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Roman Catholic beatifications (June 26, 2001): Short biographies
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Roman Catholic beatifications (June 26, 2001): Short biographies

His Holiness Pope John Paul II signed a decree regarding the heroic virtues of the Servant of God, Josyf Bilczewski, on December 18, 1997.

On 24 April, 2001 at the Vatican, in the presence of His Holiness John Paul II there was a proclamation of the decree regarding the reality of the miracle, which happened through the intercession of Servant of God Fr. Zigidmund Horazdowski , the founder of the Roman-Catholic Congregation of St. Joseph.


Josyf Bilczewski, Archbishop
of Lviv for the Latins, was born on April 26, 1860 in the village of Bilamowycz, the first son in the poor family of Francyszk and Anna (Faykisz). He finished four years of school in Kenti and later entered the high school in Wadowicze. In 1880 he passed his final exams with high honors. He entered the seminary in Krakow, where he was ordained to the priesthood in 1884. He was a zealous pastor and catechist. He continued his studies in Vienna, Paris and Rome. He was professor of dogmatic theology at Lviv University and from 1900 to 1901 he was the rector.

On January 20, 1901 Josyf Bilczewski was ordained to the episcopacy and became archbishop of Lviv for the Latins. He actively supported the building of new churches and chapels, encouraged charitable activities, helped in the development of education and, above all, spread devotion to the Most Holy Eucharist, the Blessed Virgin Mary, St. Joseph and Blessed Jakov Strepa. Pope Pius XI said that Josyf Bilczewski was "one of the greatest bishops of his time."

Faithful to his motto "God is Love!" he served with sacrificial love to the end. He died in Lviv on March 20, 1923. According to his request, he was buried among the poor in Yaniv Cemetery in Lviv. In 1925 the faithful established a memorial to their archbishop in the chapel of Blessed Jakov Strepa in Lviv's Roman Catholic cathedral.


The Servant of God Fr. Zigmund Horazdowski lived from 1845 to 1920. At the end of his second year of law studies he decided to enter the Roman Catholic seminary in Lviv. He finished his studies there and was ordained to the priesthood in 1871. From the time of his childhood he was afflicted with a lung ailment, however that did not prevent him from helping others. He organized "The Affordable Public Affordable" and "The House for Workers," both of which were places for the poor, hungry and homeless. He founded a dormitory for poor students of the local teacher's college. He also founded the house of the Child Jesus, which gave refuge to single mothers could stay with their children and to abandoned children. In 1884, he founded a convent for the Sisters of Mercy of St. Joseph, in order that there might be a community of sisters to assist in the aforementioned works of charity. Fr. Zigmund also wrote catechisms and many other books for parents, teachers and youth.

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