Martyr Urged Veneration of Icon
In 1968, while the Soviet Union gripped his part of the world, a courageous Redemptorist Ukrainian bishop named Vasyl Velychkovsky, CSsR, wrote a book titled A History of the Miraculous Icon of Our Mother of Perpetual Help.
He wrote this book for the centennial of the presentation of the icon for public veneration in 1866. The KGB arrested him in 1969, accused him of anti-Soviet agitation and tortured him, in part for this book. Velychkovsky, who had spent his life ministering despite constant danger, died a martyr’s death at age seventy in 1973, overcome by the abuse he had undergone in prison. Pope John Paul II beatified Velychkovsky with other Ukrainian martyrs in 2001.—Br. Daniel Korn, CSsR
Mary is Proof again that God Does the Impossible
Many people are enthralled by the mystery of Mary the Virgin becoming the Mother of God and believe that, because her womb carried the creator of the universe, she had to be more than a peasant. Others think the greater mystery lies in the choice itself: Mary was chosen precisely because she was, in worldly ways, “nothing,” highlighting God’s choice of similar “nobodies” when some great task had to be accomplished.