The Miroslav's Gospel

Thanks to the generosity of the Pivnicki-Mulroney family, the Holy Trinity Serbian Orthodox Church in Montreal received a facsimile editon of the Miroslav’s Gospel, the oldest preserved Serbian cyrillic manuscript. This manuscript is of extraordinary value in understanding the overall historical and cultural character of the Serbian medieval state, as well as a monument to early Serbian literacy.

The Pivnicki-Mulroney family donates this book to the Serbian Church of the Holy Trinity in Montreal in memory of Dr. Dimitrije Pivnicki, with the desire to be exposed in the church, to the insight and pride of the community.

This copy has a symbolic significance. It was donated by Serbian Prime Minister Zoran Djindjic to Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney (Mrs. Pivnicki's son-in-law) during his official visit to Serbia. Mr. Mulroney gave this gift to his father-in-law, Dr. Pivnicki, a prominent Canadian Serb, longtime active and lifelong honorary president of the Holy Trinity Church in Montreal.

Miroslav’s Gospel is a testament of the long duration and significance of Serbian religious culture in the Middle Balkans. It is a manuscript of extraordinary beauty and rarity that followed the turbulent history of the Serbian state, and was often hidden, and given for safekeeping to government officials or trusted members within their circles. 

Miroslav’s Gospel was commissioned in the 12th century by Miroslav of Hum, a nobleman and brother of Stefan Nemanja. This liturgical book is of great importance for the history of the language, writing and grammar of Serbian and other Slavic languages, as well as its artistic contributions to the history of medieval art.

The distance between Bijelo Polje, where the manuscript was created, and Belgrade, where the original is kept today is approximately 332 km. On its eight centuries long road Miroslav's Gospel has travelled over 15 thousand kilometers. This silent witness of Serbian history avoided the fate of many other stolen and burned books of its time.

Many thanks to the Pivnicki-Mulroney family.