Found an extremely interesting book online, titled "The [life and] Activities of the Metropolitan Petro Mohyla" (unfortunately for most of you guys, in Ukrainian - http://www.apologet.kiev.ua/content/view/70/35/
), by a historian and Orthodox priest, Protopresbyter Fr. Dmytro Sadovyak. It's my spring break, so I took time savoring it.
I am fascinated by Mohyla's personality. He was, of course, a true product of his age - extremely ambitious, often ruthless... Yet, it is amazing how much he has achieved, given that he lived only 50 years (1596-1647).
Mohyla was born and lived all his life with more than just a silver spoon in his mouth. He was a son of the ruling prince ("Hospodar") of Moldova. Being still very young, he also became the brother-in-law of the powerful prince Jeremiah (Yarema) Vishnevetsky of Romny (east-central Ukraine). Having chosen a monastic path, Mohyla was made the archimandrite of the most wealthy Kyiv-Pechers'k Lavra monastery when he was not yet 31. He became Metropolitan of Kyiv and the Exarch of the Eucumenical Patriarch Cyril (Lukaris) at the age of 36.
Educated in Western Europe, Latin was his "other first" language, together with his "first first" language, which was old Ukrainian ("mova Rus'ka"). Writing, speaking, acting very much like a Polish nobleman-"shlyakhtych" of his time, and yet being Orthodox to the bone, always seeking compromise with the Polish king and princes for the sake of peace and prosperity of Orthodoxy, Mohyla wrote and published books, opened new schools and academies, appointed hierarchs, and vigorously re-organized parishes. During his tenure, hundreds of parishes and dozens of "protopopias" all over Ukraine were rid of illiterate and morally un-befitting priests and deacons (all of whom, according to Mohyla's personal orders, retained their pay for life if they collaborated in the search of their more educated and fitting replacement).
As it often happens, being a strong, somewhat dominant personality, Mohyla, unfortunately, had many enemies, including (most unfortunately) a wonderful man, his predecessor on the throne of the Metropolitan of Kyiv, Vlad. Isaiah Kopyns'kyj; Bishop Ian Popel'; prince Alexander Sangushko; the mayor of Kyiv Tyshkevych, and others. At times, he had sharp collisions with clergy, monks, and with the Kossaks who (again, very unfortunately) regarded him as a foreigner, "Westerner," "Latin" and even an undercover Catholic.
To this day, the true legacy of this most extraordinary man remains controversial and perhaps often misunderstood. No doubt, though, that he was a big blessing for Ukraine and for Holy Orthodoxy.