Having entered the Order of the Most Holy Redeemer, Vasyl Velychkovsky, of Ivano-Frankivsk, Ukraine, was ordained a Byzantine Rite Catholic priest at the age of twenty-two. In 1945, while serving as hegumenos (prior) of his order's monastery in Ternopil, Father Velychkovsky was arrested by the Russian Communists' secret police (the KGB) and sentenced to death. The sentence was subsequently commuted to a ten-year prison term of hard labor. Following his release in 1955, Father Velychkovsky resumed his priestly labors. In 1963, he was secretly consecrated metropolitan (archbishop) of Moscow by his predecessor in this office, who had just been ordered to leave the country by the Soviet government. In 1969, Metropolitan Velychkovsky was again arrested and imprisoned. Three years later, he was deported out of the Soviet Union. Stricken with a heart disease stemming from his imprisonment, the metropolitan told a Canadian audience, "The prisons and camps ruined my health and my strength, but this was my fate; the Lord God placed this cross on my shoulders." Metropolitan Velychkovsky died two weeks later, on June 30, 1973.
Born in Corinaldo, Ancona, Italy, on October 16 1890; her farmworker father moved his family to Ferrier di Conca, near Anzio. Her father died of malaria and her mother had to struggle to feed her ... continue readingMore Saint of the Day
"Jesus loved Martha and Mary and Lazarus." This unique statement in John's gospel tells us of the special relationship Jesus had with Martha, her sister, and her brother. Apparently Jesus was a frequent guest at Martha's home in Bethany, a small village ... continue readingMore Female Saints
St. Michael the Archangel - Feast day - September 29th The name Michael signifies "Who is like to God?" and was the warcry of the good angels in the battle fought in heaven against satan and his followers. Holy Scripture describes St. Michael as "one of the chief ... continue reading
The name Gabriel means "man of God," or "God has shown himself mighty." It appears first in the prophesies of Daniel in the Old Testament. The angel announced to Daniel the prophecy of the seventy weeks. His name also occurs in the apocryphal book of Henoch. He was the ... continue reading
St. Zita was born into a poor but holy Christian family. Her older sister became a Cistercian nun and her uncle Graziano was a hermit whom the local people regarded as a saint. Zita herself always ... continue reading
By Justin Soutar
During his visit to the United States this coming September, Pope Francis will canonize Blessed Junipero Serra, the heroic 'Apostle of California.' Once that happens, the Golden State will have its own patron saint and the Church will have another great missionary role ... continue readingMore Christian Saints & Heroes