Church in Ukraine
Materials for the Beatification of 28
Martyrs and Servants of God. Byzantine-Ukrainian Divine Liturgy. 27 June 2001,
version in RTF format.
of thtose to be beatified by the Holy Father.
Holiness in Life
Pope John Paul II's solemn proclamation of the new martyrs and faithful servants
of God of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church as blessed is another divine manifestation
to our people. During more than 1000 years of salvation history on our land,
Ukrainian Christians have rejoiced in various signs of God's presence. The Word
has become incarnate among us, has been changed into visible sacraments: the
healing water of Baptism, the oil of the Holy Spirit, the bread and wine of
the Lord's paschal feast. They lead us to the divine life. "God is with
us!" He has built his house here. Great church councils throughout the
ages and quiet little chapels speak to us. The warm and hospitable face of the
Lord looks into our souls from childhood. His image is embroidered on our decorative
cloths at home. The feasts of the liturgical year sanctify our time, invite
us to overcome our lack of faith and our doubts and to feel that we live in
the age of the Kingdom of God.
We receive this mercy of the Lord through the blessing of hierarchs and priests,
on whose heads we can still feel the warm hands of the priests and martyrs Hryhory,
Theodore, Josaphat, Nykyta, Hryhory, Mykola, Semeon, Ivan, Vasyl. We celebrate
together with monks and nuns who still today remember the sanctifying righteousness
of Sister Josaphata and the "aristocracy of spirit" of priest and
martyr Klymentiy. They remember these fathers and sisters of their communities,
kind, welcoming and, at the same time, brave and constant in the faith. We rejoice
with Neonila Lysko, who can still today tell us about the eyes of her good husband,
full of troubles, Neonila who for such a short time was comforted by his close
presence … but his glory will last. Together with Fr. Emilian Kovch's children
who are with us, we pass on his testament of love of neighbor and love of enemy.
From now on from our midst, for us and for the world, the Universal Church
raises them up as examples of holiness, as heavenly friends of the Lord, humble
figures of mortal human beings. Yesterday they lived among us or among our parents
in our cities and villages, bravely fought with the greatest tyrants of human
history, against wrongs and injustices done to their brothers and sisters. They
also struggled with their own imperfections and with the simple worries of daily
life. Their presence here and now is, incredibly, still felt.
They walked our streets and rode on our roads, sat on our episcopal thrones
and in our confessionals; they gave lectures at solemn conferences and reports
from their professorial chairs, they studied in our Theological Academy and
seminaries. They probably did not think that the terrible trial of martyrdom
and its everlasting crown was waiting for them. They wore priestly vestments
and the habits of our religious communities, they heard stirring words from
their spiritual directors about self-giving and self-dedication, which we often
hear but receive as something everyday, as an abstraction, something unreal
and far away in time and space.
Now their figures are strangely close, visible. Through them holiness itself
is closer. They bring heaven closer to us - sometimes so unattainable - heaven,
where they have gloriously found their place at the hand of the Almighty Father
and Our Creator. And the land on which they walked only yesterday has itself
become holier, receiving their hot blood and tortured bodies. Walking on this
same earth we feel the grandeur of this holiness and the depth of this drama
which they lived through and to which the Lord can call you and me.
Finally, we were all called long ago-called to love our neighbor, forgive our
enemies, feed the hungry, tend to the wounded, comfort the weary, give hope
to the hopeless, die to self in order to live for others. Today on our earth
and in our Ukraine there is no lack of opportunities to dedicate yourself to
God. Through these blessed and martyrs whom we are honoring today, the Lord
has showed us that for us mere mortals, who are neighbors, fellow workers or
students, relatives and family members, or just friends, for us such accomplishments
are possible. God reveals Himself always and everywhere: in the quiet of a monastic
cell and in an inspiring sermon in church, among the Siberian snows and in the
burning oven of Majdanek, in the joy of motherhood and in the cries of an orphaned
Will we be able here and now, and then tomorrow and elsewhere, to respond to
this appearance of our Lord? Are we ready to witness to Christ in everyday life
or, God forbid, in the face of mortal danger? We hope in the Lord that this
is so. And our first step in this direction is our joyful celebration of these
abundant blessings which have come to us through the solemn glorification of
the new martyrs and faithful servants of God. Let us be glad with them and with
certainty follow in their footsteps!
Father Borys Gudziak, Ph.D.
Rector of the Lviv Theological
Director of the Institute of Church History
(The following narrative proceeds chronologically.)
Church of the Martyrs
Sister Josaphata (Michaelina Hordashevska) was born in Lviv on
November 20, 1869. At the age of 18, influenced by the retreats of the Basilian
Fathers, she felt the call to consecrate her life to God. Together with Fr.
Kyryl Seletskyi, pastor in Zhuzhel, and Father Yeremia Lomnytskyi, OSBM, she
established a new congregation, the Sisters Servants of Mary Immaculate, called
to an active apostolate among the people. Today the Sisters Servants is the
biggest female religious community in the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church. Sister
Josaphata's holiness showed itself in her total dedication to her calling, in
constantly embodying in her life Christ's command to love God and neighbor and
in humbly bearing all her difficulties and sufferings.
She died on April 7, 1919 after a long and severe illness, prophesying the day
of her death, which she accepted consciously, with prayer on her lips.
"She showed her love for her people through her heart-felt desire
to lift them up morally and spiritually: she taught children, youth and women,
served the sick, visited the poor and needy, taught liturgical chant and looked
after the church's beauty."-- From the testimony of Sister Filomena
Apostle of unity
Priest and Martyr Father Leonid Feodorov was born to a Russian Orthodox
family on 4 November 1879 in St. Petersburg, Russia. In 1902, he left his studies
at the Petersburg Spiritual Academy and went abroad. In Rome he converted to
Catholicism. He studied in Anagni, Rome and Frieburg. Contact with Metropolitan
Andrey Sheptytsky had a great influence on Fr. Leonid's spiritual development.
On 25 March 1911, he was ordained a Greek Catholic priest. In 1913 he became
a monk of the Studite order in Bosnia. After his return to tsarist Russia, in
connection with the beginning of World War One he was exiled to Tobolsk, Siberia
because he was a Catholic. In 1917, he was released and appointed head of the
Russian Greek Catholic Church, with the title of Exarch. His second imprisonment
came in 1923, now by the Bolsheviks, for ten years. From 1926 to 1929 he served
his term in Solovki and later in exile in Pinieza, Kotlas and Viatka.
