The process of canonization proceeds in stages.
When the Church proclaims certain souls Blessed, they are recognized for veneration by the whole Church, throughout the world. They are then assigned a Feast Day, usually corresponding to the day of their death ~ the day of their birth into Eternal Life ~ but exceptions are sometimes made, as with our two Blesseds. Since Servants of God and Venerable souls are not recognized in this way, the SSMI Community privately commemorates them on days of its own choosing. (See below.)
Michaelina Hordashevska was born on November 20, 1869, in Lviv, Ukraine. In 1888, at 19 years of age, she took part in a spiritual retreat, directed by Fr. Jeremiah Lomnytskyj, OSBM, and, feeling called to offer her life to God, sought his direction privately. With his permission, she made a private vow of chastity for one year, in May of 1889, which she renewed in May of 1890, and then for three years in 1891. By that time, Fr. Jeremiah had also asked if she would consider being the first member of a new congregation of active religious women, which he had arranged to found with Fr. Kyrylo Seletskyj, pastor of the village of Zhuzhel.
On June 17, 1892, Fr. Jeremiah sent her to the Polish Felician Sisters in Zhovkva to experience life in an active religious community. The Felicians would have liked for her to enter their community, but Michaelina knew that belonging to a Polish community would distance her from her Ukrainian people, wounded by political oppression. On August 22 of that year, she returned to Lviv and designed and sewed her own habit, which distinguished this new community as unique.
On August 24, she was officially vested in this new habit, and received the religious name, Josaphata, after the great Ukrainian martyr for unity, St. Josaphat Kuntsevych. She then left for Zhuzhel, where she met seven girls who were to join her in this fledgling community, she as a novice, and they as postulants. On August 27, 1892, the newly-founded congregation of the Sisters Servants of Mary Immaculate was inaugurated in the church in Zhuzhel, and Sister Josaphata was appointed Superior and formation directress.
Over her whole religious life, she initiated the educational and health care ministries and oversaw the opening of many new missions, but not without trials. After the initial few years, it became apparent that the two founding priests had different visions for this congregation. Sr. Josaphata was often caught in the middle, defending her Sisters from works that were not in the spirit of their initial mandate.
By 1902, the Congregation numbered 128 Sisters in 26 homes across western Ukraine. They had their first General Chapter on August 26 of that year, at which Sr. Josaphata was elected Superior General, with Fr. Lomnytskyj ceding his position as Commissary/ Procurator of the Congregation. Internal divisions within the congregation led her to resign her position, in a letter to Metropolitan Andrei Sheptytskyj. Under the new Superior General he had appointed, she and her sister, Sr. Arsenia Hordashevska, were denied permission to pronounce perpetual vows for two consecutive years, and Sr. Josaphata was sent to the most difficult missions.
Without perpetual vows, she was not permitted to participate in the second General Chapter, according to the Constitution of that time. That Chapter saw her elected General Vicaress in absentia, and the delegates petitioned the Metropolitan for permission for her to pronounce her vows. Permission was granted, and the following day, May 11, 1909, she pronounced her perpetual vows and became the new General Vicaress, as elected by the Chapter.
Three years later, she began to suffer from tuberculosis of the bone. On March 16, 1919, she predicted that she would die on April 7, the Feast of the Annunciation, on the Julian calendar. She died on that day, as she predicted.
In November 1982 the mortal remains of Sister Josaphata were transferred from the cemetery in Krystynopil, Ukraine, to the Generalate in Rome. Her mortal remains were placed in an urn, which rests now in a small altar in the chapel in the Generalate. Hundreds of visitors to the Generalate have sought her intercession for their temporal and spiritual needs. The Generalate has received numerous testimonials of special graces received through her intercession.
