Blessed Bishop-Martyr Vasyl Velychkovsky
|Born||June 1, 1903|
Stanislaviv (now Ivano-Frankivsk, Austria-Hungary (now Ukraine)
|Died||June 30, 1973 70) (aged|
Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
|Venerated in||Catholic Church|
|Beatified||27 June 2001, Lviv Hippodrome, Ukraine by Pope John Paul II|
|Major shrine||St. Joseph's Ukrainian Catholic Church, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada|
|Feast||27 June, with Blessed Nicholas Charnetsky and 24 Companions|
Vasyl Velychkovsky (June 1, 1903 – June 30, 1973) was a priest, and later bishop, of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, one of the Eastern Catholic Churches in communion with Rome. He is a martyr of the Catholic Church, dying in 1973 of his injuries sustained while imprisoned by the Soviet Union for his Christian faith.
A bishop is an ordained, consecrated, or appointed member of the Christian clergy who is generally entrusted with a position of authority and oversight.
The Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church is a Byzantine Rite Eastern Catholic Church in full communion with the Holy See. It is the second-largest particular church in the Catholic Church. It is part of the Major Archiepiscopal Churches of the Catholic Church that are not distinguished with a patriarchal title.
A martyr is someone who suffers persecution and death for advocating, renouncing, refusing to renounce, or refusing to advocate a religious belief or cause as demanded by an external party. In the martyrdom narrative of the remembering community, this refusal to comply with the presented demands results in the punishment or execution of an actor by an alleged oppressor. Accordingly, the status of the 'martyr' can be considered a posthumous title as a reward for those who are considered worthy of the concept of martyrdom by the living, regardless of any attempts by the deceased to control how they will be remembered in advance. Originally applied only to those who suffered for their religious beliefs, the term has come to be used in connection with people killed for a political cause.
Velychkovsky was born in Stanislaviv, in then-Austria-Hungary. In 1920 he entered the seminary in Lviv. In 1925 he took his first religious vows in the village of Holosko near Lviv in the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer (better known as the Redemptorists) and was ordained a priest. As a priest-monk Vasyl Velychkovsky taught and preached in Volyn. In 1942 he became abbot of the monastery in Ternopil. Because of religious persecution by the Communist Soviet Union he was arrested in 1945 by the NKVD and sent to Kiev. The punishment of death was commuted to 10 years of hard labor.
Ivano-Frankivsk is a historic city located in Western Ukraine. It is the administrative centre of Ivano-Frankivsk Oblast. Administratively, it is designated as a city of regional significance within the oblast, and together with a number of rural localities, is incorporated as Ivano-Frankivsk Municipality. Population: 230,929 (2016 est.).
Austria-Hungary, often referred to as the Austro-Hungarian Empire or the Dual Monarchy, was a constitutional monarchy in Central and Eastern Europe between 1867 and 1918. It was formed when the Austrian Empire adopted a new constitution; as a result Austria (Cisleithania) and Hungary (Transleithania) were placed on equal footing. It dissolved into several new states at the end of the First World War.
Lviv is the largest city in western Ukraine and the seventh-largest city in the country overall, with a population of 724,713 as of January 2019. Lviv is one of the main cultural centres of Ukraine.
On release in 1955 he went back to Lviv, and was ordained a bishop in 1963. In 1969 he was imprisoned again for three years for his religious activities.Released in 1972, he was exiled. He died of his injuries from prison in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada on June 30, 1973, aged 70.
To be in exile means to be away from one's home, while either being explicitly refused permission to return or being threatened with imprisonment or death upon return.
Thirty years after his death, Vasyl Velychkovsky's body was found to be almost incorrupt (his toes had fallen off and were subsequently divided to be used as holy relics).Beatified in 2001, the intact remains of Vasyl Velychkovsky are enshrined at St. Joseph's Ukrainian Catholic Church in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. Today, his shrine is located at 250 Jefferson Avenue, Winnipeg, Manitoba.
Incorruptibility is a Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox belief that divine intervention allows some human bodies to avoid the normal process of decomposition after death as a sign of their holiness. Bodies that undergo little or no decomposition, or delayed decomposition, are sometimes referred to as incorrupt or incorruptible.
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