The Lauryshava Gospel, 14th century

The Lauryshava Gospel Aprakos is the oldest among well-known Cyrillic manuscripts of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, during the formative phase of the Lithuanian-Russian statehood in the second half of the 14th century, when the majority of the principalities of Kievan Rus’ became a part of the Lithuanian principalities, created on ethnic Ukrainian and Belarusian lands. Nowadays it is a common historical book of three countries: Lithuania, Belarus and Ukraine. 

The book is historically connected with the capital of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania - Vilnius, at that time, in which, the Orthodoxy was strong enough, with the Lavrisivske Virgin Monastery, which acted near the metropolitan city  Novogorodok and with the Dynastic Princely family Gediminovich. With mental, cultural, linguistic and written traditions, the book is directly relating to the Galician-Volynian writing, according to which the formation of Lithuanian-Russian book and official\business writing began.

The destiny of the book was tightly intertwined with The Lavrisivske Monastery. According to its authentic notes, the book was in monastery for the last quarter of the 14th century, and since then it gained the legal status of monastery’s book-archive, in which the most important monastery property- related cases were recorded in 14th-15th centuries.

The Lauryshava Gospel was used during the divine service before the transition to Uniate.  The monastery existed as Orthodoxy one until the beginning of the 17th century. The Prince Adam Jerzy Czartoryski was given this book by monks, probably in ‘20s of the 19th century. He took this book with part of his artistic rarities to Paris. In 1873, the library of Czartoryski family was moved to Warsaw to the family castle in Pulawy, which in that time belonged to the Russian Empire. In 1842, after the confiscation of the Princes Czartoryski ‘s estate the by the Russian Imperial State, part of the Pulawy library and the Lauryshava Gospel got to the Imperial Public Library in St. Petersburg. However, it is still unknown how the book was returned to the Czartoryski family. The Lauryshava Gospel Aprakos is the manuscript which does not have any accurate information about the time and place of its writing. But it is exactly known and it was proved by Ukrainian scientist, the Doctor of Philological Sciences Viktor Moysienko- the book was copied by Ukrainians, this is evidenced by thousands of mistakes towards the Ukrainian language.
The textual peculiarities of the Lauryshava Gospel specified by the Doctor of Philological Sciences, paleographer Lyudmiloy Gnatenko testifie that codex was made during the studying process and for own usage what is an important sign that shows the studying of scribes for making books for divine service.

The manuscript was not created as a communion-table gospel, as it has been thought in historiography. In the paper, different texts from different Gospel Aprakos Galician-Volynian origin were used, that is why the book is significant source for researching of the Ukrainian language.
The research of the Lauryshava Gospel and attribution suggested, will encourage next researchers to the further study of the codex. This will be facilitated by publishing a handwritten book.

Every book, every revival of a manuscript this is the event not only for Ukrainian but also the world community. Renewing of the history and passing it on our descendants is one of the tasks that Ukrainian scientists and the “Gorobets” Publishing House are aimed at. 

Year of publication: 2018
Format: 225 x 320 mm
Pages: 468, illus.
Paper: Munken Print Cream 115 g / m2 from Arctic Paper Munkedals AB (Sweden)
Cover hard: cardboard Dutch 3 mm, leatherette Italian.
There is one type of stamping on the cover: glossy foil.
Weight: 2300 g


The idea of the project belongs to Archimandrite Onufriy (Kuts), Rector of the Holy Parasceve Temple in Ratniv village, Luck district, Volyn region.
The project curator is Anna Gorobets, the Director of Gorobets Publishers LLC
Photo processing and retouching by Anna Motrenko
Layout of the book Volodimir Gurovich
Artist Volodimir Kleymenov
Editor Anatoly Lyaskovsky
Translated from English by Anatoly Lyaskovsky
Translated from Polish by NatalIya Volchenko
Printing House “Master of Books” (Kyiv), Director Pavlo Sachek
Organization and presentation of DIana Shamray
Photocopies of the manuscript are from the Prince Czartoryski National Library in Krakow.

The Lauryshava Gospel Researchers, scientists:

  • Lyudmila Gnatenko - paleographer, Doctor of Philology, Senior Researcher at Volodimira Vernadskogo Library
  • VIktor MoysIEnko - Doctor of Philology, Professor of the Department of Philology, of the Zhitomir State University Ivana Franka.
  • V’yacheslav KornIEnko - Doctor of History, Deputy Director General of the National Reserve “St. Sophia of Kyiv”
  • Malgozhata Smorong-Ruzhitska - Professor of Art, illustrator researcher  

Sponsors of the The Lauryshava Gospel, 14th century:

  • Ukrainian Cultural Foundation, YulIya Fediv, Director    
  • LLC «Kofko AGRI RESORSIZ UKRAINA» Vladimir Osadchuk, General Director, Olga Skripchenko, Financial Director
  • National Reserve “St. Sophia of Kyiv”, Nelya Kukovalska, General Director
  • Private law firm "Confident", Head YurIy Schirba
  • Dema ValerIy Ivanovich, SigmaBleezer Investment Group Dema ValerIy Ivanovich, Vice President and partner
  • Dr Dietrich Bock, Ready Garment Technology Ukraine Ltd


  • Lyudmila Gnatenko “The Lauryshava Gospel - a Masterpiece of the Lithuanian-Russian book writing and history”. 
  • Malgozhata Smorong-Ruzhitska “Artistic Creation of the Lauryshava Gospel” 
  • Victor MoysInko "The protograph  and language of the Lauryshava Gospel "
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