He died as a martyr for the faith and church unity on 7 March 1935.
"We expect that the Exarch is on the road to glorification through
beatification. Of course, it is much too early to talk about this, but all
of us were strongly impressed by his holiness, strengthened by the crown of
martyrdom and death; this certainly supports our expectations. On the other
hand, as a Russian Catholic, as Exarch, as someone who died at the hands of
the Bolsheviks, it seems to us that he will be right in the center of attention
of the entire Church." -- From Metropolitan Andrey Sheptytsky's letter
to Prince P. Volkonski of 4 May 1935
* * *
Stalin's attack on the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church (UGCC) began immediately
after the first occupation of western Ukraine in September 1939. This occupation
was in accordance with the Soviet-Nazi Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact and lasted until
June 1941. In this period all UGCC property was confiscated, schools and hospitals
were nationalized. Church publications and religious organizations were forbidden,
religious educational institutions and presses were closed, the activities of
religious congregations were limited, brutal atheist propaganda and mass terror
and the deportation of a peaceful population began.
"It is absolutely clear that under the Bolsheviks we all felt destined
for death; they did not conceal their intention to destroy, to strangle Christianity,
to erase its smallest traces." -- From Metropolitan Andrey Sheptytsky's
letter to the nuncio, Rotti, of 30 August 1941
Patron of students
Priest and martyr Father Mykola Konrad was born on 16 May 1876 in the
village of Strusiv, Ternopil District. He finished his philosophical and theological
studies in Rome, where he defended his doctoral dissertation. In 1899, he was
ordained to the priesthood. He taught in a high school in Berezhony and Tereboblya.
In 1929 in Lviv he founded Obnova ("Renewal"), the first Ukrainian
association of Catholic students. In 1930 Metropolitan Andrew Sheptytsky invited
him to teach at the Lviv Theological Academy and later appointed him to be a
parish priest in the village of Stradch, near Yaniv. There, as in previous years,
he showed his great diligence and responsibility, fulfilling his pastoral duties,
in particular spiritual guidance for youth.
Returning from visiting a sick woman who had requested the sacrament of reconciliation,
he died tragically as a martyr for the faith at the hands of the NKVD (KGB)
on 26 June 1941 near Stradch.
"Doctor Konrad, a professor at the Academy, my catechist … O, he
was a distinguished person. An ideal man. He was very involved with youth;
he had a heart for youth-and for his people. He wanted us to be patriots,
to be good and aware students. That was Father Konrad…" -- From an
interview with Father Mykola Markevych
Martyr Volodymyr Pryjma was born on 17 July 17, 1906 in the village
of Stradch, Yavoriv District. After graduating from a school for cantors he
became the cantor and choir director in the local church. He took active part
in the life of his parish. Always and in everything he respected human dignity
and built his life on the principles of the gospel. On 26 June 1941 agents of
the NKVD (KGB) mercilessly tortured and murdered him along with Fr. Mykola Konrad.
"Fr. Konrad went with the holy sacraments to fulfill his sacred obligation,
hearing a woman's confession in the neighboring village. He felt he had to
go, though he was stopped. I know that they stopped him and said: 'Father,
don't go. Look what's happening: the war has started, anything could happen.'
He said that this was his sacred duty and he had to go. He got dressed and
left together with Volodymyr Pryjma, the cantor. They didn't come back. After
a week they were found there, murdered. People thought something was wrong.
So they went to look for them and they found them there. It was awful. The
cantor's wife had two children. One was three, the other was four. Momma told
how when they were found everyone was overcome by what they saw. The cantor
was especially cut up, his chest stabbed with a bayonet many times."--
From an interview with Yuriy Skavronskyi
Professor and pastor
Priest and Martyr Father Andriy Ishchak was born on September 20, 1887
in Mykolayiv, in the Lviv District. He finished his theological studies at the
universities in Lviv and Innsbruck (Austria). In 1914 he received his Ph.D.
in Theology and was ordained. Beginning in 1928, he taught Dogmatic Theology
and Canon Law at the Lviv Theological Academy. He was able to combine his professorial
duties with his pastoral work in the village of Sykhiv near Lviv, where he met
his death. Even under the threat of great danger he did not leave his parishioners
without spiritual guidance. He was faithful to the end.
In 26 June 1941, he died a martyr for the faith at the hands of soldiers of
the retreating Soviet Army.
"As the war began, the priest was taken at Persenkivka, the neighboring
station. Sometime in the afternoon they took him, detained him until the evening,
then they let him go. My dad, because they knew each other well, told him:
"Father, when they let you go, I would advise you to hide for a few days."
Because it was already clear that the Germans were coming and the Bolsheviks
would be fleeing. "Hide yourself and we'll survive." But the priest
said: "Ivan, the shepherd doesn't abandon his flock. And I can't leave
my parishioners and conceal myself." In two days the military came and
took him from his home. It was overgrown there with bushes, some distance
from the parish, maybe a half-kilometer. They brought him there and killed
him. They shot him in the stomach, and it looked like they also stabbed him
with a knife."-- From the testimony of Ivan Kulchytskyi
Priest and Martyr Father Severian (Baranyk) was born on July
18, 1889, place of birth unknown. On 24 September 1904 he entered the monastery
of the Basilian Fathers in Krekhiv. He was ordained to the priesthood on 14
February 1915. In 1932 he became the hegumen (prior) of the monastery in Drohobych.
In life he was noted for his special kindnesses to youth and orphans. He inspired
all with his joy and was famous for his preaching. On 26 June 1941 the NKVD
(KGB) arrested him. They brought him to a prison in Drohobych, after which he
was never seen alive again. His body, mutilated by tortures, was found among
other dead prisoners.
He died a martyr for the faith at the end of June 1941.
"Behind the prison I saw a big hole which had been covered up, filled
with sand. When the Bolsheviks retreated the Germans came and people rushed
to the prison to find their relatives. The Germans allowed people into the
area of the prison in small groups to claim their murdered relatives, but
most people stood by the gates. I was a little boy and didn't see anything
from the gates, so I went to the side and climbed a tree. There was a terrible
stink … I saw how the Germans sent people to uncover the hole which was filled
with sand. The hole was new, because the people uncovered it with their hands.
