Blessed Vasyl Velychkovsky
Vasyl (Basil) Velychkovsky was born in Western Ukraine in 1903. He joined the Redemptorists as a deacon, professed his vows in 1925 and was ordained a priest shortly thereafter. After teaching in the minor seminary, Vasyl worked for the next twenty years as a missionary in rural Ukraine. He was arrested in 1945 and condemned to death, but his sentence was commuted to ten years in prison. He was released in 1955 and ordained bishop in a hotel room in Moscow in 1963. He became the head of the Ukrainian Catholic Church in Ukraine. Arrested again in 1969, he spent three more years in prison. In the spring of 1972 he was released. Near death, he was exiled from Ukraine and died in Winnipeg, Canada in 1973. He was beatified in 2001.
You can visit the website for Bd. Vasyl's Shrine at: http://www.bvmartyrshrine.com
Blessed Ivan Ziatyk
Ivan Ziatyk was born in Odrkhova, Ukraine (now Poland), in 1899. He entered the Ukrainian Catholic seminary in 1919 and was ordained in 1923, becoming a seminary instructor. In 1935 he joined the Redemptorists and professed his vows in 1936. In the Congregation he again served as a seminary instructor, teaching Scripture and dogmatic theology. When the bishops of the Ukrainian Catholic Church were arrested and the Redemptorist provincial (a Belgian) was expelled from the country, Father Ivan served as Provincial Superior and Vicar General of the Ukrainian Catholic Church. He was arrested in 1950 and condemned to ten years of imprisonment. He died of a savage beating in 1952. He was beatified in 2001.
Blessed Ukrainian Martyrs
Redemptorist ministry among members of the Eastern Catholic Churches began early in the 20th century as Latin Rite Redemptorist missionaries were trained and granted faculties to assist Byzantine Catholic immigrants whom they encountered in western Canada. Once Redemptorist work was begun among Eastern Catholics in Canada, it soon followed in the people’s homelands as well. In the Ukraine, as the Soviets, the Nazis, and the Soviets again dominated the people, the Redemptorists shared the struggles of those among whom they ministered. Some of the Redemptorists were martyred during the dark years of oppression. In 2001, Pope John Paul II beatified four Ukrainian Catholic Redemptorists who gave their lives in service of the Gospel.
For more information on the Ukrainian Redemptorist Martyrs, check out Blessed Nicholas Charnetsky, CSsR, and Companions, by Rev. John Sianchuk, C.Ss.R.
Blessed Nicholas Charnetsky
Nicholas Charnetsky was born in Western Ukraine in 1884. After studying theology in Rome he was ordained as a diocesan priest. He obtained a doctorate in theology and became a seminary professor in Stanislaviv. He professed his vows as a Redemptorist in 1920 and as a member of the Congregation, he taught in the minor seminary and preached parish missions. He was ordained bishop in 1931. During World War II he ministered in Lviv, but after the war he was jailed by the Soviets. From 1945 to 1956 he served time in about thirty Soviet labor camps and prisons. He was released in 1956 and returned to Lviv, where he acted as bishop of the suppressed Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church in Ukraine. He died in 1959 and was beatified in 2001.
Blessed Zenon Kovalyk
Zenon Kovalyk was born in Ukraine in 1903. He joined the Redemptorists and professed his vows in 1926. He studied philosophy and theology in Belgium and was ordained a priest in 1932. After his ordination he went with Bishop Nicholas Charnetsky to Volyn and Stanislaviv. There he served as a preacher of parish missions. He was a fearless witness to God’s Word and the love of the Mother of God. He was arrested by the Soviets in 1940. While in prison he continued his pastoral ministry among his fellow prisoners. In 1941, when the German army invaded and the Soviet prisons were opened, Father Zenon’s body was found crucified to a wall of the prison of Zamartynivska. He was beatified in 2001.
For more information about the Redemptorists' work in the Ukrainian Catholic Church in North America, visit the website of our Yorkton Province: http://yorktonredemptorists.com