Blessed Theodore Romzha

Today we honor the memory of Blessed Theodore Romzha, a martyr for Christian faith.

Though the godless poured poison into your veins, your heart still beats with love for Christ, O bishop Theodore, martyred father, who now raise your prayers before the Throne of God.

Blessed Theodore Romzha

Today, the Church commemorates, “The holy priest-martyr Theodore Romzha. Born in Veliky Bychkiv in Carpatho-Russia in 1911, he came from a poor family and exhibited a vocation to the priesthood. Sent to Rome for studies, he was ordained in 1937 and sent to the country parish of Berzovo. In 1939, he was called to the seminary at Uzhhorod and taught there until 1944. In 1944, despite his youth, he was ordained bishop for the Mukachevo Eparchy. During the Soviet Army’s occupation of Carpatho-Russia, he was tireless in his care for his flock and in his defense of the rights of the Byzantine Catholic Church.

On October 27, 1947, he was severely wounded in a staged accident. He was taken to the hospital in Mukachevo, where he was subsequently poisoned, and died (1947).”

Romzha died just after midnight (Moscow time) on November 1st; a request made of or Congregation for Oriental Churches the feast day was changed to October 31.

Bishop Romzha was beatified as a martyr by Pope John Paul II on 27 June 2001.

Icon and text by the monks of Mt Tabor.

Blessed Theodore Romzha

theodore-romzhaIn the Byzantine Catholic Church keeps the feast of Blessed Theodore Romzha is celebrated today. He was a martyred bishop of Mukachevo in Transcarpathia who was killed by the Soviets in hatred for the faith.

“I love you, O Lord, my strength; You are my stronghold and my refuge!” (Psalm 18: 2-3)

These were the words which Bishop Theodore G. Romzha, the Apostolic Administrator of the Mukachevo Eparchy (1944-1947), chose as the motto for his episcopal ministry. At the age of 33, he faced the one of the most brutal and bloody persecutions of a Christian community in modern times, ultimately making the ultimate sacrifice for his flock and his faith.

Bishop Romzha was beatified by Pope John Paul II on June 27, 2001. His relics are enshrined in Holy Cross Cathedral in Uzhorod, Transcarpathia.

His feast was originally celebrated on November 1, and is thus listed in the Roman Martyrology at #19 on that day. During the days of the Soviet control of Ukraine, there was but one “time zone” in the U.S.S.R. The bishops of Ukraine petitioned Rome that the feast date be changed to Oct. 31, due to the fact that it was on that date that the martyr was actually murdered.

Here’s a hymn for Blessed Theodore