They dragged out the murdered bodies. There was a little covering near the
hole, and under it I saw the dead body of Father Severian Baranyk, Basilian,
with visible marks of his prison tortures; his body had unnaturally swelled,
black, his face terrible. Dad later said that on his chest the sign of the
cross had been slashed." -- From the testimony of Yosyf Lastoviak
Priest and Martyr Father Yakym (Senkivskyi) was born on 2 May
1896 in the village of Haji Velyki, Ternopil District. After completing his
theological studies in Lviv, he was ordained as a priest on 4 December 1921.
He received a Ph.D. in Theology in Innsbruck (Austria). In 1923 he became a
novice in the Basilian order in Krekhiv. After professing his first vows he
was assigned to serve in the village of Krasnopushcha, and later to the village
of Lavriv, in the area of Starosambir. From 1931 to 1938 at St. Onufry monastery
in Lviv he was chaplain of the Marian Society, he ministered to children and
youth and organized a Eucharistic Society. In 1939, he was appointed proto-hegumen
(abbot) at the monastery in Drohobych. He was arrested by the Bolsheviks on
26 June 1941. According to the testimony of various prisoners, he was boiled
to death in a cauldron in the Drohobych prison on June 29. Because of his righteous
life the faithful held him up as a model of service to Church and nation.
He died a martyr for the faith.
"From the first days of his time in Drohobych he became the favorite
of the whole town. He gained the affection of the population with his remarkable
talent, his ability to speak to the scholar and the laborer, young and old,
and even to the little child. He was always polite and with a warm smile on
his face. In your soul you felt that this person had no malice, and in addition
to the impression of humility and dignity, a true servant of Christ was evident."
-- From the memories of Fr. Orest Kupranets
Priest and Martyr Father Zenoviy (Kovalyk) was born on August
18, 1903 in the village of Ivakhiv near Ternopil. He entered the Congregation
of the Redemptorists and on 28 August 1926 he made his religious vows. His philosophical
and theological education was received in Belgium. He returned to Ukraine and
on 4 September 1937 was ordained to the priesthood. He served as a missionary
in Volyn. On 20 December 1940 he was arrested in church while giving a homily.
After terrible tortures he was murdered by the Communists in a mock crucifixion
against a wall in a prison on Zamarstynivska Street, in Lviv in June 1941.
He died a martyr for the faith.
"[His] sermons made an incredible impression on the listeners. But
in the prevailing system of denunciations and terror this was very dangerous
for a preacher. So I often tried to convince Father Kovalyk … that he needed
to be more careful about the content of his sermons, that he shouldn't provoke
the Bolsheviks, because here was a question of his own safety. But it was
all in vain. Father Kovalyk only had one answer: 'If that is God's will, I
will gladly accept death, but as a preacher I will never act against my conscience.'"--
From the memories of Yaroslav Levytskyi
* * *
A New Order
The beginning of the Nazi-Soviet war on 22 June, 1941 for many western Ukrainians
meant, first of all, the liquidation of the hated Bolshevik domination and led
to unfulfilled expectations for the revival of religious freedom and the achievement
of their national aspirations. However it was soon apparent that changing one
bloody regime for another would not change the essence of totalitarianism.
"… The terror is growing. During the last two months in Lviv more
than 40 thousand Jews were murdered. The authorities conducted searches in
the church, in my residence and in parts of the monastery … Two monks were
imprisoned, and perhaps there will be attempts to create some 'show trials.'
The arrests continue. This is a regime of raving madmen."-- From
a letter of Metropolitan Andrey Sheptytsky to Cardinal Tisserand of 28 December
Rescuer of the doomed
Priest and Martyr Father Emilian Kovch was born on 20 August 1884, in
Kosmach near Kosiv. After graduating from the College of Saints Sergius and
Bacchus in Rome, he was ordained to the priesthood in 1911. In 1919 he became
field chaplain for the Ukrainian Galician Army. After the war and until his
imprisonment he conducted his priestly ministry in Przemysl, at the same time
tending to his parishioners' social and cultural life. He helped the poor and
orphans, though he had six children of his own. During World War II he bravely
carried out his priestly duties, preaching love to people of all nationalities
and rescuing Jews from destruction. He was arrested by the Gestapo on 30 December
1942. He displayed heroic bravery in the concentration camp, protecting the
prisoners sentenced to death from falling into despair.
He was burned to death in the ovens of the Majdanek Nazi death camp on 25 March
1944. He was recognized as a "Righteous Ukrainian" by the Jewish Council
of Ukraine on 9 September 1999.
"I understand that you are trying to free me. But I am asking you
not to do anything. Yesterday they killed 50 persons here. If I I were not
here, who would help them to endure these sufferings? I thank God for His
kindness to me. Except heaven this is the only place I would like to be. Here
we are all equal: Poles, Jews, Ukrainians, Russians, Latvians and Estonians.
I am the only priest here. I couldn't even imagine what would happen here
without me. Here I see God, Who is the same for everybody, regardless of religious
distinctions which exist among us. Maybe our Churches are different, but they
are all ruled by the same all-powerful God. When I am celebrating the Holy
Mass, everyone prays . . .. Don't worry and don't despair about my fate. Instead
of this, rejoice with me. Pray for those who created this concentration camp
and this system. They are the only ones who need prayers… May God have mercy
on them…" -- From Fr. Emilian Kovch's letters written in the concentration
camp to relatives.
* * *
The prospect of the return of the Soviet power to western Ukraine after the
defeat of the German Army on the Eastern Front led the hierarchy and faithful
of the UGCC to fear for the fate of the Church. All too painful were the still
fresh memories of the violence of the Communist regime against the conscience
of the faithful during the previous Soviet conquest of less than two years.
"The Bolshevik Army is approaching … This news fills all the faithful
with fear. Everyone … is convinced that they are destined for certain death."--
From a letter of Metropolitan Andrey Sheptytsky to Cardinal Tisserand of 22
"Because she was a nun."
Nun and Martyr Sister Tarsykiya Matskiv was born on 23 March 1919 in
the village of Khodoriv, Lviv District. On 3 May 1938 she entered the Sisters
Servants of Mary Immaculate. After professing her first vows on 5 November 1940,
she worked in the convent, sewing clothes for the sisters and teaching the skill
to others. Even prior to the Bolshevik arrival in Lviv, Sr. Tarsykiya had made
a private oath to her spiritual director, Fr. Volodymyr Kovalyk O.S.B.M, that
she would sacrifice her life for the conversion of Russia and for the good of
the Catholic Church. On 17 July 1944 Soviet soldiers surrounded the monastery,
determined to destroy it. At 8 a.m. Sister opened the door, expecting a priest
who was supposed to celebrate the liturgy. Without warning an automatic shot
her dead. All her life she witnessed to the authenticity of the consecrated
She died a martyr for the faith.
