This calendar of saints is drawn from several denominations, sects, and traditions. Although it will no longer be updated daily, the index on the right will guide visitors to a saint celebrated on any day they choose. Additional saints will be added as they present themselves to Major.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

November 12 -- St. Josaphat Kuncevyc

Jozofat (alternate spelling) was a Ukrainian monk who managed to get his boss fired and then was appointed to replace him. Yet he made saint anyway, albeit after being struck in the head with a halberd, shot, and beaten with staves. In spite of all the bodily harm, his body was found incorrupt five years after he was buried -- a trait common among saints and Communist dictators.

Jozofat lived during the ascendancy of the Uniats, a faction of the Orthodox Church that sought unity with the Roman Catholic Church. While some Ukrainian clergy held strong reservations about unification, Jozofat was a fervent defender of the plan. Jozofat's boss, Samuel, was among those opposing the plan, so Jozofat ratted him out to the archibishop of Kiev, who fired Samuel and appointed Jozofat to replace him as bishop of Vitebsk. Things were looking good for the Uniats.

However, the anti-Uniat forces were organized for the Diet of Warsaw, at which they had a counter-bishop established for every Uniat bishop. These counter-bishops spread the word that Jozofat had "gone Latin" -- can you imagine anything worse to say about a priest than that? Jozofat worked for three years to quell the rumor, but the tide was against him. Eventually a mob, led by an Orthodox priest named Elias, broke into the bishop's residence and killed him.

So if you're plotting an office coup, remember: you live by the rumor, you die by the rumor, but martyrdom is often a shortcut to sainthood.

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