Archive for the ‘Blessed Hryhorii Khomyshyn’ Tag

Feast of Blesseds Hryhorii Khomyshyn, Symeon Lukach, and Ivan Slezyuk (August 22)   Leave a comment

Above:  Ethnicity in the Former Austro-Hungarian Empire

Image in the Public Domain

Focus on Galicia.

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BLESSED HRYHORII KHOMYSHYN (MARCH 25, 1867-JANUARY 17, 1947)

His feast transferred from December 28

Alternative feast day = January 17

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BLESSED SYMEON LUKACH (JULY 7, 1893-AUGUST 22, 1964)

Also known as Blessed Simeon Lukach 

His feast = August 22

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BLESSED IVAN SLEZYUK (JANUARY 14, 1896-DECEMBER 2, 1973)

Also known as Blessed Ivan Sleziuk

His feast transferred from December 2

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Ukrainian Greek Catholic Bishops and Martyrs

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Alternative feast day (as three of the Martyrs Killed Under Communist Regimes in Eastern Europe) = June 27

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There are certain places in Europe where one could, without leaving home, live a long time and reside in a series of countries.  Consider the city of Stanislaviv, now Ivano-Frankivsk, O reader.  It used to be part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, until the defeat of the Central Powers in World War I led to the breaking up of that political entity.  In 1918-1919 the city was within the borders of the West Ukrainian People’s Republic.  After the dissolution of that state the city and environs passed to the reconstituted Poland.  In the German-Soviet partition of Poland (1939) the city and environs went to the Soviet Union.  The area changed hands, according to the positions of the Soviet and German armies during the war.

Above:  Parts of Europe, 1941

Scanned from Hammond’s World Atlas–Classics Edition (1957), A-43

The green-and-white diagonal lines indicate areas the Soviet Union had annexed.

With the end of World War II the city and environs became part of the Ukraine, itself part of the Soviet Union.

Above:  Parts of the Soviet Union in 1945

Scanned from the Post-World War II Supplement to Hammond’s New Era Atlas of the World (1945)

The city and environs have been part of Ukraine since the break-up of the Soviet Union.

Now that I have grounded this post in geography and shifting international frontiers, I am free to focus on the lives of these three saints.

Hryhorii Khomyshyn, born in Hadnykitsi, Austria-Hungary, on March 25, 1867, became a priest and bishop in the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, in union with Rome.  He, ordained to the priesthood on November 18, 1893, studied theology in Vienna from 1894 to 1899.  In 1902 he became the rector of the seminary at Lviv.  On May 6, 1904, Khomyshyn began his tenure as the Bishop of Stanislaviv.  Our saint, a vocal opponent of anti-Semitism (rare in his neck of the Catholic woods at the time), helped to found the Ukrainian Catholic People’s Party in the 1930s.  Agents of the NKVD arrested Khomyshyn twice–in 1939 and 1945.  The second arrest (in April 1945) began our saint’s final stage of life, that of political prisoner.  Despite torture, he refused to renounce the union of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church with the Holy See.  He died in NKVD custody in Kiev on January 17, 1947.  He was 79 years old.

Before that second arrest, however, Khomyshyn had secretly consecrated two bishops–Symeon Lukach and Ivan Slezyuk–in April 1945.  The secrecy was necessary because of Soviet oppression and persecution.

Symeon Lukach, born in Starunya, Austria-Hungary, on July 7, 1893, grew up on a farm and became a priest.  He attended seminary from 1913 to 1919, with an interruption due to World War I.  Lukach, ordained to the priesthood i 1919, taught moral theology at the seminary in Stanislaviv.

Ivan Slezyuk, born in Zhyvachiv, Austria-Hungary, on January 14, 1896, had been a priest since 1923.  Agents of the NKVD arrested him on June 2, 1945.  A sentence of ten years of forced labor followed.  He served slightly less time than that though, for authorities released him on November 15, 1954.  Slezyuk returned to Stanislaviv.

The NKVD caught up with Lukach on October 26, 1949.  He was their prisoner until February 11, 1955.  For the next few years Lukach worked as a covert priest.

Agents of the KGB arrested Lukach and Slezyuk in July 1962.  Lukach, a political prisoner for the rest of his life, died of tuberculosis on August 22, 1964.  He was 71 years old.  Slezyuk remained a political prisoner until November 30, 1968, but KGB agents interrogated him frequently for the rest of his life.  He, aged 77 years, died on December 2, 1973.

Pope John Paul II declared these three men Venerables then Blesseds (as martyrs) in 2001.  They did, after all, put everything on the line for their faith and die as a result.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JUNE 26, 2018 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF ISABEL FLORENCE HAPGOOD, U.S. JOURNALIST, TRANSLATOR, AND ECUMENIST

THE FEAST OF SAINT ANDREA GIACINTO LONGHIN, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOP OF TREVISO

THE FEAST OF PHILIP DODDRIDGE, ENGLISH CONGREGATIONALIST MINSTER AND HYMN WRITER

THE FEAST OF VIRGIL MICHEL, U.S. ROMAN CATHOLIC MONK, ACADEMIC, AND PIONEER OF LITURGICAL RENEWAL

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Almighty God, who gave to your servants

Blessed Hryhorii Khomyshyn, Blessed Symeon Lukach, and Blessed Ivan Slezyuk

boldness to confess the Name of our Savior Jesus Christ before the rulers of the world,

and courage to die for this faith:

Grant that we may always be ready to give a reason for the faith that is in us,

and to suffer gladly for the sake of our Lord Jesus Christ;

who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.  Amen.

2 Esdras 2:42-48

Psalm 126 or 121

1 Peter 3:14-18, 22

Matthew 10:16-22

–Adapted from Holy Women, Holy Men:  Celebrating the Saints (2010), 713

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