The Process of Canonization of the Servant of God Josaphata Hordashevska was initiated in the Eparchy of Przemysl in Poland in March, 1992. Present were Sister Frances Byblow, then Superior General of the Sisters Servants, and Sister Dominica Slawuta, who became the postulator, and later, wrote a biography of Sister Josaphata, "Prayer and Service", which was published in Canada in 1996. It is available in English, Ukrainian, Spanish, and now also in Slovak.
On April 6, 1998, Pope John Paul II read the decree proclaiming the heroic virtues of the Servant of God Josaphata Hordashevska, co-foundress of the Sisters Servants of Mary Immaculate, and granted her the title of Venerable. On April 24, 2001, in the Clementine Hall at the Vatican at 11:00 am, the decree recognizing a miracle through the intercession of Venerable Sister Josaphata Horashevska was promulgated.
Sister Josaphata was beatified, proclaimed Blessed, by Pope John Paul II on June 27, 2001, during his pastoral visit to Lviv, Ukraine, the place of her birth.
Over a million witnessed this long-awaited event! Her first class relics -- a portion of her bone -- may be venerated in the chapel at the Provincial Home of the Sisters Servants in Toronto. (Though the Generalate also receives many requests for relics, requests for first class relics should include a recommendation from the bishop.)back to Blessed Josaphata
Blessed Josaphata's Feast Day has been officially assigned as November 20, the day of her birth, rather than April 7, the day of her passing, since the latter was already a major Feast of the Mother of God, Annunciation, on the Julian Calendar. As well, Sisters Servants across the world celebrate smaller "Josaphata Days" on the 7th of every month, a practice begun in anticipation of her beatification.
Lord God, we praise and thank you
for having called your servant, Blessed Josaphata Hordashevska,
to uplift the hearts of the people in Ukraine,
through evangelization, education and care of those in need.
As Co-Foundress, she was the first to live the charism
of a Sister Servant of Mary Immaculate.
Her virtuous life and evangelical witness
encouraged her Sisters to go beyond the borders,
bringing the Gospel message to all people.
May our prayers for her canonization be for your greater glory
and the spiritual good of souls. Grant us the graces for which we humbly pray,
through her intercession. Amen.
Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory be...
Acknowledgment of prayers answered through the intercession of Blessed Josaphata are to be sent to:
Postulazione delle Ancella di Maria Immacolata,
Via Cassia Antica, 104
00191 ROMA, Italia
With Ecclesiastical Approval Winnipeg, November 2014back to Blessed Josaphata
Olha Matskiv was born on March 23, 1919 in Chodoriv, Ukraine. She was the first of four children born into a pious working-class family. From early childhood, Olha showed signs of virtue and a life of intense piety. She loved prayer, and often went to church. The seed of a religious vocation was developing early in her life.
Despite the opposition of her mother, Olha entered the Congregation of the Sisters Servants of Mary Immaculate on May 3, 1938. Olha soon made a favourable impression on all the Sisters. She possessed a fine and gracious character. On November 4, 1938, she received the habit and took a religious name, Tarsykia. She pronounced her first vows on November 5, 1940.
These were the years of the Second World War, a time of hardship and danger. On July 17, 1944, the Soviets started to attack Krystynopil, the city where Sister Tarsykia was missioned. Heavy bombardment continued all day and night. The Sisters took shelter in the basement of their novitiate.
The morning of July 18, the Sisters were expecting a priest to come and celebrate the Divine Liturgy. When the gate bell rang, Sister Tarsykia, thinking that it was the priest, ran out to open the gate. When she was half-way to the gate, the Sisters heard a shot and Sister Tarsykia fell dead. The next day the Soviets came to kill all the Sisters, but Father Volodymyr Kowalyk, OSBM Superior, interceded, so the Soviets relented. Tarsykia's killer, a Soviet soldier, looking at the dead body of Sister Tarsykia, admitted, when asked: "I killed her because she was a nun."
Before the Soviet attack, Sister Tarsykia made a private vow before her confessor, Father Volodymyr Kovalyk, OSBM, to sacrifice her life for the conversion of Russia and for the Catholic faith.
