The Servant of God Fr Mykola Tsehelskyi was born on 17 December 1896 in the village of Strusiv, Ternopil District. In 1923, he completed the course in the theological faculty at Lviv University. On 5 April 1925, Metropolitan Andriy Sheptytsky ordained him to the priesthood. He was a zealous priest who took care of the spirituality, education and welfare of his parishioners. He was the parish priest in the village of Soroko, where he built a new church. After World War II the era of total repressions began. Fr Mykola personally experienced intimidation, threats and beatings. On 28 October 1946, he was arrested. On 27 January 1947, he was sentenced to ten years in prison. Although he had a wife, two sons and two daughters, he was deported to labour camps in Mordovia. He lived in extremely horrid conditions, in a camp that was notoriously strict and cruel. He suffered from severe pain and died on 25 May 1951 as a martyr for the faith. He is buried in the camp cemetery.
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By Justin Soutar
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