Nov 22, 2005

B. Vasyl Velychkovsky Ep. et M., CSsR

My best friend, Justin Reany, procured for me a 1st class relic of Blessed Bishop and Martyr Vasyl Velychkovsky. I'd like to take this opportunity to promote the cause of his canonization and recommend his devotion to all of you.

Blessed Bishop and Martyr Vasyl Velychkovsky, C.S.s.R. was born June 1, 1903 in Stanislaviv, Ukraine. In 1920 he entered the seminary in Lviv. In 1925 he professed his vows as a Redemptorist and was ordained a priest. He became a great missionary, first in Stanislaviv and then in Volyn. Durin the Second World War he served in Ternopil where he was arrested by the Soviets in 1945. In Kiev he received the death sentence, which was later commuted to ten years of forced labor.
When his prison sentence was completed, he was sent to Lviv in 1955. He became instrumental in organizing the underground church. His apartment became the centre of church activity: Divine Liturgies, administering the sacraments, catechesis, preparing seminarians, counseling and the like. He also began to organize religious sisters and taught them a new way of living out their monastic and religious life. Many a vocation was fostered by Father Vasyl's guidance and care. In 1959 Rome appointed Fr. Vasyl to be bishop of this underground church. Unfortunately there were no bishops in Ukraine who could ordain him.
In 1963, Metropolitan Josyf Slipyj was released from 18 years of Soviet labour camps to attend the Second Vatican Council in Rome. While in Moscow, he called Fr. Vasyl to come immediately to his hotel room. When Fr. Vasyl arrived, Metropolitan Josyf began the Rite of Ordination to the episcopacy. The secret ordination finished and Metropolitan Josyf was taken to Rome. Bishop Vasyl returned to Lviv to do his episcopal work.
In January of 1969, Bishop Vasyl was again arrested. He was sent to Komunarsk in Eastern Ukraine. There he underwent chemical, physical and mental torture. The Soviets attempted to extract information from him about the underground church but were unsuccessful. Near death in 1972, he was released from prison and was exiled from Ukraine.
Metropolitan Maxim Hermaniuk invited Bishop Vasyl to come to Winnipeg, Canada in June, 1972. Overcome by the tortures and death causing drugs he received while in prison, he died a martyr’s death on June 30, 1973. After the funeral services in Sts. Vladimir and Olha Ukrainian Catholic Cathedral, he was buried on July 5 in All Saints Cemetery near Winnipeg.
After Blessed Vasyl was beatified by Pope John Paul II, preparations began for the exhumation and enshrinement of his holy relics. His holy body was exhumed on September 16, 2002. Following Vatican protocol, it was examined by a team of doctors and church personnel. His holy body was found to be fully intact with all its muscle mass. His holy body was revested with new vestments and placed in a stainless steel sarcophagus. On September 22, 2002, his holy relics were enshrined in a chapel in St. Joseph’s Ukrainian Catholic Church in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. Pilgrims come and pray before Blessed Vasyl , seeking his powerful intercession.

O Lord God, You are praised by the whole world for the marvelous works in your saints. I thank you for the grace you gave to Blessed Martyr Vasyl Velychkovsky to be a faithful witness to You unto the point of death. Through his intercession I ask for the following favor for your Name is glorified forever. Amen.

+ Michael (Bzdel), C.Ss.R.

О мій Боже, Ти є прославлюваний в цілому світі через дивні діла твоїх святих. Я дякую Тобі за ласки, що ними Ти наділив Блаженного єпископа і мученика Василя Величковського бути Твоїм вірним свідком аж до смерті. Через його заступництво, прошу Тебе про ласку щоб прославилося Твоє імя на віки вічні. Амінь.

За благословенням Митрополита
+Михаїла Бзделя, ЧНІ

Prayer to Blessed Vasyl from the Acathist Hymn
O great and holy martyr, our blessed father Vasyl, you were on fire with God’s Word and have followed His Will even unto death. You have been sanctified and purified by the Cross and now you stand in God’s Presence wearing the martyr’s crown interceding on our behalf. You, who have confidence before the Lord, pray for us who come to you with love and devotion. For we come to you with all our needs knowing that the Lord hears His faithful ones.
Intercede for us before the Almighty God, that each one receives according to their needs; bring comfort to the sorrowful and hope to the lost; heal the sick; give courage to the young; bring a change of heart to all those who fall into sin; enlighten our minds with the truth of the Gospel; inspire us always to follow Christ; help us always to choose the good; give us courage in times of distress, faith in times of despair, hope in times of darkness; and strengthen our commitment to love our Lord. Grant that each one of us be saved through the grace and mercy of God, that together with you we may praise and glorify Him who is wondrous in His saints: Father, Son and Holy Spirit, now and for ever and ever. Amen.

Prayer from the Moleben Service
O Lord, our God, You have so loved us, that You sent your Son Jesus who showed us the way of perfection through the way of the Cross. He was obedient to You, His Father, and took the form of a servant, even unto death, Therefore, You have exalted Him and given Him the name Lord.
You call all to believe in You and to follow Your way. We thank You for the grace You gave to Blessed Vasyl Velychkovsky such that he was able to pay the ultimate price of faithfulness to You in giving his life. His love for You, caused him to die, so as not to betray You and Your Truth.
We thank You for glorifying him in Your heavenly kingdom, that he may be for all of us a shining example of Your powerful presence in our lives. That which is impossible for us is possible through You, our Lord and Master. We pray that You give us the grace of faithfulness and generosity as we seek to respond to Your love. Through his intercession, help us always to stand firm in the Truth and be faithful to You and Your commandments.
O Holy Mother of God and our Mother of Perpetual Help, whom Blessed Martyr Vasyl loved so dearly, lead us to Your Son Jesus. Give us the courage always to follow Him in all the circumstances of our life. We place ourselves under your protection.
For all the glory and honour belongs to You, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, now and for ever and ever. Amen.
Please inform the Shrine of any favors, blessings, or miracles received through Blessed Vasyl's intercession at

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