"Suddenly the bell at the gate rang. We thought it was the priest.
Sister Tarsykiya opened the door, asked Sister Maria for the key to the front
door and went to the main entrance. Then a shot rang out and Sister Tarsykiya
fell down dead. The soldier who shot her did not really explain why he did
it. Later they said that he said he killed her because she was a nun."--
From the testimony of Sister Daria (Hradiuk)
Priest and Martyr Father Vitaliy (Bairak) was born on 24 February
1907 in the village of Shvaikivtsy, Ternopil District. In 1924 he entered the
Basilian monastery. He was ordained a priest on 13 August 1933. In 1941 he was
appointed superior of the Drohobych monastery, in place of the recently martyred
Father Yakym (Senkivskyi). On 17 September 1945 the NKVD (KGB) arrested Fr.
Vitaliy and on 13 November sentenced him to 8 years imprisonment "with
confiscation of property" (though he had none). In life he was distinguished
for his friendliness, his activeness in mission and preaching. He possessed
the gift of spiritual direction.
He died a martyr for the faith just before Easter 1946 after having been severely
beaten in the Drohobych prison.
"Living in the territory that had been temporarily occupied by German
forces…, he wrote an article with a negative position towards the Bolshevik
Party, which had been published in the anti-Soviet calendar Misionar ["Missionary"]
in 1942."-- From the personal file of V. V. Bairak in the archives
of the MVS
Priest and Martyr Father Roman Lysko was born on 14 August 1914 in Horodok,
Lviv District. He finished his theological studies at the Lviv Theological Academy.
Possessing special poetic and artistic talents, he and his wife joyfully conducted
youth ministry together. On 28 August 1941 he was ordained to the priesthood
by Metropolitan Andrey Sheptytsky. He refused to sign a statement of conversion
to Orthodoxy, remaining faithful to his Church and his people. On 9 September
1949 he was arrested by the NKVD (KGB) and imprisoned in Lviv. Until 1956, according
to information given after his family had been turned away many times, it was
said that he died on 14 October 1949 from paralysis of the heart. But many witnesses
report that they saw him in prison later, or they heard him singing psalms at
the top of his lungs. It was reported that they sealed him up, alive, in a wall.
He gave his life as a martyr for the faith.
"He was imprisoned on Lontskyi Street. His mother brought him some
packages. Sometimes his grandmother came from Zhulychi to visit him. At first
the packages were accepted. The prisoner always had a right to thank the giver
with the same card [with which they the package was sent]. These cards were
always sent back, even the bags in which they usually put packages. And there
were always those cards, on which he wrote, 'Thank you. Many kisses', and
signed it. After the murder of Halan [a communist agitator], they refused
to accept the packages. But after six months when they started to accept packages
again, then the relatives found a card with 'Thanks' and a signature written,
but in a stranger's hand. It was a completely different handwriting."
-- From an interview with his niece Lidia Kupchyk.
* * *
Liquidation by the state
Immediately after the Red Army returned to western Ukraine in the summer of
1944 the previous limitations imposed on the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church
were renewed. But the great authority possessed by the whole Church and its
head, Metropolitan Andrey Sheptytsky, forced the state during the first period
to avoid direct confrontation. The war with Nazi Germany was finishing and the
spiritual father of the Church and the people, Servant of God Andrey, passed
into eternity in the odor of sanctity on 1 November 1944. Then the Soviet security
services prepared a special plan "for detachment of parishes of the Greek
Catholic (Uniate) Church in the USSR from the Vatican and their subsequent unification
with the Russian Orthodox Church." This plan carried out Stalin's direct
order and received his praise. On 11 April 1945 with no proof of guilt Metropolitan
Josyf Slipyj, Bishops Hryhory Khomyshyn, Nykyta Budka, Mykola Charnetsky and
Ivan Liatyshevskyi were arrested. Soon after that the Bishops of Przemsyl, Josaphat
Kotsylovsky and Hryhory Lakota, about 500 priests all over western Ukraine,
in addition, almost all eparchial officials, professors of the Theological Academy
and seminaries, the most gifted pastors. With the combined efforts of party
and government structures, the police organs and the Orthodox hierarchy, by
means of open terror and false demagoguery, the "liquidation of the Union"
was proclaimed in 1946 in western Ukraine in the so-called "Lviv pseudo-Sobor
["Council"]" and in 1949 in Transcarpathia. Regardless of the
persecution, the authorities were not able to break the will of the bishops
and to convince one of them to renounce his Church for a career in the Church
of the "regime," the Russian Orthodox Church.
"…Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death
… At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate
each other, and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people. Because
of the increase of wickedness the love of most will grow cold, but he who
stands firm to the end will be saved." (Gospel of St. Matthew 24:
Bishop and Martyr Hryhory Khomyshyn was born on 25 March 1867 in the
village of Hadynkivtsi, Ternopil District. After graduating from the Lviv seminary
in 1893 he was ordained to the priesthood. He continued his theological studies
in Vienna (1894-1899), earning a doctorate. In 1902, Metropolitan Andrew Sheptytsky
appointed Fr. Hryhory rector of the Seminary in Lviv and in 1904 he was ordained
bishop for Ivano-Frankivsk. In 1939, he was arrested for the first time by the
NKVD (KGB). His second arrest was in April of 1945, after which he was taken
to Kyiv's Lukianivska prison. Bishop Hryhory remained an example for the Church
of the bravery of a soldier of Christ, showing perseverance in God's truth in
the most difficult moments of life.
He died a martyr for the faith in the infirmary of the NKVD prison in Kyiv
on 17 January 1947.
"At the Kyiv prison the interrogations were conducted by Interrogator
Dubok. He was a horrible sadist. He investigated my case too… This Dubok told
me himself how he had killed the bishop: ' So you, Khomyshyn, spoke out against
communism?' The bishop, as always, replied resolutely: 'I did and I will'.
'Did you fight against the Soviet authority? ''Yes, I did and I will!' Then
Dubok became outraged and grabbed some books written by the bishop, which
lay on the table in front of him, and started cruelly beating His Excellency
with them, on his head and everywhere else."-- From the testimony
of Fr. Petro Heryliuk-Kupchynsky
Undying spirit of the Carpathians
Bishop and Martyr Theodore (Romzha) was born on April 14, 1911,
in the village of Velykyj Bychkiv, Transcarpathia in a family of railroad workers.