She was buried in the garden of the convent at the foot of the statue of the Blessed Mother; it was too dangerous to go to the cemetery. In 1956 her mortal remains were transferred to the Lychakivsky cemetery in Lviv.
On September 2, 2007, Blessed Tarsykia's mortal remains were exhumed, and ceremonially transferred to her home town of Chodoriv, via the Cathedral of Stryj Eparchy, to which Chodoriv belongs. In silent procession, throngs of people escorted her relics, borne on the shoulders of priests, as pall bearers, to an outdoor Divine Liturgy, to accommodate these crowds, before being encrypted in the church itself. This was the funeral Blessed Tarsykia never had.
Martyrdom, the witnessing to one's faith through death, is a unique class within the processes of proclaiming holiness. Through martyrdom, one is ipso facto proclaimed Blessed. Blessed Tarsykia, along with 26 other martyrs and SSMI Co-foundress, Blessed Josaphata, was solemnly beatified by Pope John Paul II on June 27, 2001, on his pastoral visit to Ukraine.
Blessed Martyr Tarsykia's Feast Day has been officially proclaimed as June 27, the day of her beatification, rather than July 17, the day of her passing. This assignment was given to all 27 martyrs proclaimed on that date, probably for calendar economy.
We thank you for creating in our Church
the Congregation of the Sisters Servants of Mary Immaculate.
You have enriched it
with the virtues and sanctity
of Blessed Martyr Tarsykia,
who, with a prayer on her lips
and courage in her heart
accepted death for the Catholic faith.
Trusting in your intercession,
we ask you to hear our prayer and intercede with the Most Holy Trinity
for the grace for which we so ardently plead,
for the greater glory of God.
Blessed Tarsykia, pray for us!
(with ecclesiastic approval)
Acknowledgment of prayers answered through the intercession of Blessed Tarsykia are to be sent to:
Pasichna Street, 8
Sister Anatolia Tecla Bodnar was born on March 29, 1884, in Zhuzhel, Western Ukraine. She was given the name, Tecla, at baptism, and was raised in a solid Christian home.
Eight-year-old Tecla eye-witnessed the foundation of the Congregation of the Sisters Servants of Mary Immaculate, in her home town of Zhuzhel. She later entered that Community, taking the name, Anatolia. The year she pronounced her final vows, in 1911, she was one of seven missionary Sisters to Brazil. There, she devoted herself entirely to the good of others, especially giving of herself in great love and dedication to the sick and abandoned.
As Directress of Novices for thirteen years, she contributed to the formation of a large number of Sisters Servants, giving continuity to the work of the Congregation, which, though born in Ukraine, was scattered throughout the diaspora.
In the position of Provincial Superior for twenty years, she faced countless difficulties as she consolidated the Congregation of the SSMI in Brazilian territory, increasing their chances for a secure future.
In a spirit of prayer and suffering, she sought strength in the crucified Jesus and in the presence of Jesus in the Sacrament of the Eucharist, taking refuge at all times in His Sacred Heart. The Immaculate Mother of God was her constant model, guide and protection.
Sr. Anatolia suffered greatly throughout her life, and markedly in the last five years, when she was stricken with an incurable gangrene, which kept her confined to bed for two years. She suffered excruciating pain, but never complained, trying to rivet her gaze continuously on the image of Jesus Crucified. She offered all her suffering for the Church, for the salvation of souls and for the Congregation. The Sisters took turns attending to her, day and night. Comforted by the Last Rites, and by the prayers of the priest and the Sisters, she gently gave her holy soul to God on February 16, 1956. She was buried in the cemetery of the Parish of St. Josaphat in Prudentopolis, in the province of Parana.
