Christmas Present from the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

From RISU:

At the hierarchical liturgy in St. Yur’s Cathedral in Lviv, on 29 November, the establishment of the Lviv Metropolitanate of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church (UGCC) was proclaimed and Archbishop Ihor (Vozniak) of Lviv was enthroned as Metropolitan of Lviv. The ruling bishop of Lviv will now bear the title “Archbishop and Metropolitan of Lviv.” St. Yur’s Cathedral was proclaimed to be the cathedral of the Lviv Metropolitanate of UGCC.
The Administrator of the Patriarchal Curia, Secretary of the Synod of Bishops of UGCC, Bishop Bohdan (Dziurakh) read out a letter about the establishment of the Lviv Metropolitanate of UGCC. The document deals with the whole history of UGCC, its difficult path towards the establishment and then, restoration of the structures of the Kyiv-Halych Metropolitanate, legalization of UGCC after the totalitarian regime and return of UGCC to Kyiv.
According to the letter, the Lviv Metropolitanate includes the archeparchies of Lviv, Stryi, Sambir-Drohobych and Sokal-Zhovkva. The Ivano-Frankivsk Metropolitanate includes Ivano-Frankivsk and Kolomyia-Chernivtsi eparchies. The Ternopil-Buchach Metropolitanate includes Ternopil-Zboriv and Buchach Eparchies.
Artchbishop Ihor (Vozniak) of Lviv, Eparch of Ivano-Frankivsk, Bishop Volodymyr (Viityshyn) and Eparch of Ternopil and Zboriv, Bishop Vasyl (Semeniuk) have been proclaimed the first metropolitans of the new metropolitanates.
Another existing metropolitanate of UGCC, the Kyiv-Halych Metropolitanate led by Patriarch Sviatoslav has been proclaimed the heir of all the property of UGCC.
The ceremony of the enthronement of Metropolitan of Lviv, Archbishop Ihor (Vozniak) was conducted by the head of UGCC, Patriarch Sviatoslav.
In his address, Patriarch Sviatoslav called the Lviv Metropolitanate the second most important one after the Kyiv-Halych Metropolitanate of UGCC and stressed that the will of all the previous heads of UGCC, Metropolitan Andrey Sheptytskyi, Patriarch Josef Slipyj, cardinal myroslav-Ivan Lubachivskyi and Patriarch Lubomyr (Husar) has been fulfilled.
The liturgy was attended by all the bishops of UGCC led by Patriarch Sviatoslav, the Apostolic Nuncio in Ukraine, Archbishop Thomas Edward Gullickson, Apostolic Administrator of Mukachiv of the Greek Catholic Church, Bishop Milan (Shashik).
The metropolitanate in Ivano-Frankisvk will be proclaimed on 13 December. The metropolitanate in Ternopil will be proclaimed on 22 December.

The newly-Metropolitan Archdiocese of Lviv and its Bishops welcome the Patriarch:

Decree on establishing Lviv Metropolitanate:

Enthronement of the new Metropolitan Ihor (Vozniak):

Patriarch's sermon:

Metropolitan Ihor's sermon:

From the ERCF Admin and its contributors, may the Metropolitan and his Metropolitanate last for many years!


AKATHIST Hymn to Our father among the saints Clement of Rome

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Troparion (Tone 4)
O God of our Fathers,
Take not away Your mercy from us,
But ever act towards us according to Your kindness,
And by the prayers of Your saints
Guide our lives in peace!
 Kontakion - (Tone 4)
O Clement and Peter,
You are worthy of all praise!
Holy and unassailable strongholds of the Church;
Inspired models of true faith and devotion:
Guard us all through your intercessions!    
For more regarding Pope St. Clement as Pope of Rome, please click here on his Hagiography


Remember the Holodomor!

Saturday, November 26, 2011


On the 26th of November, Ukrainians, Catholics or Orthodox will light a candle remembering those who died during the days when Stalin neglected the agricultural sector in Ukraine and caused widespread hunger that killed 7-10 million Ukrainians in 1932-1933.

I would like you to pray for the souls of those who perished during the Holodomor. Please light a candle in memory of them. You may do it in your parishes, chapels or even your respective homes.

From the ERCF Admin and Contributors that may the souls of those who perished in the Great Ukrainian Famine of 1932-1933 rest in peace and may the Great Famine remain as a painful history not only in Ukraine, but also to the world.

