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St. Josaphat

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Saint of the Day

St. Josaphat

St. Josaphat

November 12

TODAY

Josaphat Kuntsevych was a Polish–Lithuanian monk and archbishop of the Ruthenian Catholic Church, who on 12 November 1623 was killed by an angry mob in Vitebsk. He is "the best-known victim" of anti-Catholic violence related to implementing the Union of Brest.

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Saint of the Day

St. Josaphat

St. Josaphat

November 12

TODAY

November 12 Saint of the Day

November 12 Saint of the Day

Podcast © Franciscan Media
Saint Josaphat dedicated his life to healing the split within the Ruthenian Church. While he made some headway, sadly the division extends to today. But his life and efforts were not in vain, for both influenced many Orthodox to be united with Rome.

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St. Josaphat

St. Josaphat was born in the Ukraine and served an apprenticeship to a merchant in Vilnius, Lithuania. In 1604, he became a monk at Vilna. This was nine years after the union of Brest that brought millions of Ruthenian Christians into communion with the Bishop of Rome. Josaphat was ordained a priest and became known as a preacher and supporter of this Church unity. In 1617, he was consecrated Bishop of Vitebsk. His efforts were focused on bringing order to his tumultuous diocese and preserving the newly achieved union. An opponent to this union murdered him in 1623. He was canonized in 1867. Written by Sarah Ciotti


Saint of the Day

St. Josaphat

St. Josaphat

November 12

TODAY

Saint of the Day

St. Josaphat

St. Josaphat

November 12

TODAY

He gave his life for the unity of the Church

From The Encyclical Letter “Ecclesiam Dei” by Pope Pius XI
In designing his Church God worked with such skill that in the fullness of time it would resemble a single great family embracing all men. It can be identified, as we know, by certain distinctive characteristics, notably its universality and unity. Christ the Lord passed on to his apostles the task he had received from the Father: I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth. Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations. He wanted the apostles as a body to be intimately bound together, first by the inner tie of the same faith and love which flows into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, and, second, by the external tie of authority exercised by one apostle over the others. For this he assigned the primacy to Peter, the source and visible basis of their unity for all time. So that the unity and agreement among them would endure, God wisely stamped them, one might say, with the mark of holiness and martyrdom. Both these distinctions fell to Josaphat, archbishop of Polock of the Slavonic rite of the Eastern Church. He is rightly looked upon as the great glory and strength of the Eastern Rite Slavs. Few have brought them greater honour or contributed more to their spiritual welfare than Josaphat, their pastor and apostle, especially when he gave his life as a martyr for the unity of the Church. He felt, in fact, that God had inspired him to restore world-wide unity to the Church and he realised that his greatest chance of success lay in preserving the Slavonic rite and Saint Basil’s rule of monastic life within the one universal Church. Concerned mainly with seeing his own people reunited to the See of Peter, he sought out every available argument which would foster and maintain Church unity. His best arguments were drawn from liturgical books, sanctioned by the Fathers of the Church, which were in common use among Eastern Christians, including the dissidents. Thus thoroughly prepared, he set out to restore the unity of the Church. A forceful man of fine sensibilities, he met with such success that his opponents dubbed him “the thief of souls.”

COLLECT

Stir up in your Church, we pray, O Lord, the Spirit that filled Saint Josaphat as he laid down his life for the sheep, so that through his intercession we, too, may be strengthened by the same Spirit and not be afraid to lay down our life for others. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

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