Rome (Friday, 07-17-2015, Gaudium Press) Pope Francis recognized the heroic virtues of Ukrainian Greek Catholic Archbishop Andrey Sheptytsky. According to a communique released by the Holy See Press Office, the Holy Father met this morning with Cardinal Angelo Amato, Prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints.
The Pope also recognized the heroic virtues of several religious/lay men and women from Italy, Spain, France & Mexico.
Metropolitan Andrey Sheptytsky is considered to be one of the most influential 20th century figures in the history of the Ukrainian Church.
Enthroned as Metropolitan of Lviv in 1901, Archbishop Sheptytsky was arrested shortly after the outbreak of World War I in 1914 by the Russians. After his imprisonment in several prisons in Russia and the Ukraine, the Archbishop was released in 1918.
The Ukrainian Greek Catholic prelate was also an ardent supporter of the Jewish community in Ukraine, going so far as to learn Hebrew to better communicate with them. He also was a vocal protestor against atrocities committed by the Nazis, evidenced in his pastoral letter, “Thou Shalt Not Kill.” He was also known to harbor thousands of Jews in his residence and in Greek Catholic monasteries.
Following his death in 1944, his cause for canonization was opened in 1958.