Soon after Sr. Anatolia died, the Sisters and the people who knew and admired her began to pray that she intercede with God for their needs, and received many graces. Thus spread the renown of her holiness which continues today. In light of this, on June 18, 1993, in Prudentopolis, the Eparch for Ukrainian Catholics in Brazil, His Excellency Bishop Ephraim Krevey, OSBM, officially opened the process of canonization of the Servant of God, Anatolia, appointing a tribunal, who heard the accounts of various witnesses. The process still continues, and while documents continue to be prepared, the fame of her holiness grows, as many people still pray through her intercession.
The Servant of God Anatolia will not have an official Feast Day assigned to her until she is proclaimed Blessed. But even now, through popular but private devotion, every year, on the date of her passing, February 16, people gather at her grave to recite a rosary together. The SSMI Community of Brazil pray specially for her cause on the 16th of every month.
O God, One in the Holy Trinity,
Father, Son and Holy Spirit,
we praise You for deigning to call
Your Servant, Anatolia Bodnar,
to the Congregation of
the Sisters Servants of Mary Immaculate,
and enriching her with the gift
of a missionary spirit, to work for her people,
with mercy and dedication to the sick and abandoned.
Holy Trinity, we humbly beseech You,
raise Your Servant to the glory of Your Saints,
and grant us the grace which we ardently implore
through her intercession. Amen.
(with ecclesiastic approval)
Acknowledgment of prayers answered through the intercession of the Servant of God, Anatolia, are to be sent to:
Irmãs Servas de Maria Imaculada – Postulação
cx. Postal, 383
08811-970 Curitiba - Pr
Telefone: (41) 3322-1744 or 3223-7759
Sister Ambrosia Anna Sabatovycz was born on August 2, 1894, in the village of Turynka, near Zhovkva, in Western Ukraine, into the family of Nicholas Sabatovycz and Justine Skoropad. She was baptized and chrismated that same day,and was given the name, Anna.
In September of 1895, together with her parents and four-year-old brother, Ivan, she emigrated to Brazil. The Sabatovycz family settled in a colony not far from the city of Prudentopolis, where Anna grew up in the deeply Christian spirit which permeated their household.
When Anna reached 23 years of age, she decided to consecrate her life to the service of God in the Congregation of the Sisters Servants of Mary Immaculate. On August 28, 1917, she entered the Congregation in Prudentopolis. During the clothing ceremony, she received the religious name, Sister Ambrosia. On December 22, 1925, Sr. Ambrosia professed her perpetual vows, consecrating herself to Jesus until death.
Sister Ambrosia was missioned in various homes of the Congregation, working in the kitchen and performing various domestic duties. In Rio-das-Antas, a colony near Cruz Machado, she cared for the sick with great love and self-giving, demonstrating thus the particular charism of sacrificial love for neighbour.
Sister Ambrosia was of short stature, but physically and spiritually strong. Hard-working, fervent and self-giving, pious, simple, humble and at the service of all, she was always ready to help those who asked her. She loved children and, caring for them in an orphanage, diligently saw to their human and Christian upbringing.
The life of Sr. Ambrosia was always centered on God and love of neighbour. For this reason, she was always ready to sacrifice herself. On February 28, 1943, Sister Ambrosia fulfilled an heroic act of greatest love during a tragic house fire, the result of arson, which destroyed the home of the Sisters in Rio-das-Antas. She died a true martyr together with six girls, who lived with the Sisters. Her burned body was found holding in an embrace the smallest of the girls. She was buried in the cemetery of Rio-das-Antas, not far from the burned house.
Some years later, at the place of the conflagration, a stone monument resembling a grave was erected, on top of which a cross was placed with the names of the innocent victims of the fire, in memory of those who died in that tragedy.
Immediately after the death of Sr. Ambrosia and the girls: Anna, Lidia, Amelia, Anita, Carmelia and Lourdes, various local people, especially parents of those lost, began to turn to them in prayer, entrusting their needs to them, and their prayers were often heard. Yet it was only with the 50th anniversary of their death that the prayer for the intercession of Sr. Ambrosia spread among the faithful, and the opinion of her holiness became more evident. Now many people receive from God great graces through her intercession.
