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Cărţi şi manuscrise din vechea bibliotecă a Mânăstirii Sfânta Troiţă – Radu Vodă din Bucureşti

Books and manuscripts in the old library of the Holy Trinity – Radu Vodă Monastery in Bucharest

Autor(i): Arhim. Policarp CHIŢULESCU

The Monastery of the Holy Trinity – Radu Vodă in Bucharest is one of the most important churches built under Alexandru II Mircea, the Voivode of Wallachia. It was intended to be used as the see of the Metropolis of Wallachia which was loca-ted at that time in Targoviste. Besides referring to the monastery as a metropolitan see in many of his documents, Alexandru II Mircea endowed it with properties thus increasing its prestige. His work was continued by his son Mihnea Turcitul and later by his grandson Radu Vodă who had the monastery rebuilt. It was consecrated by Hieromartyr Cyril Lucaris. As Radu Vodă placed the monastery under the rule of the Monastery of Iviron of Mount Athos, Romanian and Greek monks came to live and pray here. One of the first superiors of the monastery, Hieromonk Mardarius the Wallachian, offered various manuscripts to some monasteries in the Holy Land or of Mount Athos during the last decade of the 16th century. The community of Radu Vodă Monastery had a large library containing liturgical books and other writings for spiritual development. A book copying facility also existed there. The most famous copyist was Mihail Vizantios who transcribed some prominent works very well-known at that time. Thus, in 1696 he copied a work by Panteleimonos (Paisios) Ligaridis, Exegesis is ton Psalterion, for Stolnic Constantin Cantacuzino who put his signature on the pages of the book as an indication of ownership, and another volume contai-ning the Travels to China of Sword-bearer N. Milescu. Mihail Vizantios also copied in 1698 a Miscellanea of legal and ceremonial texts paid by Archimandrite Ghermanos, the Superior of Segarcea Monastery. Several Greek superiors from Iviron who later became superiors of Radu Vodă Monastery brought with them various manuscripts, especially liturgical texts, adorned with floral and zoomorphic decorations or ordered such manuscripts to be made for the Princely Church of the Holy Trinity - Radu Voda.
A more recent, but highly important manuscript dating from 1760, is the Anamnesis of Radu Vodă Monastery (Romanian Academy Library, Greek manuscript 1035); it was copied at the request of hieromonk Theodosius, abbot of Radu Vodă. The book provides useful information on the monastery and its dwellers and donors. A valuable piece of calligraphy once in possession of Radu Vodă Monastery (as shows a label on page 2v) is the Greek-Slavonic Liturgy (The National Museum of Art of Romania, Ms. 15) copied in 1620 at Leontopol (Lvov) by nun Melania, a disciple of calligrapher-metropolitan Matthew of Myras. This masterpiece is an illuminated ma-nuscript adorned with polychrome miniatures, vignettes and capital letters, and be-longed to several owners. The first to sign his name on its pages was Metropolitan Peter Mogila (Petru Movilă) of Kiev, followed by archimandrite Partenius (probably one of the two hegumens of Radu Vodă bearing this name between 1672-1683 and 1690-1697, respectively). A third owner was Theophan, archimandrite of Constamo-nitou monastery, signing on page 2r on 17 March, 1665. We note that archimandrite Theophan also signed on 2 July 1665 on a Slavonic book containing the Holy Liturgy Explained by patriarch Nikon of Moscow (printed in 1656 at Moscow). The latter book (865 p.) became in 1667 the property of the well-known vel dvornic Mareş Băjescu of Câmpulung. Some of the manuscripts belonging to or copied at Radu Vodă Monastery are now kept in the collections of the Library of the Romanian Academy in Bucharest. Many of the printed books in the library of the monastery, including some of the rarest Greek books printed in Venice, contain notes and information about the monastery and the monastic life.
Most printed books kept here are liturgical ones; they were not of interest to those who pilfered the monastery’s library. They are Menaia or other liturgical servi-ce books that, while seemingly uninteresting, are some of the rarest editions printed at Venice, where very good quality prints were produced and later circulated intensi-vely throughout the Romanian Principalities, among the (mostly Greek-speaking) intellectuals. Either as rare editions, or as sources of information on the monastery and monastic life, all these books are valuable testimonies preserved by the care of patriarch Justinian Marina. We mention the Menaia issued by Antonio Pinello’s pu-blishing house between 1602-1612, some of them unknown even to Greek biblio-graphers, such as the 1609 Menaion for September, or the 1912 Menaion for De-cember, etc. Most likely, Prince Radu Mihnea promptly purchased for his beautiful new monastery some recent editions of liturgical books, freshly printed in Venice – a city he had visited once. The 1609 Meinaion for November bears a very old text written in Greek in 1627, mentioning it had been also used at Bălteni skete, dedica-ted to St Nicholas by vornic Hrizea, an official close to Radu Mihnea. Other Greek books dating from the 17th century are: the Triodion, whose date we have identified as 1644, the Octoechos printed in late 17th century, for which no other details are available, as it does not match any bibliographical description; a beautiful, large Gos-pel Book dating from 1671, heavily used as its worn-out pages indicate. There are also the Menaia for November (1678) and December (1685), the Pentecostarion of 1681, the Triodion of 1682, all identified by us as they had lost the title page. On the Menaion for October of 1610, logothetes Gheorghie mentions a school at Radu Vodă, which he had attended. The writing style places it in late 17th-century or early 18th. On the pages of a Menaion for April 1689, a person writing in 1763 mentio-ned the exile of Constantin Mavrocordat.
Severely afflicted by adversities and harsh times, the monastery was closed on 10 December 1960 and its cenobitic life came to an end. Since 1952, within its pre-cincts were forcibly installed a communist party school, then I. Creangă highschool, but patriarch Justinian insisted until they were relocated, the ensemble was restored and the Seminary reopened. To preserve the surviving liturgical books of Radu Vodă, no longer in use, a patriarchal decision of 3 April 1963 had 166 volumes taken from Radu Vodă and handed over to the Holy Synod Library, freshly reorganized in the Synodal Palace at Antim monastery. Patriarch Justinian Marina donated to Radu Vodă church, which served as Seminary’s chapel for a while, vestments, vessels, and liturgical books in sturdy leather binding (some of them still in use), and to the Se-minary library (which he constantly enriched by donations) he bequeathed in his will the last 147 volumes in his personal collection. His example was followed by his disci-ple, the worthy of remembrance patriarch Teoctist Arăpaşu, who bequeathed his large collection to the library of the Seminary. The books described in the present article, four centuries after the reconsecration of Holy Trinity-Radu Vodă Monastery, attest to the long, fruitful monastic life here. This life is again blossoming, after the monas-tery was re-opened in the year 2000. Today the monastic community has a new library comprising thousands of books that provide spiritual nourishment.

Pagini: 67-96