Relic of Patron Saint of Ukraine on display in Bloomfield church’s rectory

A relic of the Patron Saint of Ukraine is on display at St. Valentine’s Church in Bloomfield, the Archdiocese of Newark says.

St. Valentine’s invites all to pray for the Ukrainian people before the relic of St. Josaphat, the patron saint of Ukraine, which is may be found in the parish’s rectory chapel.

Those wishing to pray for peace may visit the relic from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., Monday through Friday and between 11:45 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. on Saturdays. Visitors are welcome to take photos of the relic, though touching it is prohibited. Guests may also pray before relics of St. Teresa of Jesus and St. Andrew Bobola, which are in the same chapel.

St. Josaphat was born John Kuncevic around 1580 in what is now Ukraine, according to Franciscan Media. During his life, the saint was successful in convincing Eastern Orthodox Christians to accept their church’s union with the Roman Catholic Church, which caused him to make many enemies.

St. Josaphat was killed in 1623 after an angry mob attacked him and threw his body into a river. But he continued making a difference even in death, with his martyrdom inspiring numerous dissidents — including his own murderers, according to Milwaukee’s Basilica of St. Josephat — to become Eastern Catholics.

Catholics traditionally pray to St. Josaphat for Christian unity, according to Aleteia, though many are now seeking his intercession for peace in the ongoing Ukraine War.

Meanwhile, many archdiocesan parishes are initiating collections for charities that provide aid to Ukrainians, raising more than $20,000 to date.

Lastly, the Archdiocese of Newark joined Pope Francis’s Act of Consecration entrusting Ukraine and Russia to the Blessed Virgin Mary on March 25. On that date, Catholics across the world assembled in churches and prayed to Mary so she may end the violence plaguing the two nations.

For more information on St. Valentine Church, visit www.stvalentinechurch.com.

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