Helinand of Froidmont; Translated by Jenny Lind Porter
Helinand (c.1162—1237) was born to a noble flemish family which had fled to France after the assasination of Charles the Bold. In the richly creative, rough and tumble world of the twelfth century, he proved himself an accomplish poet. In Verses on Death Helinand combines his love of poetry and his love of monastic tradition; from his cloister, he invites death to visit those dearest to him, to turn their attentions to the joys of eternity. Both in Old French and in Jenny Lind Porter's translation, the verses provide lively, colloquial and arresting reflections on the transitory vanity of worldly pleasures.
AnchoritismG��a life of solitude and stillnessG��flowered in the deserts of Egypt in the fourth century and has provided a perennial model for christian monasticism. Revived in the sixteenth century the anchoretic life flourished in ruthenian landsG��present-day Ukraine and BelarusG��until the social utility of worship and prayer was brought into question by Enlightenment monarchs. Even then it provided a link in the living tradition which saw further revival in the Ukrainian and Russian startzi of the nineteenth century. Manjava Skete was such a centre of spiritual force from about 1605 until 1785. The monksG�� way of life and spirit is described in three seventeenth-century works translated in this volume: The Life of the founder, Jov KnjahynycG��ky, who conveyed a renewed anchoretic spirit from Mount Athos to his homeland; the Testament of Theodosius, the spiritual father chosen by Jov when he retired to greater solitude; and the austere Rule set down by Theodosius in the tradition of ancient monasticism. Sophia Senyk, herself a monastic, is Professor of Church History at the Pontifical Oriental Institute in Rome. Having published numerous scholarly articles dealing with the Church and religion in Ukraine, Belarus, and Russia, she is now engaged in writing a multivolume History of the Church in Ukraine, the first volume of which appeared in 1993.