"- So you have you visited Roman Catholic church?
- Yes, we were allowed to visit. And the Roman Catholic priest buried our Sisters, and he came to the sick sisters, I went with him to the patients: patient was dying here, or there ... Here, on the second street, old man was sick, and a sick woman, but woman was almost dying – priest was needed. I asked him, he went, shrived her and her husband, and yet there came a neighbor who was also sick, and more people came. He shrived several of them, then went to the one that could not walk. And that woman passed away in a couple of days. He came and buried her. After she died, her husband could not get up out of the bed, he saw his wife’s death, and 10 days later he died, and was buried. So Roman Catholic priest was very kind to our people, and spoke Ukrainian, and also spoke Ukrainian in the church. He prayed "Our Father". Once we were singing in Polish, and the second time in Ukrainian, he was leading the sermon in Polish and Ukrainian, so that people could understand. He treated us very good, but Polish people were angry with him because he was speaking Ukrainian."
"- When the Russians came, did they close your monastery, your house? Did they take something, confiscated?
- They confiscated everythig. Troops occupied the place, where children was and the Seminary, and we were in the house of the Sisters
- Did they made the barracks out of that?
- Yes. And where the Sisters have been, they said, "If you would like - take the clothes to wash." Because we had a laundry, we had a special laundry – we boiled it in a cauldron. Well, and we took it and washed. What should we have done?
- Yes. We lived in our house and washed. One sister took it, and in the garden ... And there, where was the boarding school, dryer was made from that heated house, it dried there. When the weather was good, there were the ropes, there was beautiful garden and the ropes in the garden...
- And there were a lot of soldiers? 50, 100 persons or less?
- It was even more than that. There were up to 500 shirts. The bedlinen was given rarely.
- But it is not every day 100, so somehow it was gradually?
- Once a week. And they… to us ... there was no water, so they brought it from the well.
- And there were any complaints to your Mother General?
- No, any complaints. There were four sisters, the ones that washed, and the Minister General was old, she stayed mainly at the house with the second old Sister, cooked, stayed inside. So they said: : you can live quietly. And we prayed in the chapel, at that time the chapel belonged to us. "
"Once we were told that there were three sisters, in prison, and they were persecuted, because they prayed. And mentor that was on them, it was terrible – wanted them to stop, not let them pray. And they were told to convert to orthodoxy. - This will not happen! And they took them one in each room, kept them for a few days. And they did not surrender - no, they stand firm. Then he said this: "It'll be 60 degrees below zero, you will come out and freeze to death." One day it was 60 degrees below zero. Soldiers were in their coats, boots and hats. And the nuns were directed barefoot in their shirts to the square and all the prisoners were ordered to come out and to watch how the nuns would freeze to death. The prisoners came out to watch. And there were three dogs near them. They said that in half an hour they'll freeze to death ... They kneeled and prayed, all three prayed. Half an hour passed, and they did not freeze after kneeling, and prayed out loud, all three prayed. Then the dogs were set on them to devour. Dogs were running fast, came to the Sisters, lied down to the feet, hit the snow with tails and have not done anything bad, only fawned upon. All the people have seen that the dogs would not do anything evil, all the prisoners began to sing: "Praise to God." When all the prisoners were singing, they told the sisters: "Go back to your cell." They went and they had never had any trouble, and they prayed with people how much they wanted."
«KGB often came to us to check whether there was a priest. One day, on Sunday ... We have been already in the house after the breakfast and prayed - that we should do? I kneeled near my bed, prayed from a prayer book, one Sister was standing near her bed with a prayer book, was also praying, and the third sister was combing. Bang! – The doors were struck near the kitchen, as, kitchen was closed on the hook, the hook popped out; two in civilian clothes came in. They thought maybe a priest was there, and I put my prayer book under the pillow, hid it, sat on the bed near pillow, and that Sister was holding it in the hands, she should have hidden it. Nab - he pulled her prayer book from her hands and took her with them…
- Which sister, what was her name?
- Sister Yeroteya, and the surname...
- Did they introduce who they were and from?
- They said: "We thought we will find a priest, and then we would have a good breakfast." There was some milk in the cup, so we said, 'Maybe do you want to have breakfast? "-" No, we would have dined well, if we found the priest here with you."
"Yes, all the time we were listening to the Divine Liturgy from the Vatican, and in the evening there were church studies.
- The listening of the Divine Liturgy from the Vatican was considered as one of the Sundays’ or feast duties of the Greek Catholic believers?
- It was so natural, as if we were present on the Divine Liturgy. The water was blessed, the pasky (Easter bread) were blessed with the help of the radio, and the assumption of herbs – everything through the radio. For example, I put the water close to the radio, blessing took place, and here we had it blessed ... And even on the radio the herbs were blessed, and then I sprinkled here with holy water, so when Marusyn was blessing, he said that it protects from magic, from the bites, from all the diseases, it was very helpful. Especially the herbs, I have had it all".
“All the time from the childhood my desire was - to become a nun”
Mariya Bashynska was born on August 28, 1917 in the village Hutysko, Zhovkva district, Lviv region in the Christian family. She graduated from the seven-year school in her native village. She belonged to a religious organization “Mariyska Druzhyna” at the monastery of the Basilian Order in Krekhiv. When she was 18, she entered the convent of the Congregation of the Sisters Servants of Mary Immaculate in Krystynopil (now Chervonograd). She took first vows on April 17, 1938. In the monastery she received her monastic name Markiya. From 1938 to 1976 she was in the monastery in Berezhany. Sister Markiya took perpetual vows on August 28, 1944. In the underground times of Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Church she worked in a warehouse at the hospital and as a seamstress at sewing factory in Berezhany. In 1976 she moved to Ternopil. As the Greek Catholic nun she was persecuted by KGB. After Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church came out from underground in 1989, she was actively engaged in catechization of children in Ternopil and suburban villages.