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Mykola Zharkikh (Kyiv)

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Paul of Aleppo (1656)

Nicholas Zharkikh

Abstract of the chapter

Detailed argumentation in ukrainian version

The next stage of the development of views on Kyiv relics captured Syrian pilgrim archdeacon Paul of Aleppo. He : 26 June – 10 July 1654 and on the way back, 28 June – 14 July 1656.

In July 1654, he attended St. Michael's Monastery and gave it's detailed description. Relics was :

Inside this altar – a beautiful lobster with relics of st. Barbara of Baalbek (Iliopol).

July 8, 1656, he again visited St. Michael's Monastery and :

On Tuesday morning we forgiven by Metropolitan and the invitation of Archimandrite went to St. Michael's monastery, known for its gilded dome.

Here we were present at the mass in the chapel of st. Barbara of Baalbek (Iliopol), as they celebrate on this day, July 8, the memory of carrying her relics from Constantinople in the city [Kyiv] when the emperor Basil the Macedonian sent them with his sister to prince Vladimir, king of Kyiv and Rus.

When for the first time [ie in 1654] we worshipped to the relics of this saint, we supposed that he was one of the new Moscow saints, but now, hearing her Synaxarion reading and seeing scenes from her life, we clearly understand that it is precisely st. Barbara martyr of Baalbek.

We again worshipped to the her body, which is the body of a young girl with small legs and hands. Recently arranged for her excellent coffin of ebony, overlaid with silver. At the request of our lord patriarch Archimandrite gave him a piece of her ribs, and we have kept it to ourselves.

After the second visit, under the influence of new information, Paul edited his record from 1654, adding that this Barbara was Heliopol's one.

Description of the relics of Paul coincides with earlier ones, while look to their origin and meaning has undergone drastic changes just for those two years – from July 1654 to July 1656. In 1654 Paul reported counting she as new local saint (fear first impression! – once again on this occasion).

There is every reason to assume that the author of the first version of the legend was just Sofonovych and he had compiled this version between spring 1655 and summer 1656.

There was Sofonovych who admitted Patriarch Macarius in 1656 and left a message about it [Sofonovych F. . – In the book: Sofonovych F. Chronicle of ancient chroniclers, K., Scientific Thought, 1992, p. 260]

We have a very rare case when a single meeting left written testimonies of both parties, and the evidence strongly agree with each other.