At the end of January, 2008, the Congregation for the Causes of Saints gave a “nihil obstat” (no obstacles) to the request of His Excellency Bishop Volodymyr Kovbych, OSBM, of Curitiba, to start the process of canonization of the Servant of God Sister Ambrosia Anna Sabatovycz.
On May 30, 2008, on the feast of Christ the Lover of Mankind, the eparchial phase of Beatification of Sister Ambrosia Anna Sabatovych was officially opened.
In the village of Rio-das-Antas, near Cruz Machado, Brazil, the Very Reverend Bishop Volodymyr Kovbych, Eparch of Curitiba, was main celebrant at a Pontifical Divine Liturgy, which was the opening of the process of beatification of the Servant of God, Ambrosia Anna Sabatovycz, SSMI. Concelebrating with Bishop Volodymyr was Very Reverend Bishop Daniel Kozlynskyj, Assistant Bishop of Curitiba, and about 20 priests.
At Liturgy, also present were: the General Superior of the SSMI, Sr. Janice Soluk, who was conducting canonical visitations in the Brazilian province at the time, the Provincial Superior, Sr. Egidia Pastuch, with her Provincial Council, over 70 Sisters Servants, and members of other communities.
After the Divine Liturgy, according to Church norms, a session was held to open the process, during which the nominations of the members of the tribunal were confirmed.
The Servant of God Ambrosia will not have an official Feast Day assigned to her until she is proclaimed Blessed. But she is commemorated every year, on the date of her passing, February 28, with Divine Liturgy celebrated in the parish church of Rio-das-Antas. The SSMI Community of Brazil pray specially for her cause on the 28th of every month.
Lord, Jesus Christ, You who said:
"No one can love more than
when he gives his life for his friends,"
I glorify You and thank You
that You called Your servant, Sister Ambrosia,
to consecrate her life
in the Congregation of the
Sisters Servants of Mary Immaculate
for the greater glory of God,
honour to the Immaculate Virgin Mary,
and the good of her brothers and sisters,
a consecration which was crowned with the act
of heroic love for her neighbour
at the moment of her death.
Through Your infinite merits, and through the intercession
of the Most Holy Mother of God,
glorify Sister Ambrosia with the glory of Your saints,
and grant me the grace that I sincerely ask,
through her intercession. Amen.
Our Father; Hail Mary; Glory be
(with ecclesiastic approval)
Acknowledgment of prayers answered and graces received through the intercession of Sr. Ambrosia may be forwarded to the following address:
Irmãs Servas de Maria Imaculada – Postulação
cx. Postal, 383
08811-970 Curitiba - Pr
Telefone: (41) 3322-1744 or 3223-7759
Irmas Servas de Maria Imaculada
cx. postal 32
84620-000 Cruz Machado - PR
Telefone: (42) 3554-1462
On February 8, 1860, the Servant of God, Jeremiah Lomnytskyj, OSBM, was born in Kavska, in the deanery of Drohobych, Ukraine. On February 12, he was baptized, and given the name John. He studied at the Lviv Academy and the Franz Joseph Gymnasium (High School) in Drohobych, then at the Teachers' College in Lviv, after which he taught in a six-grade public school in Kozari, in the Rohatyn region.
On September 28, 1882, he entered the Basilian novitiate in Dobromyl, and took the religious name, Jeremiah. On May 17, 1884, he pronounced his first vows, and began to study philosophy and theology under the direction of the Jesuits. On January 17, 1886, he was ordained to the priesthood, and on May 22, 1887, pronounced his final vows in Dobromyl.
In 1889, he and several other priests organized the first public mission in Halychyna, in the city of Horodok. After more studies in moral theology, and teaching in the Basilian scholasticate in Dobromyl, he began a mission ministry in Halychyna, directing a total of 51 public missions beginning in 1891.
