XI, 2015, 1

The Last Pages of a Common History: The Great Skete from Galicia and Suceviţa Monastery | p. 321–338

Coşula Monastery, Great Skete (Maniava), Metropolitan Gavriil Callimachi, Metropolitan Leon Gheuca, Suceviţa Monastery


Founded in the first years of the 17th century, the Great Skete (Maniava) was the only Orthodox monastery in Galicia after the successive conversions to the Catholic communion of the dioceses from that area, and it was quickly advanced to the status of stauropegion of the Ecumenical Patriarchate. The Moldavian Suceviţa Monastery was submitted to the Galician Skete in 1648 and, for over a century, both of them shared the same abbot. The Great Skete was closed in 1785, and the monks had to find refuge in the neighbouring Orthodox countries.
It was known from a document published in 1804 by Constantin Erbiceanu, that there were 35 monks who came from Maniava to Moldavia in 1786. That document makes reference to another one, in which the monks pledged allegiance to the prince of Moldavia and obedience to the Metropolitan from Iaşi. Unknown until now, the latter document survived as a certified copy in the old archive of Coşula Monastery and it is published in the appendix. From this document we find that 21 monks from the Galician Monastery had already settled in Coşula Monastery in 1783/1784. Thus, we understand the reason why these other 35 monks were placed in Zbereni and Coşula monasteries. In the same archive there are some documents brought by the monks from the Great Skete, which include original documents of Suceviţa Monastery. The monks also brought some books and liturgical objects (icons, chalices, etc.).
The author also studied the diptych of the Great Skete, preserved in the Library of the Romanian Academy (Slavic manuscript no. 79), and found important information about the number and position of the monks who lived and died in those monasteries after 1786.