Last week, the UOC-MP glorified Saint Ioann of the Holy Mountain of Athos (Vyshensky).

This year marks the 1000th anniversary of the relationship between Kyivan Rus' and the Holy Mountain. A special icon has been written with the forty or so East Slavic Saints who lived as monastics on Aghion Oros and this was consecrated in Kyiv, brought there by a Ukrainian monk of St Panteleimon Monastery of Athos (he said half of the monks at the Monastery are Ukrainian who pray daily for their homeland).

St Ioann Vyshensky was a famous writer of the 17th century who lived on Mt Athos for forty years in a mountain cave (which is today preserved for visitors). The Ukrainian writer Ivan Franko wrote a poem about him (which we spent a lot of time studying in Ukrainian Saturday school . . .).

St Ioann Vyshensky wrote polemical works against the Union of Brest, among other works. He sometimes visited his homeland and was particularly close to the Manjava Skete.

He has always been a figure dear to all Ukrainians, Eastern Catholics included and I am particularly very happy that he has been glorified. Today, I will enshrine an icon of him in my icon corner smile.

Also, the UOC-MP will canonize a Metropolitan of Kyiv a saint - St Ioanniky (+1900). Metropolitans of Kyiv automatically become Archimandrites of the Kyivan Caves Lavra - the mother of all monastic communities throughout Ukraine, Belarus and Russia.

St Ioanniky reposed in the Lord as a member of the Holosiyivsky Skete of the Lavra.

May these new Saints intercede for us!

Alex