Holy Poles who were martyred by the Papists
Canonization of the Neo-martyrs of Poland on 8th June 2003
Action of the Holy Synod of the Polish Orthodox Church for the induction to the choir of the Saints and Martyrs of the twentieth century, at the eparchy of Helm and Podlaskia.
In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.
At the beginning of the third millennium of the goodness of the Lord, the Orthodox Church of Poland harvested the fruit of the divine sowing, which increased through the confession of the Orthodox Faith and the martyric end of the faithful people of the eparchy of Helm and Podlaskia.
The region of Helm and Podlaskia (present south-eastern Poland) which one thousand years ago received the Orthodox faith, many times suffered difficult conditions and persecutions by the heterodox. Despite all these, she always kept her dedication to Christ and to the Holy Church, through the intercessions of the Theotokos, who donated to the eparchy of Helm her miraculous icon. Even during the most testing trials of faith when it was becoming apparent that the light of Orthodoxy was dimming, they guarded this holy inheritance and wealth of faith as she received it from Saint Vladimir.
As the terrible persecutions and the great darkness passed, again the faith would brighten up through distinguished confessors and martyrs who especially during the 20th century, irrigated their country with their martyric blood.
The zenith of the persecutions in the region of Helm and Podlaskia took place in 1944 and as the locals of that period testify: "We suffered terrible and difficult times by the enemies of the faith who flooded our region with rivers of blood and set on fire our homes. During those days certain ones received the crown of martyrdom, by dedicating their heart and faith to God and their neighbour".
Through their martyric blood and their intercessions our present ecclesiastic community is strengthened and we maintain the memory of their martyrdom according to the 1944 testimony of the local Hierarch Ilarion who said: "I steadfastly hope, that many of those clerics of my eparchy who martyred, the church will induct in the chorus of the saints".
During the intervening 50 years it was not possible to canonize them due to unfavourable conditions. However, their memory remained alive in the people of the region, until the local Orthodox Church based on research and evidence by a specific commission decided the folowing:
- 1. It is decided that the assembly of the Holy Martyrs and Confessors of the eparchy of Helm and Podlaska shall be on the first Sunday of the month of June.
- 2.hey are ranked in the chorus of the Saints:
- a) Protopresbyter Basil (martyred in the village of Teratin on the 4th May 1945).
- b) Protopriest Paul Svaiko and his matushka Joanna (who martyred at the village of Graboviets on the 28th August 1943).
- c) Priest Nicholas Holts (martyred at Novosiolski on 2nd April 1944).
- d) Priest Leon Corobtsuk (martyred at Laskof on 10th May 1944).
- e) Priest Peter Ochrisko (martyred at Tsartoviets on 10th April 1944).
- f) Priest Sergius Zahartsuk (martyred at Nabruz on 6th May 1943).
- g) Monk Ignatius (martyred at the Monastery of Saint Onouphrios at Giobletsna on 10 Aug 1942).
- 3. The Apolytikon, Kontakio and megalynario to the above saints to be compiled while the Chant Service is found in the Meneon of the Martyrs.
- 4. Whatever holy relics are found to be honoured and to hagiograph their icon.
- 5. The Orthodox Patriarchates to be informed together with the autocephalous Churches.
Through the intercessions of all those Saints who martyred at Helm and Podlask and who are present in front of the throne of the Highest, entreating Him for the Orthodox Church and its faithful people of their country, may the Lord strengthen our faith and grant us His rich blessing. Amen.
+ His beatitude Metropolitan Savva,
Archbishop of Varsovia and of all Poland
+ Most Reverend Simon,
Archbishop of Lots and Poznan.
+ Most Reverend Adam,
Archbishop of Psemisl and Sanok.
+ Most Reverend Jeremiah,
Archbishop of Vrotslav and of Stsetsin.
+ Most Reverend Abel,
Archbishop of Lublin and of Helm.
+ His Grace Myron,
Bishop of Hainouvka.
+ His Grace Jacob
Bishop of Bialystok and of Gdansk.
+ His Grace Gregory,
Bishop of Bielski
In Lublin on the 20th March 2003Publications: Orthodox Kypseli, Thessaloniki