May 1: Blessed Kliment Septyckyj, Greek Catholic New Martyr

Blessed Kliment Septyckyj, 1869 – 1951 

Blessed Archimandrite Clement Sheptytsky, the younger brother of Blessed Metropolitan Andriy Sheptytsky, was born on 17 November 1869 in the village of Prylbychi, Lviv Region. In 1911, at the age of 40, he entered the monastery of St Theodore the Studite; by so doing he renounced a promising secular career. He received his theological education in Innsbruck. On 28 August 1915 he was ordained to the priesthood. For a long time he was the Hegumenos (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 by the NKVD (KGB) agents and sentenced to eight years of hard labour. He died a martyr for the faith on 1 May 1951 in the Vladimir prison.



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2 Responses to May 1: Blessed Kliment Septyckyj, Greek Catholic New Martyr

  1. He was the last exarch of the Russian Greek Catholic Church, set up under Fr (and secret bishop) Leonid Feodorov (Fr Leonty was his monastic name), its first exarch, after some late 19th-century tsarist intelligentsia read their way into converting to Rome. The Pope, St Pius X, saw that the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, self-latinised (not the saintly Metropolitan Andriy’s fault), would be of no use converting Russian Orthodox so he started that church with orders to do exactly what the Orthodox do in church (which the Russian Greek Catholics are still more or less like). It didn’t take and in any event the Soviets crushed it. (Besides hating religion they hated churches under Rome because they couldn’t take them over.) Since 1951 the Russian Greek Catholic Church has had no exarch; the very few Russian Greek Catholics are under the local Roman Rite bishops canonically (in practice they’re often farmed out to the Ukrainian Catholic or Melkite bishops for sacramental duties).

  2. P.S. He was Fr Leonty’s successor: the second and last exarch.

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