Nykyta Budka

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Nykyta Budka
Никита Будка (1877 - 1949).jpg
Born June 7, 1877,Dobromirka, Austria-Hungary
Died September 28, 1949,Karaganda, USSR
Martyred by USSR
Means of martyrdom Gulag
Venerated in Catholic Church

June 27, 2001, Ukraine

by Pope John Paul II

Blessed Nykyta Budka (June 7, 1877, Dobromirka, Austria-Hungary – September 28, 1949, Karaganda, USSR) was a clergyman of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church who lived and worked in Austria-Hungary, Canada, Poland, and the Soviet Union. In Canada, he is noted as the first bishop of the Ukrainian Catholic Church in Canada. His first name is sometimes written as Nikita or Mykyta.

He was born in a village in Zbarazh, then part of Galicia, in Austria-Hungary in 1877. Budka was ordained as a priest in L'viv, the capital of Austrian Galicia, in 1905.

He was appointed the Bishop for Canada on July 15, 1912, and consecrated on October 14 that year. In Canada, he became known as a strident defender of the autonomy of the Ukrainian church from the Latin hierarchy, and a fierce opponent of missionary activities amongst Ukrainian Canadian by Russian Orthodox and Protestant churches, and of secularism. He was broadly supportive of Ukrainian nationalism.[1] However, he is most famous for his pastoral letter just before the outbreak of World War I, in which he urged Ukrainians in Canada with reservist obligations to return to their homeland to enlist and fight. Their homeland was Austria, which soon was at war with Canada. Although he later retracted his letter, the damage was already done.[2] This helped inflame an existing suspicion and scrutiny of the Ukrainian Canadian community by the wider public and the government that led to the internment of Ukrainians in Canada during the war.

In 1927, he returned to now Polish-controlled Galicia and became vicar general of the Metropolitan Curia in L'viv. At the end of World War II, Galicia was occupied by the Soviet Union, and Budka opposed the communist-mandated separation of the Ukrainian Catholic Church from Rome, and for this he was imprisoned on April 11, 1945, along with other bishops.[3] He died in the Gulag on September 28, 1949.

Budka was beatified as a martyr on June 27, 2001, by Pope John Paul II.


  1. ^ Martynowych, Orest T. (1999). Ukrainians in Canada: The Formative Period 1891–1924. Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies Press. p. 562. ISBN 9780920862766. 
  2. ^ Hryniuk, Stella (1988). "Pioneer Bishop, Pioneer Times: Nykyta Budka in Canada" (PDF). CCHA Historical Studies 55. pp. 21–41. 
  3. ^ "Uniates Appealed to World; "Soviet Trick" Charged". New York Times. 19 March 1946. Retrieved 17 January 2009.