Dear confreres, Sisters, Lay Associates and friends,
“Those who persevere to the end will be saved” (Mt. 10:22)
Today we remember the Martyrs of Ukraine, four Redemptorists and many other women and men, who died for their faith during the Soviet persecution from 1939-1989. Their witness to the Redeemer inspires us to remain in solidarity for mission to our wounded world today.
In fact, today Ukraine is suffering from the terrible impact of war and violence. As we pray for peace, we too are in solidarity with the peacemakers who struggle to resolve the present conflict.
May the intercession of Blessed Mykola, Vasyl, Zenon, and Ivan, and so many others whose names are known only to God, assist the people of Ukraine and all who suffer persecution and violence in their struggle for peace!
Your brother in our Redeemer,
Copiosa Apud Eum Redemptio.
On June 27, 2001, Pope John Paul II beatified a group of modern martyrs of the Ukrainian Catholic Church. Among them were four Redemptorists: Bishop Mykolay (Nicholas) Charnetsky (1884-1959), Bishop Vasyl (Basil) Vsevolod Velychkovsky (1903-1973), Father Ivan Ziatyk (1899-1952), and Father Zynoviy (Zenon) Kovalyk (1903-1941).
All of these men endured sufferings and torture inflicted either during World War II or after it, during the era of Soviet control prior to the independence of Ukraine in 1991. Bishop Nicholas Charnetsky and his twenty-four companions represent a glorious era of martyrdom for the Ukrainian Catholic Church, and their stories give great witness to the strength of their Catholic faith.