In the Ukrainian diaspora, a Panikhida, a Requiem service is usually held to commemorate the Anniversary of the Holodomor in Canada and in the United States. For over the years, Ukrainians in Canada and in the US remembered this horrible event and built monuments to remember their loved ones who died in the Great Famine in 1932-1933.

Memory eternal! Vichnayat Pamyat +


AKATHIST Hymn to The holy and glorious Great-martyr Catherine of Alexandria


Greek usage (Tone Plagal 1)
Let us praise the all-lauded and noble bride of Christ,
the godly Catherine, the guardian of Sinai and its defense,
who is also our support and succour and our help;
for with the Holy Spirit's sword
she hath silenced brilliantly the clever among the godless;
and being crowned as a martyr, she now doth ask great mercy for us all.
Slavic usage (Tone 4)
Thy lamb Catherine, O Jesus,
Calls out to thee in a loud voice:
I love thee, O my bridegroom,
And in seeking thee, I endure suffering.
In baptism I was crucified so that I might reign in thee,
And died so that I might live with thee.
Accept me as a pure sacrifice,
For I have offered myself in love.
By her prayers save our souls, since thou art merciful.
Here is the Link  of the Hagiography of St. Catherine of Alexandria, which Feast was celebrated yesterday.


Year 2011

Friday, November 25, 2011

2011 was a year of joy and hope in the Eastern Churches with these new leaders:

- Patriarch Sviatoslav Shevchuk (UGCC)
- Major Archbishop Mar George Alencherry (Syro-Malabar Catholic Church)
- Patriarch Bechara Al Rahi (Maronite)

Let us pray for good health, for strength, and for the inspiration for them that they may fulfill their duties in the office as leaders of the Ukrainian, Syro-Malabar and Maronite Churches who are in communion with the Pope of Rome.

Let us pray for the Churches around the world that they may fulfill in their mission to spread the Good News to those who didn't hear it and strength to face challenges inside and outside the Church.

2011 for me is a year mixed with joys and sadness, a colorful year for the Catholics around the world. Let us pray that the year 2012 will be a year of getting started with plans, strategies and projects for the good of the Church and the people around the world.

Through the prayers of the Theotokos, O Savior save us!


Patriarch Kirill's 65th Birthday

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

On the 20th of November, His Holiness the Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and all Rus' celebrated his 65th birthday with a Hierarchical Divine Liturgy at the Cathedral of Christ the Savior, Moscow. He is celebrating the Liturgy with the Patriarch of Georgia Ilia I, the Metropolitan of Polish Orthodox Church Sawa, and the other metropolitans and bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church.

From the ERCF Moderator and its contributors, may God grant His Holiness the Patriarch many years! May his dream of meeting with the Pope of Rome and the Patriarch of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church come true!

NOTE: This is a blog that promotes the Eastern liturgy, its theology and its spirituality that has been handed from the time when the Churches of Rome and Constantinople are united before the Great Schism in 1054. Although this is a blog that promotes the awareness of our Eastern brothers, bear in mind that we must acknowledge our Orthodox brothers and their culture here and abroad, never to despise for we are equal in the eyes of God yesterday, now and forever.

Until next time!


Reflections on His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI General prayer intention on this Month of November

""That the Eastern Catholic Churches and their venerable traditions may be known and esteemed as a spiritual treasure for the whole Church." - HIS HOLINESS BENEDICT XVI, HOLY UNIVERSAL PONTIFF AND POPE OF ROME

Let us contemplate at this few reflection been given on this Video clip, at the same time it can be disseminated Information on our Latin Rite Roman Catholics regarding their other brethren on the Eastern side of the Catholic Church. As Blessed Pope John Paul II always stresses: "That all maybe ONE (Ut UNUM Sint).


The Prayer Rule of St. Pachomius the Great

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Through the prayers of our holy Fathers, O Lord Jesus Christ our God, have mercy on us. 

Amen.  Glory to Thee, our God, glory to Thee.

O Heavenly King, Comforter, Spirit of Truth, Who art everywhere present and fillest all things, Treasury of good things and Giver of life: Come and dwell in us, and cleanse us of all impurity, and save our souls, O Good One.

Holy God, Holy Mighty, Holy Immortal, have mercy on us. (Thrice)

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, both now and ever, and unto the unto the ages of ages. Amen.

