Blessed Emilian Kovch honored for saving lives

2018/3/25 22:48:03

Aided over 600 Jews in hiding from Nazis.









From Aleteia, Mar 25, 2018


Priest and Martyr (1884-1944)


His life


+ Emilian was born near Kosiv, Ukraine. After completing his studies in Rome, he married and became the father of six children.


+ Ordained a priest for the Ukrainian Catholic Church in 1911, he served Ukrainian immigrants in Yugoslavia and as a chaplain for Ukrainian soldiers fighting against the Bolsheviks before becoming a parish priest in 1922.


+ The village of Peremyshliany, Ukraine, where Father Emilian served, was a predominantly Jewish community. He was known for his kindness and hospitality for anyone who came to him seeking aid.


+ When the Nazis invaded Ukraine and began to deport and execute Jews, Father Emilian tried to save as many as possible by forging baptismal certificates. The Nazis saw through his efforts and he was arrested in December 1942. Deported to the Majdanek concentration camp, he served among the prisoners, hearing confessions, and even celebrating Mass, before being executed in the gas chamber on March 25, 1944.


+ Honored as a martyr, he was beatified in 2001 with other Martyrs of Ukraine.


+ In 1999, the Jewish Council of Ukraine recognized him as a Righteous Ukrainian.



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