He finished his theological studies at the Papal Gregorian University in Rome.
In 1938 he became pastor in the mountain villages of Berezevo and Nyzhnii Bystryi
outside of Khust. Beginning with the fall of 1939 he taught philosophy and was
spiritual director at the Uzhorod seminary. On 24 September 1944, soon after
the arrival of the Soviet Army, he was ordained to the episcopacy. Because Bishop
Theodore bravely refused to cooperate with the authorities in the liquidation
of the Greek Catholic Church and separate from the Roman Apostolic See, government
organs decided to destroy him. On October 27, 1947 a military vehicle ran into
the bishop's horse-carriage. When the soldiers saw that he didn't die in the
accident, they beat him and his companions into unconsciousness. On November
1 of that year when Bishop Theodore was beginning to recover, he was poisoned
in the Mukachiv hospital by workers cooperating with the security services.
He died a martyr for the faith.
"According to the instructions of Khruschev, a member of the Politburo
(Central Committee of the Communist Party) of Ukraine and the first secretary
of the same, according to the plan developed by the Ministry of State Security
in Ukraine and approved by Khruschev, Romzha was eliminated in Mukachiv. The
head of the Greek Catholic Church, he had actively opposed the uniting of
Greek Catholics to Orthodoxy." -- From a letter of Pavlo Sudoplatov,
General of state security, to delegates of the 23rd Assembly of the Communist
Party of the Soviet Union
"Deported" into eternity
Bishop and Martyr Josaphat Kotsylovsky was born on 3 March 1876 in the
village of Pakoshivka, Lemkiv District. He graduated with a degree in Theology
from Rome in 1907, and later on October 9 of that year he was ordained to the
priesthood. Not long after that he was appointed vice-rector and professor of
Theology at the Ivano-Frankivsk seminary. In 1911 he entered the novitiate of
the Basilian order. He was ordained a bishop on 23 September 1917 in Przemysl
upon the return of Metropolitan Andrey (Sheptytsky) from captivity in Russia.
In September of 1945 the Polish communist authorities arrested him and on 26
June 1946, after his next arrest, they forcibly took him to the USSR and placed
him in a prison in Kyiv. Throughout his life he showed his perseverance of service,
to make the Christian faith firm and to grow in human souls.
He died a martyr for the faith on 17 November 1947 in the Chapaivka concentration
camp near Kyiv.
"I came to Protection Monastery and the hegumena [prioress] told
me the story. When they arrested Bishop Kotsylovsky they arrested their Orthodox
bishop of Kyiv at the same time. When they brought a package to Chapaivka,
that Orthodox bishop said: 'Uniate Bishop Josaphat Kotsylovsky is confined
in the same camp with me.' And he asked those nuns, if they could, to bring
a package to Bishop Josaphat as well. So they brought a package for the one
bishop and for the other … Once when she brought a package, the bishop said
that Kotsylovsky had died. And he asked her, because the dead were all thrown
into one hole, if they could borrow some money or get some money somewhere.
He asked her 'to bury him in a separate grave, because this was a holy man.''--
From the testimony of Father Josaphat Kavatsivo
Archpastor in three parts of the world
Bishop and Martyr Nykyta (Budka) was born on 7 June 1877 in the
village of Dobomirka, Zbarazh District. In 1905 after finishing theological
studies in Vienna and Innsbruck he was ordained to the priesthood by Metropolitan
Andrew Sheptytsky. From the very beginning he gave great attention to the ministry
for Ukrainian emigrants. The Holy See appointed him first bishop for Ukrainian
Catholics in Canada in July 1912 and he was ordained bishop on 14 October 1912.
In 1928 he returned to Lviv and became Vicar General of the Metropolitan Curia
in Lviv. On 11 April 1945 he was imprisoned together with other bishops and
sentenced to eight years imprisonment. He was the embodiment of constant consolation
and spiritual support for his fellow prisoners in the labor camp.
He died a martyr for the faith in Karaganda, Kazakstan on 1 October 1949.
"The nurse in the Siberian camp gave the following account: 'When
patients died, their hospital gowns were removed. They placed the bodies in
paper bags, numbered them and attached a card to the bag with personal data.
Then they transported the bodies to the nearest forest where the wild Siberian
animals ate them.' According to the nurse's account the bishop foresaw his
own death: 'By sunrise tomorrow I will not be here any more.' And that is
what happened. To show his respect and to acknowledge the bishop's dignity,
the camp guard left the prison clothes on the bishop's corpse. His remains
were taken and left in the forest, just as was done with the bodies of his
predecessors. Thinking about the goodness of this man of God, who had served
his brothers to the last, many of the convicts got together the next morning
to have a last look at this man who was the embodiment of angelic goodness
for so many. But all they found was a piece of his shirt sleeve."--
From the words of Archbishop Volodymyr Sterniuk
Bishop and Martyr Hryhory (Lakota) was born on 31 January 1883
in the village of Holodivka, in Lviv District. He studied Theology in Lviv.
He was ordained to the priesthood in 1908 in Przemsyl. In Vienna in 1911 he
received his Ph.D. in Theology. In 1913 he became a professor at the Przemysl
seminary, later becoming its rector. On 16 May 1926, he was ordained to the
episcopacy and was appointed auxiliary bishop of Przemysl. On 9 June 1946 he
was arrested and sentenced to 10 years imprisonment. In exile in Vorkuta (Russia)
he was distinguished for his great humanness, his humility, his desire to take
the most difficult labor on himself and to make the unbearable conditions of
life easier for others.
He died a martyr for the faith on 12 November 1950 in the village of Abez near
"Exiled to a labor camp, in the middle of human misery, I also met
real angels in human bodies, who by their lives were the earthly representatives
of the Cherubim, glorifying Christ, the King of Glory. Among them was the
confessor of the faith, Hryhory Lakota, auxiliary bishop of Przemysl. From
1949 to 1950 by his example of Christian virtues, his life witnessed to us
who were weakened by life in the labor camp." -- From the written
account of Fr. Alfrysas Svarinskas
Aristocrat of the spirit
Priest and Martyr Archimandrite Klymentiy (Sheptytsky), the younger
brother of the Servant of God Metropolitan Andrey Sheptytsky, was born on 17
November 1869 in the village of Prylbychi, Yavoriv region. He studied law in
Munich and Paris and received a doctorate at the University of Krakow. He was
a legate of the Austrian Parliament and member of the National Council. In 1912
he entered the Studite monastery as a late vocation; by so doing he renounced
his successful secular career. He completed his theological studies in Innsbruck.