O Most Holy Trinity, have mercy on us. O Lord, blot out our sins. O Master, pardon our iniquities. O Holy One, visit and heal our infirmities for Thy name's sake.

Lord have mercy. (Thrice)

Glory to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit, both now and ever, and unto the ages of ages. Amen.

Our Father, Who art in the Heavens, hallowed be Thy Name. Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.

O Lord, Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on us. Amen.  

Lord, Have mercy. (Twelve times)

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, both now and ever, and unto the unto the ages of ages. Amen.

O come, let us worship God our King.
O come, let us worship and fall down before Christ our King and God.
O come, let us worship and fall down before Christ Himself, our King and God. 

Psalm 50

Have mercy on me, O God, according to Thy great mercy; and according to the multitude of Thy compassions blot out my transgression. Wash me thoroughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin. For I know mine iniquity, and my sin is ever before me. Against Thee only have I sinned and done this evil before Thee, that Thou mightest be justified in Thy words, and prevail when Thou art judged. For behold, I was conceived in iniquities, and in sins did my mother bear me. For behold, Thou hast loved truth; the hidden and secret things of Thy wisdom hast Thou made manifest unto me. Thou shalt sprinkle me with hyssop, and I shall be made clean; Thou shalt wash me, and I shall be made whiter than snow. Thou shalt make me to hear joy and gladness; the bones that be humbled, they shall rejoice. Turn Thy face away from my sins, and blot out all mine iniquities. Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from Thy presence, and take not Thy Holy Spirit from me. Restore unto me the joy of Thy salvation, and with Thy governing Spirit establish me. I shall teach transgressors Thy ways, and the ungodly shall turn back unto Thee. Deliver me from blood-guiltiness, O God, Thou God of my salvation; my tongue shall rejoice in Thy righteousness. O Lord, Thou shalt open my lips, and my mouth shall declare Thy praise. For if Thou hadst desired sacrifice, I had given it; with whole-burnt offerings Thou shalt not be pleased. A sacrifice unto God is a broken spirit; a heart that is broken and humbled God will not despise. Do good, O Lord, in Thy good pleasure unto Zion, and let the walls of Jerusalem be builded. Then shalt Thou be pleased with a sacrifice of righteousness, with oblation and whole-burnt offerings. Then shall they offer bullocks upon Thine altar.

The Creed

I believe in one God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth and of all things visible and invisible. And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the Only-begotten, begotten of the Father before all ages; Light of Light, true God of true God; begotten, not made; of one essence with the Father, by Whom all things were made; Who for us men and for our salvation came down from the heavens, and was incarnate of the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary, and became man; And was crucified for us under Pontius Pilate, and suffered and was buried; And arose again on the third day according to the Scriptures; And ascended into the heavens, and sitteth at the right hand of the Father; And shall come again, with glory, to judge both the living and the dead; Whose kingdom shall have no end. And in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the Giver of life; Who proceedeth from the Father; Who with the Father and the Son together is worshipped and glorified; Who spake by the prophets. In One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church. I confess one baptism for the remission of sins. I look for the resurrection of the dead, And the life of the age to come. Amen.

The Jesus Prayer:

          O Lord, Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.  (100 Times)

The Dismissal

It is truly meet to bless thee, the Theotokos, ever blessed and most blameless, and Mother of our God. More honorable than the Cherubim, and beyond compare more glorious than the Seraphim, who without corruption gavest birth to God the Word, the very Theotokos, thee do we magnify.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, both now and ever, and unto the ages of ages.  Amen.
Lord, have mercy.  (Thrice)      
O Lord, Bless.

O Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, for the sake of the prayers of Thy most pure Mother, of our holy and God-bearing fathers, and all the saints, have mercy on us and save us, for Thou art good and the Lover of mankind.  Amen.

St. Pachomius is the founder of Cenobitic Monasticism in Egypt, and he is among the early Christian Ascetic and among the Desert fathers, and the first who attribute the Jesus Prayer and the use of the Prayer Rope. For more about his Hagiography, click here from the Orthowiki Site and this other link about him.



Monday, November 21, 2011


Troparion (Tone 4) 
Today is the preview of the good will of God,
Of the preaching of the salvation of mankind.
The Virgin appears in the temple of God,
In anticipation proclaiming Christ to all.
Let us rejoice and sing to her: Rejoice,
0 Divine Fulfillment of the Creator's dispensation.
Kontakion (Tone 4)
The most pure Temple of the Savior;
The precious Chamber and Virgin;
The sacred Treasure of the glory of God,
Is presented today to the house of the Lord.
She brings with her the grace of the Spirit,
Therefore, the angels of God praise her:
"Truly this woman is the abode of heaven."

