06/27/2022 – Blessed Vasyl Velychkovsky

Today’s saint, Blessed Vasyl Velychkovsky, is called the Father of the Underground Church in Ukraine. As a young priest he was sent to Siberia. Towards the end of his life as a bishop actively ministering to the hidden Church in Ukraine, he was again arrested and imprisoned. He died shortly after his release.

Blessed Vasyl Velychkovsky was prepared for his work in Ukraine by his time in Siberia. There, hidden in the mining shafts he”would “silently and profoundly celebrate the Holy Mysteries and offer communion to those present. These services made a deep impression on the other prisoners. “We would gather in the shafts for the Service. I was present when some fifteen to twenty men, who were believers, honest people, would gather with guards on either side.”

Fellow prisoner recalled “how Fr. Vasyl was always praying on a home-made rosary, made of prison black bread and string. He prayed for the prisoners and for the guards. These difficult circumstances formed Fr. Vasyl for the work he would later do in the underground church.” ( Blessed Vasyl Velychkovsky, C.SS.R. Father of the Underground Church in Ukraine” John Sianchuk C.Ss.R. )

Once released and back in Ukraine, the Mass and the Rosary became his priorities in his work of saving the souls of his flock and of the communists who ruled them.

Blessed Vasyl, pray for peace, for all who suffer in the conflict in Ukraine.