The Nativity of our Lord Jesus Christ The Twenty-fifth Day of December, when ages beyond number had run their coursefrom the creation of the world, when God in the beginning created heaven and earth,and formed man in his own likeness; when century upon century had passedsince the Almighty set his bow in the clouds after […]
When our Lord died, He did not formally establish a canon of sacred writings, explicitly define canon law, or establish a process for the canonization of saints. He didn’t even write a Gospel. He established a Church to do that. Why God decided to put human beings in charge of these important matters is a […]
The Eastern Churches sometimes name him “the first called”, reminding us that it was the future Saint Andrew the Apostle and “the other disciple” (almost universally assumed to be Saint John the Evangelist) who first followed Jesus (see John 1:40). How the world would have changed if Andrew hadn’t listened when John the Baptist pointed […]
On this date, the Church commemorates Saint Felicitas, a Catholic woman who died a martyr and was buried in the Cemetery of Maximus in Rome during the early centuries of the Church. That much is fairly certain. But there are other traditions associated with Saint Felicitas (also called Felicity). One tradition says that she was […]
Saint of the Day
Blessed Basil Velychkovskyi (1903-1973) was born in the Ukraine into a Greek Catholic family. He became a priest, teacher, and missionary in his native country.
In 1945, he was arrested by the Soviets for being a Catholic priest and sentenced to ten years in a forced labor camp. He served his fellow prisoners during his imprisonment and somehow survived its inhuman conditions.
When he was allowed to return to the Ukraine in 1955, he became bishop and then archbishop of the underground Greek Catholic Church there. In 1969, he was arrested again, this time for listening to Vatican Radio and for his Catholic faith, both of which were crimes under Communist rule. He was tortured during his imprisonment, but when his health began to fail, he was released. (Based on Soviet attitudes toward Catholics, this was probably less out of compassion than a desire not to make him a martyr to the many Ukrainian Catholics.) He was sent out of the country and traveled to Rome and then Canada, where he died in 1973.
Blessed Basil, give me your perseverance.
Want to read about a saint every day? The “Saint of the Day” blog posts for the entire month of June on this web site are designed to help you do that. Every day of the month of June, there’s a blog post about a holy man or woman you’ve probably never heard of, but who is formally acknowledged as a saint or blessed of the Church. Just like the book, Saints: Becoming an Image of Christ Every Day of the Year, these blog posts show you how to start (or interrupt or finish) your day with a brief, inspirational life story of a saint. Each biography concludes with a short prayer to help you identify some aspect of that saint’s life that might help you in your own spiritual life.
(Note that none of the saints in these blog posts are included in the book, Saints: Becoming an Image of Christ Every Day of the Year, but they are present in the Church’s latest official list of saints, the Martyrologium Romanum, dated 2004.)
As Ecclesiastes 1:9 says, there is nothing new under the sun, and the problems we face today are often startlingly similar to the problems that holy men and women of the past faced in their own lives. Other blog posts discuss saints celebrated in the current month or who have something to teach us about our current difficulties, such as dealing with an epidemic or how to handle suffering.
The saints and blesseds of the Church teach us that holiness is possible for anyone, in any state of life, and in any historical time period. We only have to be open to God’s grace so that He can form us into images of Jesus Christ.