Forefeast hymn

Troparion (Tone 4)
Today Anna bequeaths joy to all instead of sorrow by bringing forth her fruit, the only ever-Virgin.
In fulfillment of her vow,
Today with joy she brings to the temple of the Lord
the true temple and pure Mother of God the Word.
Kontakion (Tone 4)
Today the universe is filled with joy
At the glorious feast of the Mother of God, and cries out:
"She is the heavenly tabernacle."
"According to Tradition, the Virgin Mary was taken —presented—by her parents Joachim and Anna into the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem as a young girl, where she lived and served as a Temple virgin until her betrothal to St. Joseph.  One of the earliest sources of this tradition is the non-canonical Protoevangelion of James, also called the Infancy Gospel of James.
Mary was solemnly received by the temple community which was headed by the priest Zacharias, the father of John the Baptist. She was led to the holy place to become herself the "holy of holies" of God, the living sanctuary and temple of the Divine child who was to be born in her. The Church also sees this feast as a feast which marks the end of the physical temple in Jerusalem as the dwelling place of God.
On the eve of the feast, Vespers is served and contains Old Testament readings that are interpreted as symbols of the Mother of God, for she becomes the living temple of God. In each reading we hear, "for the glory of the Lord filled the temple of the Lord God Almighty." (Exodus40:1-5, 9-10, 16, 34-35; I Kings 7:51, 8:1, 3-4, 6-7, 9-11; and Ezekiel 43:27-44)
Sometimes Matins is served on the morning of the feast. The Gospel reading is from Luke 1:39-49, 56. It is read on all feasts of the Theotokos and includes the Theotokos' saying: "My soul magnifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has regarded the low estate of his handmaiden, for behold, henceforth all generations will call me blessed."
Divine Liturgy is served on the day on the feast. The epistle reading is from Hebrews 9:1-7, and speaks of the tabernacle of the old covenant. The gospel reading is taken from Luke 10:38-42 and 11:27-28 together; this reading is also read on all feasts of the Theotokos. In it, the Lord says, "blessed are those who hear the word of God and keep it!"  (Excerpt, from the Information given at the Orthowiki article about this Great Feast)
Please click just here in this link, and another one here, both coming from Orthodox source on this Solemn Occasion which is going to observed by our brethrens in the Eastern Rite, both Catholics and Orthodox alike today.


My pros on Eastern Catholicism

Friday, November 18, 2011

My Pros on Eastern Catholicism:

- they maintain their centuries-old Divine Worship
- they have their own theology -
as I observed in their testimonies and videos, the parishioners in each Eastern Catholic parishes are hospitable
- they focus on deepening their relationship with God through spiritual experience
- their Churches are decorated with extravagance, and it is like "heaven on earth"

That would be all.


Idou O Nimphios (Behold, the Bridegroom cometh in the middle of the night)

Enjoying this beautiful Chant of the Byzantine-Constantinopolitan Rite "Idou O Nimphios"  which reminds us of our Lord Jesus Christ, the bridesmaid that was take away from us.

Below is the Lyrics in both Greek and English Language. This is always chanted during Easter



Ιδού, ο νυμφίος έρχεται εν τω μέσω της νυκτός
και μακάριος ο δούλος ο ευρήσει γρηγορούνται,
ανάξιος δε πάλιν,ον ευρήσει ραθυμούντα

βλέπε ούν, ψυχή μου, μη τω ύπνω κατενεχθής
ίνα μη τω θανάτω παραδοθής, και της βασιλείας έξω κλεισθής
αλλά ανάνηψον κράζουσα
άγιος, άγιος, άγιος ει ο θεός ημών,
διά της θεοτόκου ελέησον ημάς.

Behold, the Bridegroom cometh in the middle of the night,
And blessed is that servant whom He shall find watching;
And again unworthy is he whom He shall find heedless.

Beware, therefore, O my soul, lest thou be overcome with Sleep,
Lest thou be given up to death, and be shut out from the Kingdom.

