Head of UGCC Called Faithful to Pray for Quick Completion of Beatification of Metropolitan Andrey Sheptytsky
"The Servant of God, Metropolitan Andrey Sheptytsky, is a figure, for which we must thank God, because, as Cardinal Tisseran once said addressing Ukrainians, he is an adornment of our Church and our nation. Metropolitan Sheptytsky was a teacher of our nation," said Patriarch Lubomyr in a greeting address to the participants of a celebratory academy in Khmelnytskyi. On December 5, 2010, in the Khmelnytskyi Philharmonic, a celebratory event dedicated to Metropolitan Andrey Sheptysky was held, reported the Information Department of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church.
"In the first half of last century, when our nation had to live through the invasion of our land by the Austrian and Russian regimes, the short period of struggle for independence, invasion of Western Ukraine by the Polish state and then by the Nazi and Bolshevik-Soviet dictatorships, Metropolitan Andrey Sheptytsky proved to be a true father of the people and defended his people wherever and whenever he could. And during the genocide of the Jewish people, on his initiative and with his direct participation, approximately four hundred Jewish children were saved," stressed the head of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church.
According to Patriarch Lubomyr, Metropolitan Andrey Sheptytsky is a holy man. "The process of his beatification for all his heroic virtues, which will shine as an example not only for our nation but also for other ones, is coming to its end. Let everyone pray that the day of his glorification on the Earth should come as soon as possible," wrote the head of UGCC.
In addition, in his letter, he encouraged both spiritual and secular people to study the life of Metropolitan Andrey as an example of a spiritual and national leader, a true Christian and devoted citizen.
Information of RISU:
Metropolitan Andrey Sheptytsky (1901-1944). For 44 years, the metropolitan led the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church and the Ukrainian Galician society at the time of two World Wars and survived seven regimes: Austrian, Russian, Ukrainian, Polish, Soviet, Nazi, and another Soviet one.
He was born on July 22, 1865, in the village of Prylbychi in Lviv Region. He was of an ancient noble Ukrainian family, which in the 19th century was polonized and converted to Roman Catholicism. Despite a strong opposition of his father, he decided to return to his roots and become a monk of the Basilian Order in order to serve the Greek Catholic Church, which at that time was popularly called "peasant" one.
At the age of 36, Andrey Sheptytsky, who was gifted with extraordinary spiritual charisma, became the head of the Greek Catholic Church. He worked relentlessly to reconcile different ethnic groups and left a rich heritage of works on social problems and spirituality. He developed new methods of ministry. He founded the Redemptorist Order of the Ukrainian Rite and monasteries of the Studite Order in Ukraine and other religious associations. He founded a hospital, national museum, and theological academy and supported various religious, cultural and educational institutions.
Metropolitan Andrey was a sponsor of artists, students, including many Orthodox Christians and a pioneer of ecumenism.
He mastered Hebrew so that he was able to communicate with the Jews. During his pastoral visits of towns, the Jewish communities met him with Torah. Under the Nazi regime, he hid hundreds of Jewish children in his chambers. At that time, the metropolitan wrote a pastoral letter "Thou shall not kill," which was a bold protest against the Nazi atrocities.
Metropolitan Andrey died on November 1, 1944. He is buried in a crypt of St. George Cathedral in Lviv.