Znachko-Yavorsky, Melkhysedek

Image - Melkhysedek Znachko-Yavorsky

Znachko-Yavorsky, Melkhysedek [Značko-Javors’kyj, Melxysedek] (secular name: Matvii), b ca 1716 in Lubny, Chernihiv region, d 14 June 1809 in Hlukhiv, Chernihiv regiment. (Portrait: Melkhysedek Znachko-Yavorsky.) Orthodox churchman. He studied at the Kyivan Mohyla Academy before being tonsured in 1738 at the Motronynskyi Trinity Monastery, where he served as hegumen in 1753–68 . From 1761 he also served as administrator of the Orthodox churches and monasteries in Polish-ruled Right-Bank Ukraine, which belonged to Pereiaslav eparchy. In this capacity he fought against exploitation by the Polish gentry and against attempts to introduce the Uniate church throughout the area. He also supported the haidamaka uprisings. In 1768 he was accused of aiding Maksym Zalizniak and of stirring up the peasantry against the Poles; he was arrested, but was released on the intervention of Bishop Hervasii of Pereiaslav. Under pressure from the Polish gentry, however, the Russian government removed him from his position at the Motronynskyi Trinity Monastery in 1768 and assigned him to Left-Bank Ukraine. Znachko-Yavorsky then served as hegumen at the Pereiaslav Monastery (1769–71), the Vydubychi Monastery (1771–81), the Mhar Transfiguration Monastery (1781–6), and the Hlukhiv Monastery (1786–1809). In 1771–83 he was also vicar of the Saint Sophia Cathedral in Kyiv. He was a member of the Novhorod-Siverskyi patriotic circle. A biography of Znachko-Yavorsky by Teofan Lebedyntsev and documents relating to his life appeared in Arkhiv Iugo-Zapadnoi Rossii (1864).

[This article originally appeared in the Encyclopedia of Ukraine, vol. 5 (1993).]

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