Friday, November 12, 2010

A Saint Report: St. Josaphat.....by Sarah Reposted from 11/12/07



St. Josaphat was born, John Kunsevich, in Vladimir, Volhynia, Poland in 1580. He became a merchant but was unhappy. In 1604, he entered the monastery of Holy Trinity in Vilna and took the name Josaphat. He worked diligently for reunion of the Orthodox Church and the Church of Rome. In 1617, Josaphat became the bishop of Vitebsk, in Russia. Soon after, he was made bishop of Polotsk. He sought to reform the diocese that was split by political and religious tension. He was successful and by 1620 the diocese was largely Catholic. But the tension still persisted. The archbishop Meletius Smotritsky had an orthodox bishopric to rival the Catholic bishopric. Josaphat was recognized as the legitimate archbishop of Polotsk. Leo Sapiah, the chancler of Lithuania, made a false accusation of Josaphat being responsible for the state of unrest. Josaphat went to Vitebsk to address the situation. While he was preaching he was surrounded by a mob that killed him and threw him into the river. He was killed on November 12, 1623, and is honored as an apostle of reunion of Christian churches.

Fives years after his death, his body was found intact, but his clothes were rotted. In 1667, his body was exhumed and still found intact. His body was moved to Rome and buried there. He was named a saint in 1876.

This is a requirement for Sarah's religious studies.

1 comments:

A Simple Sinner said...

Sarah,

Thank you for the excellent article on Saint Josaphat. I am a Greek Catholic and appreciated seeing an article on this saint and martyr who was very important to our church.

I don't know if you know this, but I have a small clarification to make. The body of Saint Josaphat was not buried in Rome - it is underneath an altar behind glass and is incorrupt even to this day! His holy relics are one of only two saint's bodies that are incorrupt and can still be seen by Catholics who visit the Saint Peter's Basillica in Rome!

I have a photo of it on my blog's entry that I wrote up for his feast - see here:
November 12: Greek Catholic Martyr - Saint Josaphat Kunsevich Archbishop of Polotsk 1580-1623 People who aren't looking for it think it is just a sculpture, but that is his final resting place.

Thank you again for writing this up! It always makes me happy to see people talk about this great and holy saint!