St. Josaphat worked for unity in Ukraine, able to convince others through his arguments and example.
As Ukraine and Russia continue to battle, St. Josaphat stands out as one of the more relevant saints in this ongoing conflict.
Living in Ukraine in the 16th century, St. Josaphat strove for unity among Christians, who were divided into two opposing sides. One group wanted to remain separated from Rome, while the other wanted to unite with the Successor of St. Peter.
In order to influence both sides, he appealed to them through arguments, but also through the holiness of his life. Pope Pius XI pointed out this method of appeal in his encyclical, Ecclesiam Dei.
[H]aving greatly at heart the reunion of his compatriots with the Chair of Peter, he sought to discover arguments which would help to promote and to make secure this union … Having thus prepared himself well, he began firmly but with kindness to plead the cause of the restoration of unity … an apostolate which could not but bring about extraordinary results due to the example which he gave of a life of inviolate chastity, poverty, and frugality joined with such openhandedness toward the poor.
Ever since St. Josaphat’s death, he has been invoked by many as a special patron of unity.
While there are many influences behind the current conflict in Ukraine, we can all join together in prayer, under the patronage of St. Josaphat, imploring God to grant peace and unity in the region.
St. Josaphat, pray for Ukraine and Russia!