“The Lord knew the needs of His people and chose the one man who did not fear difficulties, did not spare himself in work or sacrifice for the glory of God, who, with great hope in God's help, set himself to a task and did not relax his efforts until he saw the task to completion. This was Fr. Jeremiah Lomnytskyj, the missionary, the Basilian.” ~ Bl. Josaphata Hordashevska, SSMI
From May 16-21, 1891, he headed the mission team at Zhuzhel, in the eparchy of Przemysl. During the mission, three girls approached him with the plea to help them enter a monastery. This event was the first step towards the founding of the Congregation of the Sisters Servants of Mary Immaculate.
After teaching for several years in various centers, he was sent to be spiritual director for the newly opened novitiate of the Sisters Servants in Krystynopil, in September, 1894. He also taught moral theology to the Basilian clerics. Amid various other appointments over the years, in 1898, Metropolitan Sylvester Sembratovych appointed him commissary of the Congregation of the SSMI, thus making him the spiritual and administrative superior of that institute.
In 1902, he resigned from this post of commissary of the SSMI, and was replaced by Father Platonid Filas, OSBM. In the 1904-1908 period, he made two trips to Russia with the aim of drawing the attention of the Russian government and the public to the plight of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church in Kholm and Pidljashia, and at the same time, with directions from Metropolitan Andrei Sheptytskyj, to help the Russian Greek-Catholic Church in Russia. At that time, there were rumours about appointing Lomnytskyj bishop of that church.
“The Word of God came to Jeremiah, and he became His messenger – His herald on earth. Our Great Friend and Protector, Fr. Jeremiah Lomnytskyj – a humble Basilian monk, defended the truth of God's plan.” ~ Rev. Dr. Atanasij Velykyj, OSBM
From 1907 to 1915, he was rector of the major seminary in Stanislaviv. He taught pastoral theology, rhetoric, methodology, catechetics and homiletics. On January 24, 1915, he was arrested by the Russian occupation army, and on February 5, exiled to Symbirsk. He died in exile on July 3, 1916, of rheumatism and respiratory complications.
On April 5, 2009 in the cathedral of the Resurrection in Ivano-Frankivsk, the Cause of Beatification of the Servant of God, Jeremiah Lomnytskyj, OSBM, co-founder of the Congregation of the Sisters Servants of Mary Immaculate, was officially opened.
After the solemn Divine Liturgy, Sr. Lubomyra Nadych, SSMI, postulator for the Cause of canonization of the Servant of God, Jeremiah, presented a petition (libello di domanda) to the Eparch of Ivano-Frankivsk, Bishop Volodymyr Viytyshyn, to officially open the process regarding the martyr’s death of the Servant of God, Fr. Jeremiah Lomnytskyj. Sister Lubomyra underscored that the fame of his death as a martyr continues to spread in the UGCC: in Ukraine, Brazil, Argentina, Canada, USA and other countries. The fact of the martyr’s death of the Servant of God, Jeremiah, was greatly valued by his contemporaries — the Servant of God, Metropolitan Andrei Sheptytskyj, and also the Russian Greek-Catholics.
After a careful study of the request of the postulator, and after receiving a “Nulla Osta” from the Congregation of the Causes of Saints, Bishop Volodymyr, eparch of Ivano-Frankivsk announced the Beatification Process open. To carry out this process, Bishop Volodymyr created a special tribunal consisting of: Fr. Roman Terekhovskyj – judge; Fr. Stefan Balahura – Promotor of Justice; and Fr. Vitalij Tokar – notary.
The Bishop, members of the tribunal, and the postulator pronounced an oath that they would perform their duties conscientiously in this process.
Bishop-emeritus Sofron Mudry, OSBM, of Ivano-Frankivsk, and many priests of the eparchy participated in this memorable occasion. Representing the Basilian Order were the following: Very Rev. Father Basil Kovbych, Protoarchimandrite, Father Joachim Cheverenchuk, Provincial superior and Father Paul Rajchynets, Superior of several monasteries in Ukraine.
