Cult of Saints

Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church In addition to almost twenty saints of the Kievan Rus' period (shared with the Orthodox) Ukrainian Catholics venerate St Josaphat Kunt-sevych, Archbishop of Polotsk (12 November), martyred in 1621 by opponents of the Union, and canonized in 1867. His status remains a bone of contention between Catholics and Orthodox. In 2001, John Paul II finally beatified 27 victims of Soviet and Nazi oppression as well as the first superior of the Sisters Servants of Mary Immaculate, Josaphata Hordyshevska (d. 1919). Oddly enough, the Church has no post-patristic Latin saints in its calendar, though in 1891 Roman authorities attempted to introduce 40 of them (who had little relation to the Eastern Church).

Syro-Malabar Church In addition to the pronounced cult of Saint Thomas, shared by other Indian Christians, Syro-Malabars venerate Blessed Chavara and Blessed Alphonsa, beatified in 1986, during John Paul II's visit to Kerala. Of all the Eastern Catholic Churches, the Syro-Malabars have the greatest devotion to various Latins saints.

Maronite Catholic Church In addition to Saint Maron (9 February) commemorated by other Eastern Churches, the saints particular to the Maronites are John-Maron (2 March); Sharbel (23 July), a nineteenth-century hermit canonized in 19 77 whose body remained incorrupt for many decades; Saint Rebecca (Rafqa) (23 March), a nun who died in 1914 and was canonized in 2001, and Nematallah Hardini, a nineteenth-century monk canonized in 2004. Maronites who have been beatified include the Mass-abki brothers (10 July), three laymen - two of them with families - who were martyred in Damascus in 1860, and proclaimed blessed in 1926. At least ten Latin saints, from Thomas Aquinas to Vincent de Paul, are found in their calendar.

Melkite Greek Catholic Church The Melkites have no unique saints. Beyond the Byzantine calendar, French influence around 1900 generated a strong devotion to Therese of Lisieux. Saint Rita is also popular. These two stand out as western additions. After Vatican II, Gregory Palamas was restored to their calendar. In the West, Melkites have included Russian and Ukrainian saints in some of their service books.

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