On 28 August 1915 he was ordained to the priesthood. For many years he was the
hegumen (prior) of the Studite monastery at Univ, and in 1944 he became the
archimandrite (abbot). During World War II, he gave refuge to persecuted Jews.
On 5 June 1947, he was arrested and sentenced to eight years imprisonment by
a special meeting of the NKVD (KGB) in Kyiv.
He died a martyr for the faith on 1 May 1951 in a harsh prison in Vladimir,
"Tall, 180-185 centimeters, rather thin, with a long white beard,
a little stooped, with a cane. Arms relaxed, calm, face and eyes friendly.
He reminded me of Saint Nicholas … We never expected such a rascal in our
room … Some sisters had passed three apples to him, real rosy red and ripe.
And he gave one apple to Roman Novosad, who often had stomach problems. He
said: 'You need to take care of your stomach,' and the others he divided among
us.'" -- From the memories of Ivan Kryvytskyi
* * *
Apostles of the Gulag
The unbending faithfulness to Christ and His Church of confessor of the faith
Metropolitan Josyf Slipyj and all the Greek Catholic hierarchy, their deep certainty
in the victory over evil and their special witness of fidelity to the Roman
Apostolic See served as an inspiring example and supported the faith and hope
of laity and clergy alike who had avoided arrest and exile and had not been
time in prison.
Priest and martyr Father Mykola Tsehelskyi was born on 17 December 1896
in the village of Strusiv, Ternopil District. In 1923, he graduated from the
Theological Faculty of Lviv University. On 5 April 1925 Metropolitan Andrey
Sheptytsky ordained him to the priesthood. He was a zealous priest who cared
for the spirituality, education and welfare of his parishioners. After the war
he was repressed by the Bolsheviks because he refused to convert to Orthodoxy.
Father drank deep from the bitter cup of intimidation, threats and beatings.
On 28 October 1946 he was arrested and on 27 January 1947 he was sentenced to
ten years imprisonment. He was deported to Mordovia (Russia), but his wife,
three children and daughter-in-law were taken to Russia's Chytynska region.
He lived in extremely horrid conditions, in a camp that was notoriously strict
and cruel. He suffered from severe pain due to illness, but this did not break
his strong spirit.
He died a martyr for the faith on 25 May 1951 and is buried in the camp cemetery.
"My dearest wife: the feast of the Dormition was our 25th wedding
anniversary. I recall fondly our family life together, and every day in my
dreams I am with you and the children, and this makes me happy … I give a
fatherly kiss to all their foreheads and I hope to live honestly, behaving
blamelessly, keeping far from everything that is foul. I pray for this most
of all." -- From the letters of Father Mykola Tsehelskyi written
Suffered on Good Friday
Martyr and Priest Father Ivan (Ziatyk) was born on 26 December
1899 in the village of Odrekhiv, near Syanok. After finishing his theology studies
in Przemysl seminary in 1923 he was ordained to the priesthood. In 1935 he entered
the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer (Redemptorists). He was a teacher
of Dogmatic Theology and Holy Scripture, and also known as a good administrator.
During the Nazi occupation he was acting superior of the monastery in Ternopil
and later in Zboiski near Lviv. After the official liquidation of the UGCC and
the exile of Protohegumen Yosyf de Vokhta, Father Ivan took on his duties. On
5 January 1950 he was arrested, found guilty of "preaching the ideas of
the Pope of Rome regarding the spread of the Catholic faith among nations of
the whole world." At first he was imprisoned in Zolochiv and later was
sent to Ozerlah, Irkhutsk region, Russia. In all he lived through 72 interrogations.
On Good Friday in 1952 he was severely beaten, drenched with water and left
to lie in the cold.
He died in the prison infirmary on 17 May 1952 a martyr for the faith.
"He stood and prayed the whole day; for whole days he prayed every
moment. He was such a pleasant person to talk to. You could hear many wise
and instructive words from him; this was especially so in my case, as at that
time I was a youngster." -- From an interview with fellow prisoner
A Mother to her sisters
Nun and Martyr Sister Olympia (Olha Bida) was born in 1903 in
the village of Tsebliv, Lviv District. At a young age she entered the congregation
of the Sisters of Saint Joseph. In 1938 she was assigned to the town of Khyriv
where she became superior of the house. After the establishment of the Soviet
regime she and the other sisters suffered a number of attacks on the convent.
She, nevertheless, continued to care for children, to catechize, to organize
underground religious services (often without a priest). In 1950 she was arrested
by soldiers of the NKVD (KGB) and taken to a hard labor camp in Boryslav. Eventually
she was sentenced to lifelong exile in the Tomsk region of Siberia for "anti-Soviet
activities." Even in exile, Sr. Olympia tried to perform her duties as
superior. She was a support for her fellow sisters. She patiently endured inhuman
She died a martyr's death on 23 January 1952.
"God Almighty, God's Providence will not allow His little children
to perish in a foreign land. For He is with us here, in the midst of these
forests and waters. He doesn't forget about us … Because of our faith, because
of a divine matter, we suffer, and what could be better than this? … Let's
follow Him bravely. Not only when all is well, but even when times are bitter,
let us say: Glory to God in all matters." -- From Sister Olympia's
letter to her provincial superior, Sister Neonylia
Faith amid hopelessness
Nun and Martyr Sister Lavrentia (Herasymiv) was born on 30 September
1911 in the village of Rudnyky, Lviv District. In 1931 she entered the congregation
of the Sisters of St. Joseph in Tsebliv. In 1933 she made her first vows. Together
with Sister Olympia,
in 1938 she went to the house in Khyriv and their fates were crossed until death.
In 1950 she was arrested by the agents of the NKVD and sent to Boryslav. Eventually,
together with her fellow sister she was sentenced to lifelong exile in the Tomsk
region. She was sick with tuberculosis when she arrived to her designated place
of exile and so only one family would agree to give her a roof over her head.
This was in a room where a paralyzed man lay behind a partition. She prayed
much and performed various forms of manual labor. She patiently endured inhuman
living conditions and the lack of medical attention.
She died on 28 August 1952 as a martyr for the faith in the village of Kharsk
in Siberia's Tomsk Region.
