This File Last Updated: 2001/10/14



Saint Euphrosyne of Polatsk   (1110 - 1173)

[ Painting: Saint Euphrosyne of Polatsk, 1975 ]

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Also go to Web site maintained by Dr. Nikolai N. Kostyukovich, of the Belarusian Academy of Sciences in Mensk, Belarus, for an extensive collection of links about Saint Euphrosyne of Polatsk, about Belarus, and about other famous Belarusians: http://www.ac.by/country/figures.html#yefra.



Article: Belarus Marks the 825th Anniversary of the Death of Saint Euphrosyne of Polatsk

[ Postage Stamp: Saint Euphrosyne, Cross, and Church, 2001 ]

"A commemorative service was held in Polatsk on June 5 to mark the 825th anniversary of the death of Saint Euphrosyne of Polatsk."

"The ceremony was attended by Patriarchal Exarch of All Belarus Filaret, members of the Belarusian Synod of the Orthodox Church, representatives of some Belarusian non-governmental organizations and some foreign guests. Saint Euphrosyne was the granddaughter of the famous prince of Polatsk, Vseslav. At the age of 12 she refused all proposals of marriage and ran away to a convent. Later she founded a convent of nuns and a monastery for monks and remained superior of both institutions."

"The educational and cultural activities of Euphrosyne were widely known beyond Polatsk. As a young girl, she was exceedingly fond of learning. Later, as a nun in the cathedral of the Holy Wisdom, she spent her time copying books, and the money she thus earned she distributed amongst the poor."

"She also built two churches in the convent and monastery founded by her. Of these two, the church of the Holy Savior still stands and is considered to be the most precious monument of early Belarusian architecture. In 1161, she presented the famous six-armed golden cross to the church of the Holy Savior. The cross, richly decorated with enamels and precious stones, was made by the Polatsk craftsman, Lazar Bohsa."

"Finally, towards the end of her life, she undertook a pilgrimage to the Holy Land where she died sometime after 1167. Her body, after the conquest of Jerusalem by Saladin in 1187, was carried by the monks to Kyiv and deposited there in the Monastery of the Caves. It was only in 1910 that the relics of the saint were brought back to her native town of Polatsk."

"Euphrosyne was canonized in Belarus in 1984. She remained in history as a promoter of Christianity, written language, and culture."



Article: Book about the Cross of Saint Euphrosyne of Polatsk Comes Out on the 825th Anniversary of Her Death

[ Postage Stamp: Cross of Saint Euphrosyne, 1992 ]

"A book titled, The Vivifying Symbol of the Fatherland, has come out on the occasion of the 825th anniversary of the death of Saint Euphrosyne of Polatsk. The book was printed by the Asar printing house in 2,000 copies. According to Anna Surmach, president of the Council of the World Alliance of Belarusians, Batskawshchyna (Fatherland), the book tells the readers about the Cross of Saint Euphrosyne which was made by craftsman Lazar Bohsa (Bogsha) with Euphrosyne's blessing and on the basis of her sketches and was then presented by Euphrosyne to the Polatsk-located church of the Holy Savior in 1161."

"In 1941, the golden cross, richly decorated with enamels and precious stones, disappeared from a Mogilyov depository and nothing is known about its present whereabouts. In 1991, on the initiative of Batskawshchyna and with the assistance of the Orthodox Church, the government and the Belarusian diaspora, the Brest-based artist Nikolai Kuzmich began to work on a copy of the Cross. At present, the copy is kept where it used to be in the 12th century, next to the relics of Saint Euphrosyne in the church of the Holy Savior. 'For the first time in many years, the temple will mark the 825th anniversary of her ascension with the Cross of Euphrosyne of Polatsk,' said Ms. Surmach."

"A documentary about the restoration of the cross has been made by Batskawshchyna's order. The film will be shown by the Belarusian state television channel on June 7 and will also be available on video cassettes."



Article: Copy of the Cross of Saint Euphrosyne is to be Handed Over to the St Euphrosyne Church in Polatsk

"A copy of the Cross of Saint Euphrosyne is to be ceremonially handed over to the St Euphrosyne Church in Polatsk during a divine service on the evening of September 26."

"The original six-armed golden cross was presented to the church by Saint Euphrosyne, granddaughter of the famous prince Vseslav (Usiaslaw) of Polatsk, in 1161. The cross, richly decorated with enamels and precious stones, was made by the Polatsk craftsman Lazar Bohsha. The original cross, which was kept in the church for 8 centuries, disappeared during World War II."

"The Brest artist, Nikolai Kuzmich, made a copy of the cross, using unique ancient technologies. The new cross can be considered a remarkable piece of art of the 20th century. It was sanctified by Metropolitan Filaret in the Saint Semion Cathedral in Brest at the end of August."




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