Martyrs of Chełm and Podlasie

Saint priest – martyr Bazyli

Saint martyr Bazyli was born at the end of the 19th c. in Teratyn village in Chełm region. He came from a noble family, his father Aleksander Martysz had been a judge but then he decided to become a priest. Bazyli also attended the Seminary in Chełm. At the turn of centuries, when Bazyli was 26, he became a priest. He was soon afterwards sent to the mission to Alaska. His parish was located at the islands, Afognak and Kodiak, among others, and his work was demanding and difficult. Bazyli was also working in Pennsylvania and Canada, so he spent in total twelve years at the American continent. After returning to Europe, in 1912 he was sent to the parish in Sosnowiec (Silesia region). When the First World War broke out, he had to escape with his family and went to Moscow to live in St. Andronik Monastery. He also had to work unloading carriages so as to earn for living. Saint Bazyli returned to Sosnowiec after the war had ended. He was given another task, began to organize the Orthodox ministry in the Polish Army in order to take the Orthodox soldiers under spiritual protection. In 1921 the saint was appointed the Orthodox military chaplain and later he became the main chaplain of the Orthodoxy in the Polish Army. Bazyli was also ordained a protopriest (protopresbyter). He was a military chaplain for about fifteen years struggling with many difficulties and solving problems. Saint Bazyli cooperated closely with first metropolitans of Warsaw and All Poland, Jerzy (George) and Dionizy. He also co-worked on the process of granting autocephaly to the Orthodox Church in Poland. When Bazyli retired, he returned to Hrubieszów region and lived in Teratyn with his wife and daughters. He was living there during the Second World War. On Good Friday in 1945, the year of the war ending, his house was robbed. On that special for Christians day Bazyli sacrificed his life for the Orthodox faith. He was buried on the cemetery in Teratyn. In October, 1963 Bazyli’s remains were transported to Warsaw and buried on the cemetery at Wola district. At the beginning of the year 2003 the relics of Saint Bazyli were exhumed and put in St. John Climacus Church in Warsaw.