"The NKVD agents attacked our convent. They spent a long time breaking
down the door. It was nighttime; the sisters were terrified. Sister Lavrentia
ran to the cellar and escaped into the garden through a little window. A cold
rain started to fall. When the NKVD broke into the house they immediately
noticed the open window and ran to look for her. It was dark and with their
bayonets they poked every bush. A few times the bayonet was right in front
of sister's eyes. Not finding her, the NKVD went away, but |Sister was out
in the rain until the morning. She came to the house exhausted and frozen.
After this incident she got seriously ill, lay in bed. They took her to prison
when she was infirm." -- From the memories of a relative, Anna Harasymiv
Priest and Martyr Father Petro (Verhun) was born on 18 November
1890 in Horodok, Lviv District. He held a Ph.D. in Philosophy. On October 30,
1927 he was ordained to the priesthood by Metropolitan Andrew Sheptytsky at
St. George's Cathedral and was appointed to be the pastor and later the Apostolic
Visitator for Ukrainian Catholics in Germany. Priests and all the faithful whom
fate had brought to a foreign land gravitated to Father Petro because they felt
he was a good shepherd who would give his life for his sheep. In June 1945 he
was arrested by the Soviet security services in Berlin and sent to Siberia,
sentenced to eight years of hard labor. But even there, amid unbearable living
conditions, he knew how to gather the faithful around him, giving his own personal
example of perseverance in the faith.
He died as a martyr for the faith on 7 February 1957 in exile in the village
of Anharsk, in the Krasnoyar territory.
"My life is very monotonous. I have enough to eat. I cook for myself.
My greatest joy is that I can pray every day without disturbances … Finally
I don't need anything. I feel that my head is tending little by little to
my eternal rest. But I really would rather die in the monastery."
-- From the letters of Father Verhun written in Siberian exile
Pastor of the East
Priest and Martyr Father Oleksiy Zaryts'kyi was born in 1912 in the
village of Bilche, in the Lviv District. From 1931 to 1934 he studied at the
Lviv Theological Academy. He was ordained to the priesthood by Metropolitan
Andrey Sheptytsky in 1936. During his ministry in the village of Strutyna near
Zolochiv he gained the special favor of his parishioners. In 1948, he was sentenced
to ten years imprisonment in the camps of Siberia and Kazakstan for refusing
to convert to Orthodoxy. After his rehabilitation in 1957 he returned to western
Ukraine a number of times but again returned to the east. Amid inhuman conditions
Father had a wide field for pastoral ministry to people in a foreign land. He
tirelessly took care not only of Ukrainians but Poles, Germans, Russians, Greek
and Roman Catholics. He visited Metropolitan Josyf Slipyj in exile. He was sentenced
a second time: two years for "vagrancy." The guardian of children,
youth, the poor, he will forever remain in people's memory an example of the
embodiment in life of the commandments to love God and neighbor.
He died a martyr for the faith on 30 October 1963 in a labor camp in a village
in Karaganda. His mortal remains were reburied in 1990 in the village of Riasna-Ruska
"That was in 1957 during lent, on Palm Sunday. Almost the whole village
was waiting for him. There were even people who went to the Orthodox church,
who hadn't made their confession; they were still waiting... And they waited
till he came. When we told them that Fr. Zarytstkyi was here, everyone came
to us to confess. Confessions started in the evening and lasted almost to
the morning. At dawn Father celebrated the Divine Liturgy. Very many people
took advantage of the opportunity: young and old. They got married, children
were baptized. Father Zarytskyi stayed with us the whole summer. But on 21
September he had to leave for Karaganda, he had to return because they were
waiting for him there…" -- From an interview with Sister Konstantsia
* * *
Light in the catacombs
Stalin's death in March 1953 and Khruschev's "thaw" began a new period
in the way of the cross of the UGCC: the catacombs. The main protagonists of
this period of the Church's life were the bishops, priests, monks, nuns and
faithful who had returned home from the camps and exile. Having survived unspeakable
physical and moral tortures, they encountered a different western Ukraine: bloodless,
frightened by the terror, deceived by the atheist-communist ideology, but in
spite of all that it was still alive and waiting for the Resurrection. These
people who knew how to preserve in their hearts faith in Christ and faithfulness
to their Church became little islands around which the gradual renewal of church
structures began. Thanks to the unbending character of the martyr bishops, the
perseverance of the clergy and the faithfulness of the laity, the UGCC survived
the period of official "liquidation," organized the underground and
gave birth to a new generation of church leaders. For almost half a century
it was the largest illegal Christian community in the world and at the same
time the largest organism of social opposition to the totalitarian system of
"And so take up every divine weapon so that you can stand fast during
the storms and, overcoming everything, survive. Stand up, therefore, girding
your thigh with truth and clothing yourself with the armor of justice ...
But above all take in your hands the shield of faith, with which you will
be able to defeat the fiery arrows of the Evil One. And take up the helmet
of salvation and the spiritual sword, which is the word of God."
-- From a letter of Metropolitan Josyf Slipyj, written in exile, 17 February
Healer of souls
Bishop and Martyr Mykola (Charnetsky) was born on 14 September
1884 in the village of Semakivtsi, Ivano-Frankivsk District. After he completed
his studies at the local seminary and in Rome he was ordained to the priesthood
in 1909. He obtained his doctorate in Dogmatic Theology from Rome and became
a spiritual director and professor at the seminary in Ivano-Frankivsk. In 1919
he entered the novitiate of the Redemptorist Fathers in Lviv and in 1926 he
was appointed apostolic visitator for Ukrainian Catholics in Volyn, Polissia,
Kholm and Pidliashshia. A model religious and missionary, he zealously worked
for the union of the Holy Church. He was ordained to the episcopacy by Bishop
Hryhory Khomyshyn in Rome on 2 February 1931. He was arrested by the NKVD (KGB)
on 11 April 1945 and sentenced to six years of hard labor in Siberia. According
to official data he underwent 600 hours of interrogation and torture and spent
time in 30 different prisons and camps. Terminally ill, in 1956 he was permitted
to return to western Ukraine where he secretly continued to fulfill his episcopal
obligations. In the midst of the cruelty and oppression which he suffered in
imprisonment and in exile, he was distinguished for his evangelical patience,
gentleness and limitless goodness; already during his life he was considered
a holy man.
As a consequence of his sufferings he died a martyr for the faith on 2 April
1959 in Lviv.
