Ukraine is blessed with a rich history of orthodox saints. Here are a few of the most notable. These include Olga, Josaphat Kuntsevych, Father Konrad, and Sister Laurentia Herasymiv. If you have ever wondered who these people were and what they did, you’re not alone.
The orthodox saint Olga of Kiev lived during the ninth century. Her life was marked by suffering, persecution, and death. She was canonized centuries after her death. Today, her feast day is July 11th. She is revered by both the Catholic and Orthodox churches.
The church that bears her name is located in Kiev’s Saint Sophia, where she is represented by the Olga Cross. This cross is on the altar’s right side. During the 13th century, the Lithuanians conquered Kiev and proclaimed themselves Catholic. The Catholics then took the Olga Cross from the Sophia cathedral, and took it to Lublin.
The story of Olga began when she became regent for her son Svyatoslav. She ruled until her son reached adulthood. During this period, Olga became ill, and her son Svyatoslav wanted to leave Kiev to live in Pereyaslav. However, Olga did not want Svyatoslav to leave the city and instead, she defended Kiev.
Father Konrad is a Ukrainian Orthodox martyr. He refused to sign a statement of conversion to Orthodoxy during World War II. He was arrested and imprisoned by the Soviet security services. During his imprisonment, he preached to the people of all faiths, rescuing Jews from destruction. On December 30, 1942, he was arrested by the Gestapo. During his time in the concentration camps, he showed courage and steadfastness. His death in a Nazi death camp near Kyiv is a sign of martyrdom.
Father Konrad was born in 1867 in the village of Odrekhiv, near Lviv. He graduated from the seminary in Lviv in 1893. Later, he stayed in Vienna to complete his studies and earned a doctorate degree. In 1902, Metropolitan Andrey Sheptytsky appointed Father Konrad as Leiter of the Seminary in Ternopil. He was ordained a bishop in 1904.
Sister Laurentia Herasymiv
Ukrainian Catholics can pray to Ukrainian orthodox saints for help in achieving their spiritual goals. There are many Ukrainian saints to choose from, including Michaelina Herasymiv, born in Lviv in 1869. She was known for her unusual piety, which led her to declare her chastity when she was only eighteen years old. She intended to join an order of contemplative nuns, but was instead urged to serve the poor by caring for their needs.
Sister Larentia was born in Rudnyky, in Lviv, Ukraine. She entered the convent of the Sisters of Saint Joseph, a religious congregation in Tsebliv, in 1931. She took her first vows in 1933 and lived in the Khyriv house with her fellow nun, Sister Olympia. Her mission was interrupted when she was arrested by agents of the NKVD and sentenced to life imprisonment in the Tomsk region. During her time in exile, Sister Larentia was ill with tuberculosis.
Sister Olympia Bida
Sister Olympia Bida, a Catholic religious sister and Martyr, was born in Lviv, Ukraine. She joined the Sisters of Saint Joseph and later became the superior of a convent. After the Second World War, she was attacked by Soviet soldiers and sent to a labor camp in Siberia. There, she died in 1952.
Olympia was accused of anti-Soviet activities and sentenced to life in exile in Russia. In the years following, she lived in subarctic conditions in the Tomsk region of Siberia. During her exile, she cared for the poor and led prayers for the prisoners.
Sister Olympia Bida was born on 23 March 1919 in Lviv. At the age of 18, she decided to enter the monastic life. At that time, the Basilians had only one congregation for women. They wanted to start an active women’s congregation. She was selected to lead this congregation. In the early years of her life, she took the name Josaphata, after a Ukrainian martyr.