Ukrainian Holy Synod establishes new feast days, officially adds St. Raphael of Brooklyn to liturgical calendar

Kiev, April 3, 2019

Photo: Photo: The Holy Synod of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church held its first session this year at the Kiev Caves Lavra today under the chairmanship of His Beatitude Metropolitan Onuphry of Kiev and All Ukraine, making several important decisions, including adding several feast days to the Church’s liturgical calendar, reports the Church’s website.

The hierarchs discussed the tumultuous situation in the life of the Ukrainian Church today and in world Orthodoxy thanks to the Patriarchate of Constantinople’s invasion of Ukrainian Church territory to create a schismatic so-called “autocephalous” church.

The Holy Synod decided to publish a statement on the situation in Ukrainian and world Orthodoxy that will soon be published on the UOC official website.

It was also decided to address the primates of the Local Orthodox Church.

Expressing deep concern over the continuous violent seizure of churches of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, which constitute a gross violation of Ukrainian legislation, the Holy Synod resolved to create a temporary commission to provide assistance to the communities that have been deprived of their sacred churches.

The Holy Synod also established the commemoration of the New Martyrs of Izyum on the third Saturday after Pascha, and added the celebration of the Synaxis of the Saints of the Kiev Theological Academy and the commemoration day of St. Raphael of Brooklyn to the liturgical calendar of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church.

Several saints were also approved for local veneration: Hieromartyr John (Mogilev), as a locally-venerated saint of the Kamensk Diocese; the blessed confessor Iulita (Pedan), as a locally-venerated saint of the Alexandria Diocese; and Sylvester (Malevansky), bishop of Kanev, the confessor Vasily (Bogdashevsky), the archbishop of Kanev, and the hieromartyr Archpriest Alexander (Glagolev) as locally-venerated saints of the Kiev Diocese included in the Synaxis of Kiev Academy saints.

Several other decisions were made concerning personnel changes, the approval of the abbesses of several monasteries, and the creation of a new center for the study of the heritage of the New Martyrs and Confessors of the 20th century at the Kiev Theological Academy.

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