XVII, 2021, 1

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From Moldavia to Kyiv: The Peregrinations of “Theophanes’ cross” | p. 97–122

blessing cross, Kyiv, Metropolitan Theophanes II of Suceava, Moldavia, monastery of Râşca, the Theophany (Bratsky) monastery, Theophanes III of Jerusalem, Walachia


The blessing cross of Patriarch Theophanes III of Jerusalem was one of the most hallowed relics of the Holy Theophany Monastery in Kyiv, also known as the Bratsky or Brotherhood Monastery. The Slavonic inscription engraved on the gilded sheathing of this carved wooden cross reveals that it was decorated c. 1600 by the former princess of Wallachia Neaga in memory of recently deceased Metropolitan, Theophanes. A new reading of the inscription allows to challenge the current identification of this hierarch with the future Patriarch of Jerusalem Theophanes III in favor of Theophanes II, Metropolitan of Suceava. A new discovery of one more inscription, under the sheathing of the cross allows to identify the place where the cross was initially donated by the metropolitan: the monastery of Râşca in Moldavia.