Josaphat Kotsylovsky

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Josaphat Kotsylovsky
Eparch of Przemyśl
ChurchUkrainian Greek Catholic Church
Appointed29 January 1917
Term ended17 November 1947
PredecessorKonstantyn Czechowicz
SuccessorIvan Choma
Ordination9 October 1907 (Priest)
Consecration23 September 1917 (Bishop)
by Andrey Sheptytsky
Personal details
Born3 March 1876
Died17 November 1947
near Kiev, Ukrainian SSR, USSR
Beatified27 June 2001
by Pope John Paul II
Josaphat Kotsylovsky after arrest by NKVD 1946
Stryi. The relics of the blessed of Josaphat Kotsylovsky.

Josaphat Joseph Kotsylovsky (Ukrainian: Йосафат Йосиф Коциловський) was a Ukrainian Greek Catholic bishop and martyr.

Kotsylovsky was born 3 March 1876 in the village of Pakoszowka (then Austria-Hungary, now Poland), of the Lemko Region,[1] Sianok district,[2] Kotsylovsky was of Lemko origin, and Ukrainian national orientation.[3]

After graduating from the elementary folk school in Lesko he studied at the Sanok and Sambir gymnasia. From 1896 he studied at the law department of Lviv University. Soon he interrupted the studio and graduated from the school of artillery in Vienna, and of 1900 he was sent to serve in the Lviv garrison. After leaving the military service, and with the assistance of the Przemysl Bishop Kostyantyn Chekhovych, he began the philosophical and theological studies in Rome. He studied theology in Rome and graduated in 1907, later that year on 9 October he was ordained to the priesthood.[4] Soon after, he was made vice-rector and professor of theology at the Greek-Catholic seminary in Stanislaviv.[1]

On 2 October 1911 he entered the Order of Saint Basil the Great.[5] On 23 September 1917 Kotsylovsky was ordained bishop in Przemyśl (Poland) by Andrey Sheptytsky.[6] As bishop, he worked to improve the church's educational system and supported monastic orders. He also took steps to combat the rising Russophile movement by appointing Ukrainian priests and funding Ukrainian language journals.[3]

On 10 July 1941 he welcomed the Wehrmacht forces entering Przemyśl. On 4 July 1943 Kotsylovsky led a Mass in the name of the volunteers entering the 14th SS Division.[7][8]

At the end of World War II, Communist Poland assisted the Soviet Union with the liquidation of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church. In September 1945 the Polish security service arrested Kotsylovsky, then released him and arrested him again in 1946.[5] They then handed him over to the Soviet security service. He died on 17 November 1947 in a prison camp near Kyiv.[1][4]

He was beatified by Pope John Paul II on 27 June 2001.[1][9]

The relics of Josaphat Kotsylovsky are kept in the church of the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Stryi.

Testimony of Father Josaphat Kavatsiv[edit]

Josaphat Kavatsiv states a second hand account of Bishop Josaphat Kotsylovskyi martyrdom as following:

"I came to the Protection Monastery and the hegumena [prioress] told me the story. When Bishop Kotsylovskyi was arrested, their Orthodox bishop of Kyiv was arrested at the same time. When they brought a package to Chapaievka, the Orthodox bishop said: 'Uniate Bishop Josaphat Kotsylovskyi is confined in the same camp with me.' And he asked these nuns, if they could, to bring a package to Bishop Josaphat as well. So they brought packages- one for each of the bishops... Once when she brought a package, the bishop said that Kotsylovskyi had died. And he asked her, because the dead were all thrown into one hole, if they could borrow some money or get some money somewhere. He asked her 'to bury him in a separate grave, because this was a holy man.'"[2]


  1. ^ a b c d Biographies of twenty five Greek-Catholic Servants of God at the website of the Vatican
  2. ^ a b Church of the Martyrs: The New Saints of Ukraine. Turiĭ, Oleh., Lʹvivsʹka bohoslovsʹka akademii︠a︡. Instytut istoriï T︠S︡erkvy., Lʹvivsʹka bohoslovsʹka akademii︠a︡. Lviv, Ukraine: St. John's Monastery, Pub. Division Svichado. 2004. pp. \. ISBN 966-561-345-6. OCLC 55854194.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: others (link)
  3. ^ a b Paul R. Magocsi, Ivan Ivanovich Pop. Encyclopedia of Rusyn history and culture. University of Toronto Press, 2002. p 252
  4. ^ a b 'Beatification of the Servants of God on June 27, 2001 Archived November 29, 2014, at the Wayback Machine at the website of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church
  5. ^ a b Alan Butler, Paul Burns. Butler's lives of the saints. Continuum International Publishing Group, 2005. p78
  6. ^ "Bishop Bl. Josaphat Joseph Kocylovskyj (Kotsylovsky), O.S.B.M." David M. Cheney. Retrieved 23 January 2015.
  7. ^
  8. ^
  9. ^ Basilian Martyrs and Confessors. St. Nicholas Ukrainian Catholic Church, Winnipeg Canada.

External links[edit]