Seventy-five Sisters Servants were present at these festivities, coming from all over the world: Sr. Janice Soluk, Superior General, and Provincial superiors: Sr. Nadia Kotur, Sr. Julia Bojko, Sr. Sophia Lebedovych and many sisters. The Superior General of the St. Joseph Sisters, Sr. Emilia Fedechko also attended.
The Servant of God Jeremiah will not have an officially assigned Feast Day until he is proclaimed Blessed. Until then, the SSMI Community world wide prays for him privately on his Name Day, the day of his Patron Saint, St. Jeremiah, on May 1.
O, my God!
From the depths of my soul, I offer reverence
to Your boundless Greatness.
I thank you for the graces and gifts
You have given to Your faithful servant
Father Jeremiah Lomnytskyj,
co-founder of the Congregation
of the Sisters Servants of Mary Immaculate,
who gave his life as a witness to faith
for the unity of the Holy Church.
I ask You to glorify him
with the glory of Your Saints
and to grant me
in Your Fatherly mercy
the grace I humbly pray of You
through his intercession.
(with ecclesiastic approval)
Acknowledgment of prayers answered through the intercession of the Servant of God Fr. Jeremiah Lomnytskyj, OSMB, are to be sent to:
Pasichna Street, 8
phone (032) 271-81-41 e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Curia of the Eparchy of Ivano-Frankivsk
Knjahynyn Street, 15
Father-Prelate Kyrylo Seletskyj was born on April 29, 1835, in Pidbuzhja, in the region of Sambirsk. In 1855, he finished high school in Sambirsk, and after theological studies in the University of Lviv and seminary in Przemysl, was ordained to the priesthood by Bishop Gregory Jakhymovych, on January 8, 1860.
From 1859-1862, he taught in the Drohobych high school. From 1962-1873, he performed his pastoral duties at the parishes of Stara Sil', Mil'kiv, Bilych Horishnij, Voroblyk Korolivs'kyj, Ljubachiv and Javoriv.
“This person of angelic goodness, simple, humble, loves all good and spreads it wherever possible, paying no attention to difficulties. All those close to him, and above all, his parishioners, love him as their own soul; he is hardworking, modest, poor, ascetical, perseverant, and ready for anything that God's will and God's glory would demand of him.
... This is a righteous man of God's spirit, who presents himself to us as a model of an upright, Christian life.”
~ Bl. Hieromartyr Josaphat Kotsylovskyj, 1943
In 1868, he prepared his first book for publication, the primer, "My Own House." In 1869, his book, "Catechesis for Children of the Greek-Catholic Rite" was printed.
From 1874-1918, he was pastor of the villages of Zhuzhel' and Tsebliv, in the Sokal' region. It was during this time, on August 27, 1891, the first home of the newly founded Sisters Servants of Mary Immaculate was opened in Zhuzhel', which Fr. Kyrylo was instrumental in procuring. On May 19, 1893, he opened the first Ukrainian nursery school in Galicia, in which the Sisters Servants were missioned.
“...His righteous life, the deportment with which he gave of himself in all matters, whether to the nurseries of the Sisters, or to the poor, his spirit of prayer, his simplicity and humility, but above all his love of neighbour — all these virtues place this humble man in the ranks of the first labourers of the Gospel in our Church.”
~ Metropolitan Andrei Sheptytskyj
In 1898, he opened a nursery school in the village of Tsebliv, which was cared for by the Sisters of St. Joseph, the Congregation he founded.
In 1905, The Holy Father, Pope Pius X, named Fr. Kyrylo "honorary papal prelate". In 1906, he took part in a pilgrimage to the Holy Land. His death occurred on April 28, 1918. He was buried in Zhuzhel'.
“He took pleasure in special sympathy and love of his parishioners, and of people in the area, for he was for all a resource in spiritual and physical needs. His generous heart, full of love, was reflected on his righteous face. Always smiling, always ready to serve everyone who approached him...