But rouse thyself and cry: Holy, Holy, Holy art Thou, O our God.
Through the Theotokos have mercy on us"


Blessed Pope John Paul II 10th Anniversary of Papal Visit in Ukraine, 2001

In celebration of the 10th year Anniversary of the Historic visit of His Holiness Blessed Pope John Paul II, here are very rare videos on this Occasion upon his Visit in year 2001, with his longing of healing on the division brought by the Great Schism. The first Video is the 10th anniversary commemoration video while the second video clip is about a Documentary of the Papal Visit in Ukraine of His Holiness Blessed Pope John Paul II, but it was narrated in Ukrainian so i had a hard time understanding it.Among  the most important Occasion that happen here is the Beatification of Blessed Nicholas Charnetsky and the 25 Martyrs of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church.

Below are some photos taken at this historic event:

 And you can click the links here for the full detail of this Historical Papal Visit, and his Homily he delivered on the Divine Liturgy in the Byzantine Rite on the Beatification of the UGCC Martyrs.



Saturday, November 12, 2011

Below is the Hagiography of his life and his Advocacy of Uniting all separated Eastern Churches to the fold of the Catholic Church, originally posted in the Facebook Fan Page of Eastern Rite Catholic Filipinos

Today is the feast day of St. Josaphat, the martyr of ecumenism.

Josaphat, an Eastern Rite bishop, is held up as a martyr to church unity because he died trying to bring part of the Orthodox Church into union with Rome. In 1054, a formal split called a schism took place between the Eastern Church centered in Constantinople
and the Western Church centered in Rome.

 Trouble between the two had
been brewing for centuries because of cultural, political, and
theological differences. In 1054 Cardinal Humbert was sent to Constantinople
to try and reconcile the latest flare up and wound up excommunicating
the patriarch. The immediate problems included an insistence on the
Byzantine rite, married clergy, and the disagreement on whether the Holy Spirit
proceeded from the Father and the Son. The split only grew worse from
there, centering mostly on whether to except the authority of the Pope
and Rome. More than five centuries later, in
what is now known as Byelorussia and the Ukraine but what was then part
of Poland-Lithuania, an Orthodox metropolitan of Kiev and five Orthodox bishops decided to commit the millions of Christians under their pastoral care to reunion with Rome.

Josaphat Kunsevich who was born in 1580 or 1584 was still a young boy when the Synod of Brest Litovsk took place in 1595-96, but he was witness to the results both positive and negative. Many of the millions of Christians did not agree with the bishops decision to return to communion with the Catholic
Church and both sides tried to resolve this disagreement unfortunately
not only with words but with violence. Martyrs died on both sides.

Josaphat was a voice of Christian peace in this dissent. After an apprenticeship to a merchant, Josaphat turned down a partnership in the business and a marriage to enter the monastery of the Holy Trinity at Vilna in 1604. As a teenager he had found encouragement in his vocation from two Jesuits and a rector who understood his heart. And in the monastery he found another soulmate in Joseph Benjamin Rutsky. Rutsky who had joined the Byzantine Rite under orders of Pope Clement VIII after converting from Calvinism
shared the young Josaphat's passion to work for reunion with Rome. The
two friends spent long hours making plans on how they could bring about
that communion and reform monastic life. The careers of the two friends parted physically when Josaphat was sent to found new houses in Rome and Rutsky was first made abbot at Vilna. Josaphat replaced Rutsky as abbot when Rutsky became metropolitan of Kiev.

immediately put into practice his early plans of reform. Because his
plans tended to reflect his own extremely austere ascetic tendencies,
he was not always met with joy. One community threatened to throw him
into the river until his general compassion and his convincing words
won them over to a few changes. Josaphat faced even more problems when he became first bishop
of Vitebsk and then Polotsk in 1617. The church there was literally and
figuratively in ruins with buildings falling apart, clergy marrying two
or three times, and monks and clergy everywhere not really interested
in pastoral care or model Christian living. Within three years, Josaphat
had rebuilt the church by holding synods, publishing a catechism to be
used all over, and enforcing rules of conduct for clergy. But his most
compelling argument was his own life which he spent preaching, instructing others in the faith, visiting the needy of the towns. But despite all his work and the respect he had, the Orthodox separatists found fertile ground with they set up their own bishops in the exact same area. Meletius Smotritsky was named his rival archbishop of Polotsk. It must have hurt Josaphat to see the people he had served so faithfully break into riots when the King of Poland declared Josaphat the only legitimate archbishop. His former diocese of Vitebsk turned completely against the reunion and him along with two other cities. But
what probably hurt even more was that the very Catholics he looked to
for communion opposed him as well. Catholics who should have been his
support didn't like the way he insisted on the use of the Byzantine
rite instead of the Roman rite. Out of fear or ignorance, Leo Sapiah,
chancellor of Lithuania, chose to believe stories that Josaphat was inciting the people to violence
and instead of coming to his aid, condemned him. Actually his only act
of force was when the separatists took over the church at Mogilev and
he asked the civil power to help him return it to his authority. In October 1623, Josaphat
decided to return to Vitebsk to try to calm the troubles himself. He
was completely aware of the danger but said, "If I am counted worthy of
martyrdom, then I am not afraid to die."