"I saw him. He was a very humble person. The first time I came for
instruction from the bishop, he was sweeping the house. I wanted to help him,
to take the broom, but he didn't let me. He himself swept. 'Have a seat,'
he said. I was embarrassed that the bishop was sweeping, but I was sitting,
because he wouldn't let me. He told how many priests who had signed over to
Orthodoxy, came to him to confess … nearly 300 priests, they repented and
came to him." -- From an interview with Fr. Vasyl Voronovsky
Discrete member of the underground
Bishop and Martyr Semeon (Lukach) was born on July 7, 1893 in
the village of Starunya, Ivano-Frankivsk District. In 1913, he entered the seminary.
He finished the seminary in Ivano-Frankivsk and was ordained a priest in 1919.
In December 1920 he was appointed professor of Moral Theology at the seminary
where he had earlier studied. He secretly received episcopal ordination in spring
of 1945 before the arrest of Bishop Hryhory (Khomyshyn). On 26 October 1949
he was arrested by the Soviet secret police. Sentenced in August 1950 to 10
years of imprisonment, he carried out hard labor in a lumber camp in Krasnoyarsk.
He was freed on 11 February 1955 and returned to his native land. In July 1962
he was arrested for a second time and was sentenced to 5 years in a severe colony.
During his interrogations he showed his unbroken perseverance, his discretion
and faithfulness to the Catholic Church. In March 1964 because of his critical
condition, tuberculosis of the lungs, he was taken to his native village, Starunya.
He died a martyr for the faith on 22 August 1964.
"I celebrated Divine Liturgy in an apartment and in a few houses.
From one to thirty people took part in the services … I also baptized and
celebrated marriages … But conscience does not allow me to mention their names,
so that my mistake will not cause those people who sought spiritual help from
me to suffer. I acted in good faith, serving God's will, so I was in danger
of colliding with state laws. If the state finds me guilty, I myself will
take the responsibility." -- From the autobiography in the court
case written after his arrest in 1949.
Bishop and Martyr Ivan (Sleziuk) was born on January 14, 1896
in the village of Zhyvachiv, Ivano-Frankivsk District. After graduating from
the eparchial seminary in 1923 he was ordained to the priesthood. He served
as a catechist and spiritual director in Ivano-Frankivsk. In April of 1945 Bishop
Hryhory Khomyshyn secretly ordained him a bishop. On 2 June 1945 Bishop Ivan
was arrested and a year later he was sentenced to 10 years imprisonment. He
served his sentence in camps in Vorkuta and Mordovia, Russia. Released from
prison he returned to Ivano-Frankivsk and carried out the duties of administrator
of the eparchy. In 1962 he was arrested for the second time, together with Bishop
Semeon (Lukach) and he was sentenced to 5 years imprisonment in harsh camps.
After his release in 1968 he ordained Basilian Sofron (Dmyterko) a bishop. Bishop
Sofron succeeded him in guiding the eparchy. In his final years Bishop Ivan
was often called to the KGB for regular "conversations." After one
of these "conversations" he fell ill and never recovered.
He died a martyr for the faith on 2 December 1973 in Ivano-Frankivsk.
"As the deceased himself said, they locked him in a separate isolated
area, no one visited him. He stayed there for two hours. Then they told him:
'You're free to go.' It was difficult for him to walk because, as he himself
said, after this he felt dizzy, as if he had a fever, his skin was burning.
The Sisters of St. Vincent, who helped him out, also said that the bishop
returned from this 'conversation' with a very red face, he felt exhausted,
stayed in bed and died two weeks later. There was and still is a suspicion
that the KGB used radiation to get rid of one more Uniate bishop."
-- From the testimony of Bishop Sofron (Dmyterko)
Worthy Acting Head
Bishop and Martyr Vasyl (Velychkovsky) was born 1 June 1903 in
Ivano-Frankivsk. In 1920 he entered the seminary in Lviv. In 1925 in Holosko,
near Lviv, he took his first religious vows in the Order of the Most Holy Redeemer
and was ordained a priest. Fr. Basil became a missionary in Volyn. In 1942 he
became the hegumen (prior) of the monastery in Ternopil, where he was arrested
in 1945. He was then taken to Kyiv. His death sentence was soon commuted to
ten years of imprisonment and hard labor. He returned to Lviv in 1955, where
he continued his pastoral work. In 1963 he was secretly ordained an archbishop
in a Moscow hotel by Metropolitan Josyf Slipyj, who, on his way to exile in
Rome, passed Bishop Vasyl the responsibility for the catacomb Church. Predicting
his own possible arrest, he ordained new underground bishops in 1964, among
whom was his successor, Archbishop Volodymyr Sterniuk, who eventually led the
Church out of the underground. In 1969 Bishop Vasyl was arrested a second time
but after three years of imprisonment he was deported outside the USSR.
He died in Winnepeg, Canada on 30 June 1973 as a consequence of serious heart
disease which began when he was in prison.
"After many years spent in prisons and labor camps, how pleasant
it is to be free with my fellow Ukrainians. What joy to go to pray freely
in a Ukrainian church, where no one will send you to the camps or prison because
of your prayers … The prisons and camps ruined my health and my strength,
but this was my fate, the Lord God placed this cross on my shoulders."--From
the last speech of Bishop Vasyl to the faithful in Canada, 17 June 1973
In place of an epilogue
"The Metropolitan lay calmly with eyes shut and breathed with difficulty,
as he had previously. Then he began to pray again. He opened his eyes and
began to talk to us:
'Our Church will be ruined, destroyed by the Bolsheviks, but you will hold
on, do not renounce the faith, the Catholic Church. A difficult trial will
fall on our Church, but it is passing. I see the rebirth of our Church, it
will be more beautiful, more glorious than of old, and it will embrace all
our people. Ukraine,' the metropolitan continued, "will rise again from
her destruction and will become a mighty state, united, great, comparable
to other highly-developed countries. Peace, wellbeing, happiness, high culture,
mutual love and harmony will rule here. It will all be as I say. It is only
necessary to pray that the Lord God and the Mother of God will care for our
poor tired people, who has suffered so much and that God's care will last
forever.'"-- From an interview with Fr. Yosyf Kladochnyi about Metropolitan
Andrey Sheptytsky's last moments of earthly life
Oleh Turii, candidate of Historical Studies and acting director of the
Institute of Church History at the Lviv Theological Academy, prepared this text
on the basis of materials of the Postulation Center for the Beatification
and Canonization of Saints of the UGCC and the archives of the Institute
of Church History at the LTA.