This was truly a man of God, gifted by God with special graces.”
~ Fr. Peter Chavs
The Synod of Bishops of the Ukrainian Greek-Catholic church, having met in Philadelphia from September 27 to October 6, 2007, gave its blessing to start the Cause of Canonization of our co-founder, the Servant of God Father Kyrylo Seletskyj, long-time pastor of the village of Zhuzhel (now Zhuzheljany) and Tsebliv.
On July 11, 2009, in the city of Sokal, in the cathedral of the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul, the solemn opening of the beatification process of the Servant of God Kyrylo Seletskyj took place. This process is being pursued by the Congregation of the Sisters of St. Joseph, Spouse of the Immaculate Virgin Mary. The solemnities began with a Pontifical Divine Liturgy by Archbishop Michael Koltun, Eparch of Sokal-Zhovkva, as main celebrant, and Archbishop of Lviv, Ihor Vozniak, concelebrant. At the Liturgy, 35 priests of the Sokal region, religious and a great number of the faithful were present. The Congregation of the Sisters Servants was represented by Sr. Janice Soluk, General Superior, Sr. Nadia Kotur, Provincial Superior of Ukraine, and other Sisters.
“… it is very important to remember our venerables and martyrs, who were true witnesses of the love of God and neighbour. When the Church proclaims someone blessed or a saint, at the same time, we have Her confirmatioin of a godly man, an intercessor before God for the faithful people, to whom we turn with our petitions and prayers. Thus, this affirmation of the Church is exceptionally significant, … and encourages us to stand in the number of the righteous…” ~ Most Rev. Archbishop of Lviv, Ihor Vozniak, during pontifical Divine Liturgy, opening the process
At the start of the fist session of the tribunal, the Chancellor of the Sokal-Zhovkva eparchy, Fr. Roman Synytskyj, explained to all present the meaning of this gathering, and also read the document of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints of December 3, 2008, and the decree calling the tribunal. After Bishop Micheal Koltun, Eparch of Sokal-Zhovkva, announced the formal opening of the beatification process of the Servant of God, Fr. Kyrylo Seletskyj, he also handed the decree to the chosen members of the tribunal. After the handing of the decrees, Bishop Michael Koltun, the Postulator of the given cause, Sr. Markiana Vasylyshyn, of the Congregation of the Holy Spouse, Joseph, and the chosen members of the tribunal made an oath.
[Fr. Kyrylo] "...gave all of us “the witness of a just life and his faithful service and self-giving, which today opens for us a wide road to righteousness which we have and must take…” ~ Most Rev. Archbishop of Sokal-Zhovkva Eparchy, Michael Koltun, at the close of the first tribunal session.
The Servant of God Kyrylo will not have an officially assigned Feast Day until he is proclaimed Blessed. Until then, the SSMI Community world wide prays for him privately on his Name Day, the day of his Patron Saint, St. Cyril of Jerusalem, on March 18.
We thank You for all the goodness
with which you gifted your faithful servant
Father Kyrylo Seletskyj.
Out of love for You, Lord,
he was sincerely concerned about souls,
caring for their sanctification and salvation.
Inspired by Your Spirit,
he helped poor girls
to answer the call of Christ
and became a father to many religious.
We humbly pray You, Lord,
glorify Your servant here on earth,
so that, encouraged by the example
of his righteous life
and through his intercession in heaven,
we would walk towards the Light – Jesus Christ,
to Whom with His Eternal Father
and Life-Creating Spirit
belong honour, worship and glory for ever.
Our Father... Hail Mary... Glory be...
Acknowledgment of prayers answered through the intercession of the Servant of God, Fr. Kyrylo Seletskyj, are to be sent to:
Постуляція С.Б. Кирила Селецького
Згромадження сс. св. Йосифа ОПДМ
вул. Личаківська 171а
о. Роман Тереховський
м. Львів 79008