24-06-2019

Priceless find for UGCC: genealogy of Sheptytsky brothers recovered

An invaluable exhibit was found in the funds of the Vernadsky National Library: geneological tables of the Sheptytsky family, collected and ordered by Jan Kantii Sheptytsky, described by eyewitnesses in memoirs. It is planned to hand them over to the Museum of Sheptytsky, which is scheduled to open in Lviv in the parish of the Blessed Hieromartyr Klymentiy Sheptytsky, through the efforts of Fr Sevastyan Dmytrukh.

It had previously been believed that they were destroyed in 1939 by the Bolsheviks. These documents trace the line of the Sheptytsky family to 1284 – the time of the Galician-Volyn Kingdom. Confirmation of the affinity of Sheptytsky with the royal houses of Italy, Spain, Portugal and King Jan III Sobieski of Rzeczpospolita. A certificate of giving the count’s title to Sheptytsky in 1871 by Emperor Franz Josef I and the provision of a family coat of arms was also among the finds.

They plan to make an exposition out of the materials found.

Reference: Andrei Sheptytsky (29.07.1865 - 01.11.1944) led the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church in 1901. The metropolitan had several degrees: Doctor of Law, Doctor of Theology, Doctor of Philosophy. Metropolitan Sheptytsky, the first of the higher hierarchs of the Greek Catholic Church, began to use the folk language in communion with the faithful.

As Metropolitan, he twice visited Russia (1907, 1912) and Belarus. He contributed to the building of the Russian Greek Catholic Church. He created the Apostolic Vicariate for the faithful of the Greek Catholic Church in Bosnia. In 1907, he achieved the appointment of a bishop for the United States, and in 1912 – for Ukrainians in Canada.

During the inter-war period Metropolitan Sheptytsky continued to work on the development of the UGCC. On his initiative, the Lviv Greek Catholic Academy (1928) and the Theological Scientific Society were founded. During the Second World War, Sheptytsky raised the question of uniting all the Christians of Ukraine around the Kyiv Patriarchate in unity with the Roman throne.

The Metropolitan supported the activities of the scientific cultural and educational societies Prosvita, "Native school", "Village farmer". He founded the Ukrainian National Museum, providing scholarships to young Ukrainian artists to obtain artistic education at the best educational institutions in Europe.

Today the process of beatification of Metropolitan Andrey is ongoing. 

On July 16, 2015, Pope Francis accepted Cardinal Angelo Amato, S.D.B., the prefect of the Congregation for the Saints, in a private audience, during which he approved the decrees of this department concerning the recognition of the heroic virtues of candidates for glorification. The first on this list is the servant of God, Andrei Sheptytsky, the Lviv Metropolitan of the UGCC.

Confirmation of the heroic virtues is one of the stages of the process, after which a confirmation of the miracle received under the patronage of the candidate is required for beatification.

In 1947, a prominent Ukrainian church and public figure, Archimandrite of the UGCC, Klymentiy Sheptytsky, brother of the Metropolitan of the UGCC, Andrei Sheptytsky, was arrested by the NKVD, sentenced to imprisonment and detained at Vladimir prison, where he died on May 1, 1951.

In 2001, Pope John Paul II proclaimed Archimandrite Klymentiy Sheptytsky the blessed hieromartyr.

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