BLOOMFIELD, NJ — St. Valentine Church, located at 125 N. Spring St. in Bloomfield, invites community members to pray for the Ukrainian people before its relic of St. Josaphat, the patron saint of Ukraine, which is on display in the parish’s rectory chapel.
Those wishing to pray for peace can visit the relic from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Mondays through Fridays and between 11:45 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. on Saturdays. They are welcome to take photos of the relic, though touching is prohibited. Guests can also pray before relics of St. Teresa of Jesus and St. Andrew Bobola, which are in the same chapel.
St. Josaphat was born John Kuncevic circa 1580 in what is now Ukraine. During his life, the patron saint was successful in convincing Eastern Orthodox Christians to accept their Church’s union with the Roman Catholic Church, which caused him to make many enemies. St. Josaphat was killed in 1623 after an angry mob attacked him and threw his body into a river. But he continued making a difference even in death, with his martyrdom inspiring numerous dissidents — including his own murderers — to become Eastern Catholics.
Catholics traditionally pray to St. Josaphat for Christian unity, though many are now seeking his intercession for peace during the ongoing war in Ukraine.