Blessed Alessio (Oleksa) Zaryckyj, October 30

October 30, 2009

Blessed Alessio (Oleksa) Zaryckyj

Blessed Alessio (Oleksa) Zaryckyj, Priest and Martyr
Bilco, Ukraine, October 17, 1912 – Dolynska, Kazakhstan, October 30, 1963

Oleksa Zaryckyj was born October 17, 1912 in the village of Bilco, region of Ukraine in Lviv (Lvov). In 1931 he entered the seminary in Lviv and five years after he was ordained to the priesthood by Metropolitan Sheptytsky as a diocesan priest of the Archeparchy of Lviv of the Ukrainians. In 1948 he was captured by the Bolsheviks and was sentenced to ten years in prison and deported to Karaganda in Kazakhstan. Released early in 1957, Oleksa Zaryckyj was appointed Apostolic Administrator of Kazakhstan and Siberia, but did not have time to receive episcopal consecration. Shortly after he was re-interned in concentration camp Dolinka near Karaganda, where he died a martyr of the faith October 30, 1963. He was beatified by Pope John Paul II June 27, 2001, along with 24 other victims of the Soviet regime of Ukrainian nationality.

Roman Martyrology: In the town of Dolinka near Karaganda in Kazakhstan, blessed Zaryckyj Alessio, Priest and Martyr, who was deported under a regime hostile to God in a prison camp, in fighting for the faith gained eternal life.

Source: Santi e Beati

Patriarch Kirill against Independent Ukraine Church

July 30, 2009

patriarch kirilWith regard to independent church in Ukraine, Patriarch Kirill says “I’m against it.”


The Associated Press

Monday, July 27, 2009; 1:06 PM

KIEV, Ukraine — The head of the Russian Orthodox Church rejected calls from Ukraine’s president to create a local Orthodox church that would be independent from Moscow, saying he firmly supports the status quo.

Patriarch Kirill arrived in Ukraine for a prolonged visit, which observers say is aimed at reasserting Moscow’s religious and political influence over this predominantly Orthodox nation of 46 million, which is trying to integrate with the West.

President Viktor Yushchenko has led a campaign to win recognition of a separatist church that broke away from the Moscow Patriarchate in the 1990s.

“The main aspiration of the Ukrainian people is to live in a united, self-governing Apostolic Orthodox church,” Yushchenko said in a speech, standing alongside Kirill.

Kirill was quick to stress that the dominant Orthodox church in Ukraine, which answers to Moscow, is the only legitimate church here.

“This church, Mr. President, already exists,” Kirill said. “If it didn’t exist today, Ukraine wouldn’t exist either.”

“But wounds have formed in this church and these wounds must be healed,” he said.

The two leaders made the statements after laying flowers at a memorial commemorating the victims of a 1932-33 famine that killed millions which was engineered by Soviet authorities to abolish private land ownership.

Yushchenko is also leading a campaign to win recognition of the famine as an act of genocide; Moscow counters that the campaign was not aimed specifically at Ukrainians.

Kirill said that he mourns the tragedy and prays for all those who perished, but stressed that other ethnic groups, including Russians, also suffered.

The Russian Orthodox Church, as well as the Kremlin, worry about losing dominance in Ukraine.

The mainstream, Moscow-aligned church claims about 28 million believers, while the separatist Ukrainian Orthodox Church Kiev Patriarchate claims about 14 million followers. Opinion polls show the splinter church’s popularity is growing.

Earlier Monday, Kirill led a service on St. Volodymyr Hill in central Kiev near the statue of Prince Volodymyr, who launched the Slavic world’s conversion to Christianity in 988. Kirill called for friendship, brotherhood and unity.

Yushchenko, who has sought to break free from Russia’s centuries-old political dominance and integrate with the European Union and NATO, has appealed to the spiritual leader of the world’s 250 million Orthodox believers, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I of Constantinople, to recognize the separatist church.

Bartholomew, who visited Kiev last summer, has not given a clear response.

Kirill is to visit a number of Ukrainian cities during a prolonged visit that his office says is devoted strictly to pilgrimage. But observers note that his trips to such strongholds of pro-Russian support as the eastern coal-mining city of Donetsk and the port of Sevastopol on the Crimean peninsula have clear political undertones.

Before Kirill led the prayers, a group of nationalist activists shouting “Moscow priest get out!” briefly scuffled with his supporters near the St. Volodymyr Hill. The scuffle was broken up by police.

Blessed Nicholas (Mykolay) Charneckyj, April 2

April 2, 2009

blessed-nicholas-mykolay-charneckyj-apr-2Blessed Nicholas (Mykolay) Charneckyj Bishop and Martyr
Semakivtsi, Ukraine, December 14, 1884 – Lviv, Ukraine, April 2, 1959

Roman Martyrology: At Lviv in Ukraine, beato Čarneckyj Nicholas, Bishop, who carried out his apostolic ministry as exarch of Volyn and Pidljashja in times of persecution against the faith and, as faithful as a pastor in the footsteps of Christ, for His grace reached kingdom of heaven.

Mykolay Charneckyj was born December 14, 1884 at Semakivtsi, in Western Ukraine. In 1903 he entered the seminary of Stanislaviv, was a Ukrainian student of the College in Rome and crowned his studies with a doctorate in theology. In 1909 he received his priestly ordination and became a teacher in the seminar Stanislaviv, which was also his spiritual father. In 1919 he entered the Congregation of Missionaries Redemptorists.

In 1926, he was appointed Apostolic Visitor for the faithful Catholics of greek-Volyn, where the structures of the Church had been destroyed by the Russian czarist regime in the nineteenth century. In 1931 he was appointed Professor of Catholics of the Byzantine-Slavic rite in Polish territory and on February 8 of that year he received episcopal consecration in the Eternal City.

On April 11, he was arrested in Lviv by agents of the KGB, along with all the greek-ranking Catholic bishops. Initially sentenced to five years of forced labor, Bishop Charneckyj instead passed eleven years in prison, suffering torture and continued humiliation. He accepted and endured all this, however, with heroic patience and serenity, praying for his persecutors and trying to comfort his fellow concentration camp victims, in respect of which he proved a very good shepherd.

In 1956 he was finally released and returned to Lviv, dying. Against all expectations, he continued to exercise his ministry headed by his bed, the Church of the catacombs. Mykolay Charneckyj finally died in Lviv on April 2, 1959. He was immediately seen by the Ukrainian faithful a holy martyr, because of atrocious suffering long endured in hatred of the Catholic faith. Even today, many believers are accustomed to praying at his tomb.

blessed-nicholas-mykolay-charneckyj-bishop-and-martyrMykolay Charneckyj was beatified by Pope John Paul II on June 27, 2001, along with 24 other Ukrainian natinonals who were victims of the Soviet regime.

Author: Fabio Arduino

Source: Santi e Beati

March 20: Saint Jósef Bilczewski

March 20, 2009

Saint Jósef Bilczewski, 1860 – 1923