Blessed Martyr Vasyl Velychkovsky (June 1, 1903 – June 30, 1973) was a priest, and later bishop, of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, one of the Eastern Catholic Churches in communion with Rome. He is a martyr of the Catholic Church, dying in 1973 of his injuries sustained while imprisoned by the Soviet Union for his Christian faith.
Blessed Bishop-Martyr Vasyl Velychkovsky
|Born||June 1, 1903|
Stanislaviv (now Ivano-Frankivsk, Austria-Hungary (now Ukraine)
|Died||June 30, 1973 (aged 70)|
Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
|Venerated in||Catholic Church|
|Beatified||27 June 2001, Lviv Hippodrome, Ukraine by Pope John Paul II|
|Major shrine||St. Joseph's Ukrainian Catholic Church, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada|
|Feast||27 June, with Blessed Nicholas Charnetsky and 24 Companions|
Velychkovsky was born in Stanislaviv, in then-Austria-Hungary. In 1920 he entered the seminary in Lviv. In 1925 he took his first religious vows in the village of Holosko near Lviv in the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer (better known as the Redemptorists) and was ordained a priest. As a priest-monk Vasyl Velychkovsky taught and preached in Volyn. In 1942 he became abbot of the monastery in Ternopil. Because of religious persecution by the Communist Soviet Union he was arrested in 1945 by the NKVD and sent to Kiev. The punishment of death was commuted to 10 years of hard labor.
On release in 1955 he went back to Lviv, and was ordained a bishop in 1963. In 1969 he was imprisoned again for three years for his religious activities. Released in 1972, he was exiled. He died of his injuries from prison in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada on June 30, 1973, aged 70.
Thirty years after his death, Vasyl Velychkovsky's body was found to be almost incorrupt (his toes had fallen off and were subsequently divided to be used as holy relics). Beatified in 2001, the intact remains of Blessed Bishop and Martyr Vasyl Velychkovsky are enshrined at St. Joseph's Ukrainian Catholic Church in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. Today, his shrine is located at 250 Jefferson Avenue, Winnipeg, Manitoba.