possible to lead a hermetic monastic life. At the time, the Ascension Monastery was still officially under the authority of the Archimandrite of Vilnius and in the ecclesiastical jurisdiction of the Abbot of the Monastery of the Holy Spirit in Vilnius. The monastic community in the Błudowski Forest ceased functioning after the dissolution of monasteries in the Podlasie region in 1824 at the decision of Spiritual Consistory in Minsk. It formally belonged to the Archimandrite of Vilnius in the 17th century and, in fact, ceased to exist in the first half of the 18th century.

The location of the monastery can be clearly associated with Żurawlik, Monastyr and Krynoczka, which are located in the area of Odrynki. Monastic life was still active in the 19th century. A recluse monk, Trofim Adamowicz Dubko, lived on the grounds of the former monastery until 1916. Presently, Archimandrite Gabriel (Giba) is renewing monastic life on the river Narwa according to the 16th century monastic tradition of the Supraśl Lavra. It was in this place, that Prince Ivan Mikhailovitch Viskovatyi first saw the icon of St. Anthony Pecherski in 1518; and, as the then superior of the Supraski Monastery, built a chapel, which became the foundation of a new hermitic monastic community.

Prof. dr hab. Antoni Mironowicz

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Skete1518
Prince Ivan Mikhailovitch Viskovatyi finds the icon of St. Anthony of the Kiev Caves and constructs a chapel in the vicinity of settlement called “Kudok” on the shore of the Narew River.

1529
Aleksander Chodkiewicz, voivode governor of Nowogród, receives property on the right shore of the River Narew at the River Olszanica, Zabłoczanka, Hoźna and Zacisówka.

1549
Grzegorz Chodkiewicz, chamberlain and son of Aleksander Chodkiewicz receives the land located between the Olszanka and Hoźna rivers up to the Narew River.

1572
Katarzyna Wiśniowiecka, wife of Grzegorz Chodkiewicz and her son Aleksander funds the construction of a Skete in the Błudowska Forest for the monks of Supraśl.

1574
Prince Feodor Massalsky, owner of Narewka and Lewkowo Stare, funds the construction of the Orthodox Monastery of the Ascension of the Lord in a village in the area of Odrynki.

1578
Anna Chodkiewiczówna grants Feodor Massalsky part of the Błudowska and Narewska forests.

1589
Jeremy II, Patriarch of Constantinople, appoints the cousin of Prince Feodor-Hilarion Massalsky as Archimandrite of the Supraśl Monastery.

1603
Orthodox monks from Supraśl banished by the Uniates arrive at the Monastery of the Ascension of the Lord located not far from Odrynki.

Skete1607
After the death of Hilarion Massalsky, the Monastery in Odrynki is subordinated to the Monastery of the Holy Spirit in Vilnus.

1609-1626
Hermit Heliasz serves as Abbot of the Monastery.

1657
The monastery is destroyed as a result of war.

First half of the 18th century
The Jesuit mission in Narew conducts activities against the monks of the Monastery of the Ascension.

1786
The monastery remains under the jurisdiction of the Archimandrite of Vilnius and under the care of the Abbot of the Monastery of the Holy Spirit in Vilnius.

1824
The monastery is dissolved at the decision of the Spiritual Consistory in Minsk.

1916
Hermit Trofin Adamowicz Dubko lives in the area of the former monastery.

1930’s
Eugeniusz Ramm conducts archeological work on the monastery’s property.

20th century
The development of the cult of St. Anthony of the Kiev in Narew and the surrounding areas.

2005
Olga Pietruczuk-Zajkowska transfers the land purchased in the area of the former settlement of Kudok to be used for the purposes of an Orthodox hermitage.

2006
Archimandrite of the Supraski Monastery Gabriel (Giba) organizes a hermitage at the place of the appearance of the icon of St. Anthony of the Kiev Caves.

Skete2008
Construction of the Chapel of St. Anthony and chapel with a water source in the area of the hermitage.

2009
Orthodox Metropolitan of Warsaw and All Poland Sawa calls into existence the Skete of Sts. Anthony and Theodosius of the Kiev Caves in the place of the heritage.

15 September 2009
The first Liturgy celebrated by the Metropolitan of Warsaw and All Poland Sawa at the Skete.

2010
Construction of the wooden church of Sts. Anthony and Theodosius.

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