Bishop and Martyr (1893-1964)
+ Symeon was born in Starunya, Ukraine, and was raised in the Greek Catholic Church.
+ Although his seminary studies were interrupted during the First World War, Symeon successfully completed his formation was ordained to the priesthood in 1919.
+ For several years he taught moral theology in the seminary in Ivano-Frankivsk.
+ It is believed that Symeon was secretly ordained a bishop in 1945 by Blessed Gregory Khomyshyn, who anticipated his own arrest by the NKVD, predecessor of the KGB. (Blessed Gregory died in prison only months after ordaining Blessed Symeon.)
+ Because of the Soviet persecution of the Church, he was forced to minister clandestinely but he was nevertheless arrested in 1949 and was sentenced to hard labor in a lumber camp.
+ After his release in 1955, Bishop Symeon resumed his secret ministry.
+ Arrested again in 1962, he contracted tuberculosis in prison. After being allowed to return to his home village, he died on August 22, 1964.
+ Honored as a martyr, Blessed Symeon Lukach was beatified with other Ukrainian martyrs in 2001.
“The Saints and Beati, who gained the crown of justice in this land of Ukraine, and the Beati whom we celebrate in a particular way today, all intercede for you. May their example and protection help you to follow Christ and faithfully serve his Mystical Body, the Church.”—Pope Saint John Paul II at the beatification of the Martyrs of Ukraine
O God, who were pleased to give light to your Church by adorning blessed Symeon with the victory of martyrdom, graciously grant that, as he imitated the Lord’s Passion, so we may, by following in his footsteps, be worthy to attain eternal joys. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
(from The Roman Missal: Common of Martyrs)
Saint profiles prepared by Brother Silas Henderson, S.D.S.