Ipatii Potii

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Ipatii Potii
Metropolitan of Kiev
Ipaci Paciej. Іпаці Пацей.jpg
Church Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church
Appointed 15 November 1600
Term ended 8 July 1613
Predecessor Mykhajlo Rohoza
Successor Josyf Rutsky
Consecration 6 June 1593 (Bishop)
by Mykhajlo Rohoza
Personal details
Birth name Adam Potii
Born 12 August 1541
Died 8 July 1613(1613-07-08) (aged 71)

Adam Ipatii Potii (Ukrainian: Іпатій Потій, Polish: Hipacy Pociej, Belarusian: Іпацій Пацей) (1541—1613) was the Ukrainian Metropolitan of Kiev and Galychyna from 1599 to his death in 1613. He played an active role in the 1595 Union of Brest of which he was a firm supporter. He was also a writer, polemist and theologian.

Early life[edit]

Adam Potii was born on 12 August 1541 in Różanka, Lublin Voivodeship from a noble family. His mother, Anna Loza, after the death of her husband, on about 1550, married the governor of areas of Smolensk. Prince Mikolaj "the Black" Radziwill took care of his education and sent him to a Calvinist school and later in the Jagiellonian University in Kraków. In 1566 Potii started to work as a judge in Brest, in 1572 he was secretary of king Sigismund II Augustus and later he was appointed tax collector and in 1588 Castellan of Brest. He was also a senator of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth.[1]

In his yonth, under the influence of Prince Radziwill, Potii converted to Calvinism, but in 1574, scared about the extremes of that denomination he returned to the Orthodox Church.[2] In the same year he married Anna, of the dukes of Hołowniów-Ostrożeckich, with whom he had six children.


After the death of his wife in 1592, Potii chose to become a monk, taking the religious name of Ipatii (Hypatius). Thanks to the support of Prince Konstanty Wasyl Ostrogski, a close friend of his, he was appointed in 1593 as a bishop of the eparchy of Volodymyr-Brest and he was consecrated bishop on 6 June 1593[3] by the hands of Mykhajlo Rohoza.[4]

Potii played a crucial role in the establishing of the Union of Brest by which the Ukrainian Church moved from the jurisdiction of the Patriarchate of Constantinople to the jurisdiction of the Pope, thus forming the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church. He actually traveled to Rome, along with the Bishop of Lutzk Cyril Terlecki, to carry to Pope Clement VII the petition undersigned by the bishops in Brest on 12 June 1595 asking for the union: they arrived in Rome on 25 November 1595, obtained the approval of the Pope on the conditions that Byzantine rite, liturgical practices and the not-use of the filioque would be preserved and were back in Lutzk in March 1596.[5]


Ipatii Potii was appointed new Metropolitan of Kiev in August 1599 by the will of king Sigismund III Vasa [6] and he was confirmed by Pope Clement VIII on 15 November 1600.[7] In 1601 he founded a seminary and on 3 March 1605 he was formally recognized as the only Byzantine Rite Metropolitan in the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth.

On 11 July 1609 some Orthodox, who opposed the Union of Brest, attempted to his life, but without success.[6] In 1611 he succeeded to appoint also a bishop favorable to the Union of Brest in the Eparchy of Przemyśl. He also worked on the restructuring of the Order of Saint Basil the Great. Potii died on 8 July 1613 in Volodymyr-Volynskyi and was buried in the cathedral of that town.


Potii was also a writer, polemist and theologian. Among his works we have: "The Union, or an Exposition of the Articles" (1595), "Antirysis" (Anti-Discourse, 1599), "A Defense of the Council of Florence" (1603), and "Harmony, or the Agreement of Faiths" (1608).[1] He wrote numerous letters, also to Lew Sapieha and Konstanty Wasyl Ostrogski.


  1. ^ a b "Potii, Ipatii". Encyclopedia of Ukraine. Retrieved 26 April 2011. 
  2. ^ Borys, Gudziak (1998). "The Kyivan Hierarchy". In Bert Groen. Four hundred years Union of Brest (1596-1996) : a critical re-evaluation : acta of the congress held at Hernen Castle, the Netherlands, in March 1996. Leuven, Belgium: Peeters. pp. 29–32. ISBN 978-90-429-0670-9. 
  3. ^ on 27 May 1593 according to the Julian calendar
  4. ^ A. Пекар (1996). "Іпатій Потій - провісник з'єднання". Analecta Ordinis S. Basilii Magni. Rome: sumptibus PP. Basilianorum (Sectio II, vol XV (XXI), Fasc 1-4): 151–152. 
  5. ^ Wikisource-logo.svg Herbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). "Union of Brest". Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company. 
  6. ^ a b Pelesz, Julian (1881). Geschichte der Union der ruthenischen Kirche mit Rom. Woerl. pp. 35–59. 
  7. ^ Patritium Gauchat (1935). Hierarchia catholica Medii aevi sive summorum pontificum, S.R.E. cardinalium, ecclesiarum antistitum series. 4. Regensburg. p. 149.