Blessed Emelian Kowcz will tomorrow be proclaimed patron of pastors of the UGCC

Sunday, 26 April 2009, 21:19
The Patriarchal Synod of Bishops of the UGCC which took place on September 2-9, 2008, decreed to proclaim Blessed Martyr Fr. Emilian Kowcz patron of pastors of the UGCC. This decision of the Synod is being realized in three stages: 1. On March 25, 2009, a pilgrimage of clergy of the UGCC to the museum in Majdanek (Lublin, Poland) and the transfer of relics there of the blessed for exposition in cathedrals of every eparchy and exarchate.
The Patriarchal Synod of Bishops of the UGCC which took place on September 2-9, 2008, decreed to proclaim Blessed Martyr Fr. Emilian Kowcz patron of pastors of the UGCC. This decision of the Synod is being realized in three stages:
1. On March 25, 2009, a pilgrimage of clergy of the UGCC to the museum in Majdanek (Lublin, Poland) and the transfer of relics there of the blessed for exposition in cathedrals of every eparchy and exarchate. 2. On April 24, 2009, the solemn proclamation of Blessed Martyr Fr. Emilian as the patron of pastors of the UGCC. The celebration will take place in Kyiv on the territory of the construction of the Patriarchal Center of the UGCC with the participation of all bishops, clergy and laity.  3. Every eparchy and exarchate at the local level will conduct a proper celebration.
The first of the planned events took place on Wednesday. As part of the celebration of the 65th anniversary of the death of Blessed Emilian, on March 25, 2009, at 11:00 Polish time, at the museum in Majdanek, Lublin, the unveiling of a plaque with the message of "the pastor of Majdanek," "…here I see God – God, who is identical for all of us, regardless of our religious differences," took place. The unveiling of the obelisk with the plaque was performed by Vice Prime Minister of Ukraine Ivan Vasyunyk. The next event will take place tomorrow, April 24, 2009, in Kyiv. On this day the solemn proclamation of Blessed Martyr Emilian Kowcz as patron saint of pastors of the Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Church will take place. Celebrations will begin at 10:00 with a pontifical Divine Liturgy. A festive divine service will take place on the construction site of the Patriarchal Center of the UGCC (Mykil'sko-Slobids’ka Str., 5, metro station "Livoberezhna"). All the bishops of the UGCC from Ukraine and Poland and numerous guests will take part.

Information Department of the UGCC

Blessed Emilian Kowcz (1884-1944) was born on August 20, 1884, in Kosmach (Kosiv District) in the family of Hryhoriy Kowcz (1861-1919) and Maria from the Yaskevich-Volfel'd family (1891-1939). For 20 years he ministered in Peremyshlyany (Lviv Region). He was imprisoned  by the fascists for rescuing human dignity, first in the jail on the former Lontskyj Street in Lviv, and then in a concentration camp in Majdanek. In letters he asked his family not to make any efforts towards his liberation, because his duty was to support the prisoners. He perished on March 25, 1944. His stay in the Majdanek concentration camp was seen as a gift of God. The Jewish Council of Ukraine gave Fr. Kowcz the title of «a Righteous Man of Ukraine.» In 2001 in Lviv he was beatified by Pope John Paul II. In autumn 2008 the Synod of the UGCC proclaimed Blessed Martyr Fr. Emilian patron of the pastors of the UGCC.
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