 The separatists saw their chance to get rid of Josaphat
and discredit him if they could only stir Josaphat's party to strike
the first blow. Then they would have an excuse to strike back. Their
threats were so public that Josaphat preached on the gospel verse John 16:2, "Indeed, an hour is coming when those who kill you will
think that by doing so they are offering worship to God." He told the
people, "You people want to kill me. You wait in ambush for me in the
streets, on the bridges, on the highways, in the marketplace,
everywhere. Here I am; I came to you as a shepherd. You know I would be
happy to give my life for you. I am ready to die for union of the Church under St. Peter and his successor the Pope." But aside from words, Josaphat
insisted that his party not react in anyway that did not show patience
and forbearance. When the separatists saw that they were not getting
the violent response they had hoped for they decided to wear Josaphat and the others down as they plotted more direct action. A priest named Elias went to the house where everyone was staying and shouted insults and threats to everyone he saw, focusing on calumniating Josaphat and the Church of Rome. Josaphat
knew of the plot against him and spent his day in prayer. In the
evening he had a long conversation with a beggar he had invited in off
the streets.

When Elias
was back the next morning of November 12, the servants were at their
wits' ends and begged Josaphat's permission to do something. Before he
went off to say his office he told them they could lock Elias away if he caused trouble again. When he returned to the house he found that the servants had done just that and Josaphat let Elias out of the room. But it was too late. The mistake had been made. Elias had not been hurt in anyway but as soon as the mob saw that Elias had been locked up they rejoiced in the excuse they had been waiting for. Bells were rung and mobs descended on the house. By the time they reached the house, Elias had been released but the mob didn't care; they wanted the blood they had been denied for so long. Josaphat came out in the courtyard to see the mob beating and trampling his friends and servants. He cried out, "My children
what are you doing with my servants? If you have anything against me,
here I am, but leave them alone!" With shouts of "Kill the papist" Josaphat
was hit with a stick, then an axe, and finally shot through the head.
His bloody body was dragged to the river and thrown in, along with the
body of a dog who had tried to protect him. The unsung heroes of this horrible terrorism were the Jewish people of Vitebsk. Some of the Jewish
people risked their own lives to rush into the courtyard and rescue

 Josaphat's friends and servants from the bloodthirsty mobs. Through
their courage, lives were saved. These same Jewish people were the only ones to publicly accuse the killers and mourn the death of Josaphat while the Catholics of the city hid in fear of their lives. As usual violence had the opposite affect from that intended. Regret and horror at how far the violence had gone and the loss of their archbishop swung public opinion over toward the Catholics and unity.

Eventually even Archbishop Meletius Smotritsky, Josaphat's rival, was reconciled with Rome. And in 1867 Josaphat became the first saint of the Eastern church to be formally canonized by Rome.

Prayer for St. Josaphat Kuntsevych, taken at the Eastern Catholic Blog The Holy Unia

"Oh Saint Josaphat, wonderful Saint and heroic martyr for the union of our Church with the Vicar of Christ, the Pope of Rome. Thou are glorious on account of thy zeal in the propagation of the true Catholic faith among our people. Thou art wonderful because of thy heroic martyrdom for the unity of faith of our people with the Holy See of Rome, the true center of orthodox Catholicism.

Thou art admirable on account of thy sublime virtues with which thou has adorned thy soul. We admire thy ardent love for Jesus and Mary and thy allegiance to the Vicar of Christ. Thou art a sublime example of all virtues for the people of whom thou wert born. Since thou art so powerful with God as thy miracles prove, I ask thee to obtain for me from Jesus and Mary a strong attachment to the Catholic faith and my beautiful Eastern Rite which I shall never betray nor abandon. Obtain also the grace of indefatigable zeal that I may labor for the reunion of my separated Eastern Brethren.

