Holy New Martyr Ignatius (Bazyluk)

The holy New Martyr Ignatius (Bazyluk) was born in Poland sometime in 1860s, and received the name Jacob at his Baptism. Very little is known of his early life or where he was born, but in the period between the First and the Second World Wars he was a monk at St Onuphrios Monastery in Jabłeczna. At his tonsure he received the monastic name Ignatius.

Father Ignatius was one of the oldest monks in the monastery, and he fulfilled the obedience of ringing the bells for church services.

In September of 1939, the monastery buildings were occupied by German soldiers, and they confiscated the monastery’s food supplies and livestock. In spite of this, the monks did not close the monastery, but wrote a letter of protest to the commander of the occupying army. This no effect whatsoever upon the Germans.

On the night of August 9-10, 1942 the guards set fire to the monastery, destroying the inner section. The monks fled from the buildings and gathered in the courtyard. The Germans would not allow the fire to be put out, and they threatened to shoot the monks.

A few of the monks were able to escape, but St Ignatius ran to the bell tower and began ringing the bell to warn the residents of the area of the danger. He was attacked and beaten to death by some of the soldiers.

Residents of Jabłeczna arrived at the monastery to help, and they were also detained. The Germans forced the monks to dig graves, and then they shot everyone in the courtyard. There were no survivors. St Ignatius was buried in the monastery cemetery, but his holy relics were later transferred to the St Alexander Nevsky Cathedral.

Saint Ignatius is regarded as one of the martyrs of Chelm and Podlasie. He is commemorated on August 9, the date of his martyrdom, and on March 20, the date of his glorification by the Orthodox Church of Poland in 2003.