November 25 – Saint Josaphat Kuntsevych (Jozofat Kuncewicz): Patron Saint of the Ukraine

Saint Joseph Kuntsevych: Patron Saint of the Ukraine (Feast Date: November 25)

Saint Jozofat Kuncewicz: Patron Saint of the Ukraine) (Feast Date: November 25) Extract from
St. Josaphat, Bishop and Martyr: When a child, as he was listening to his mother telling him about the Passion of Christ, a dart issued from the image of Jesus crucified and wounded him in the heart. Set on fire with the love of God, he began to devote himself with such zeal to prayer and other works of piety, that he was the admiration and the model of his older companions. At the age of twenty he became a monk under the Rule of St. Basil, and made wonderful progress in evangelical perfection. He went barefoot even in the severe winter of that country; he never ate meat, drank wine only when obliged by obedience, and wore a rough hair-shirt until his death. The flower of his chastity, which he had vowed in early youth to the Virgin Mother of God, he preserved unspotted. He soon became so renowned for virtue and learning, that in spite of his youth he was made superior of the monastery of Byten; soon afterwards he became archimandrite of Vilna; and lastly, much against his will, but to the great joy of Catholics, he was chosen Archbishop of Polock. . . The great progress made by the Catholic faith so stirred, up the hatred of wicked men against the soldier of Christ, that they determined to put him to death. . . . they rushed on him, overwhelmed him with blows, pierced him with their spears, and at length despatched him with an axe and threw his body into the river. This took place on the twelfth of November 1623, in the forty-third year of his age. His body surrounded with a miraculous light was rescued from the waters.” See also: Josaphat Kuntsevych (Multilingual), San Josophat Kuncewycz de Vladimir, arzobispo martir de Polotsk (SP), ST. JOSAPHAT, Prayer to St. Josaphat Kuntsevych.

Saint Joseph Kuntsevych: Patron Saint of the Ukraine (Feast Date: November 25)

Extract from Josaphat Kuntsevych “is a martyr and saint of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church born in the little town of Volodymyr, then part of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania in 1580 or – according to some writers – 1584; died at Vitebsk in Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth (now in Belarus), 12 November 1623. In 1604, at the age of twenty-four, he entered the Monastery of the Trinity of the Basilian Fathers, at Vilnius. The fame of his religious devotion, charity and sanctity rapidly spread, and distinguished people began to visit him. In 1609, after private study under Fabricius, a Jesuit priest, Josaphat was ordained priest by a Catholic bishop. He subsequently became the superior of several monasteries, and on 12 November 1617, was reluctantly consecrated Bishop of Vitsebsk, with right of succession to the Archbishopric of Polotsk. He became archbishop in 1618. Finally on 12 November 1623, an axe-stroke and a bullet fired from an Orthodox mob ended Josaphat’s life. In 1643, twenty years after his death, Josaphat was beatified. His canonization took place in 1867 by Pope Pius IX. His favorite devotional exercise was to make prostrations in which the head touches the ground, saying: ‘Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.’ Never eating meat, he fasted much, wore a hair shirt and an angular chain, slept on the bare floor, and chastised his body until the blood flowed. He is the patron saint of a number of Polish parishes in the United States, most notably the Basilica of St. Josaphat, in Milwaukee. A relic is on display in the ‘catacombs’ of Holy Trinity Polish Mission in Chicago.

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 We, at the CTF/SOS DRS have prayed for the intercession of St. Joseph Kuntsevych on behalf of those affected by the following catastrophes:

Terrorist Bombings in the Ukraine (April 27, 2012) (Europe) See  World Mission Rosary Intentions: May 7 – May 20, 2012.

Floods in the Ukraine  (September, 2008) (Europe) See World Mission Rosary Intentions: October 13 – October 26, 2008.

That the Lord in His Divine Mercy – through the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary – may build up His Kingdom,make these mysteries a reality in our lives, strengthen us in our common mission, and come to the aid of those for whom we pray.

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