O glorious martyr of our Catholic Church, remember the nation of which thou wert a son, look at our people and pray to God for future reunion of all Ukrainians under one fold and one shepherd. May the day come soon in which all thy Brethren will assemble before thy holy relics in a free and independent Ukraine to give thanks to God for the union of all Ukrainians with the Holy See. Amin."

 Remains of St. Josaphat Kuntsevych in Rome


Slava Isusu Hristu!

I am Nico Lopez, your new contributor for the Eastern Rite Catholic Filipinos, and it is an honor for me to be the part of your team hehehe...

Pray for me that may the Spirit guide me as I write things about accepting our Eastern brothers into our hearts!

May God help me!


Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church established 3 Metropolitan Archeparchies in Ukraine

Friday, November 11, 2011

I was surprised as i read it, here in the Website of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, that in November 29, and December 13 and 22, the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Archdiocese of Lviv will be a Metropolia, and at the same two Eparchies will be Erected as new Metropolitan Archdioceses, namely the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Eparchies of Ivano-Frankivsk and of Ternopil-Zboriv. Here below is the cited Commentary of His Beatitude Sviatoslav Shevchuk, Major Archbishop of Kyiv Halych of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic:

"Today in Ukraine there is a single metropolitanate of Kyiv and Halych based in Kyiv. With such a structure, our metropolitanate reflects the state of church that we had at the time of Kyivan Rus’. There was one metropolitan, the de facto head of the national church, who had, respectively, authority over the bishops on his territory. For more than a thousand years our church has developed, particularly in Ukraine. Today this natural state of development of the church structure needs to be improved. Therefore, in order to provide better pastoral care for our faithful, according to the decision of the Synod of Bishops of the UGCC and with the blessing of the Apostolic See, we created three new metropolitanates,"

Here is the followed Reorganization of the Hierarchy of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church within Ukraine:

+ Major Archdiocese of Kyiv Halych
- Archeparchy of Kyiv
- Major Archiepiscopal Exarchate of Lutsk
- Major Archiepiscopal Exarchate of Donetsk-Kharkiv
- Major Archiepiscopal Exarchate of Odessa-Crimea
+ Metropolitan Archeparchy of Lviv
- Eparchy of Sambir-Drohobych
- Eparchy of Stryi
- Eparchy of Sokal-Zhovkva
+ Metropolitan Archeparchy of Ivano-Frankivsk
- Eparchy of Kolomyia Chernivtsi
+ Metropolitan Archeparchy of Ternopil-Zboriv
- Eparchy of Buchach

All there will be 7 Metropolitans besides the Archeparchies around the World: Namely the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Archeparchies of Warsaw-Przemysl in Poland; Winnipeg in Canada; and Philadelphia in the United States/ You can read more regarding this one by clicking the link below from the UGCC Site:

And to the Following Ukrainian Greek Catholic Hierarchs, May God give you peace with the Intercession of the Most Holy Virgin and Blessed Mother Theotokos, SLAVA ISUSU HRISTU

His Excellency Ihor Vozniak, Metropolitan Archeparch of Lviv

His Grace Vasyl Semeniuk, Metropolitan Archeparch of Ternopil-Zboriv, to be Elevated in December 22

His Excellency Volodymyr Viytyshyn, Metropolitan Archeparch of Ivano-Frankivsk, to be Elevated in December 13


AKATHIST Hymn to our Our venerable and God-bearing Father Symeon the Stylite

Monday, November 7, 2011

Apolytikion (First Tone):
Thou becamest a pillar of patience and didst emulate the Forefathers, O righteous one:
Job in his sufferings, Joseph in temptations, and the life of the bodiless while in the body,
O Symeon, our righteous Father, intercede with Christ God that our souls be saved.
Kontakion (Second Tone):
Thou soughtest the heights, though parted not from things below;
thy pillar became a chariot of fire for thee.
Thou becamest thereby a true companion of the angelic host;
and together with them, O Saint, thou ceaselessly prayest Christ God for us all.
St. Simon the Stylite is a early Christian Ascetic who has become on living in a Platform on the top of a Pillar in Syria and many of the Monks follow this style of Christian Monasticism during his time. His title "Stylite means Pillar in Greek Language.He die in 459 after 39 years of stay in the top of the Pillar
For more of his Life and his Way of Ascetic life, click here on his Hagiography