Отець Методій Костюк

* 1953  †︎ 2008

  • "At that time Father Herman Budzinskyy, I came to him, was already an old man, somewhere near 80, maybe more than 80. During the day he received the visitors, lying on the bed, because his legs were rotten. After Siberia he got trophic ulcers on his legs. It was difficult for him to walk and he had to spend a lot of time just in the supine position. So, he was lying on the bed, the door opened, and people came to him ... because he was very open person, very approchable... and everyone could come to him. So I only saw his openness. So even if the man from KGB, we can say, was in need of some spiritual help , he would have got it from Father Budzinskyy…"

  • "He, in his sermons, often spoke against the Soviets, against communism as a system. Even at that time, I remember his sermons already in the 1970s. And, you know, when it was extremely dangerous to speak at that time about that, and he said straight, despite who was present. Because his home was always open. Everyone could come to his house, who wanted, and those who did not want. And KGB people did so. He could call the Soviet system diabolical system ... Father Budzinskyy always said straight into the eyes of KGB, or other functionaries of the Soviet system, about their lies. And he was talking about the rights of our Church, and the injustice that was going through our church and our Ukrainian, particularly Galician people. He was not just talking abour that, he was saying it. He began that work for the freedom of Greek-Catholic Church. I already mentioned this, that he established the Committee for Freedom of the Greek Catholic Church (UGGC Rights Protection Committee). Maybe nowadays somebody does not pays attention to this Committee, and thinks that they have not done a lot, because they have been arrested very soon. Mr. Kobrin, in fact, he was a secretary of the Committee. He was sentenced to 10 years. But, nevertheless, there were first signs of way out from underground. It was a sign that in the person of Herman Budzinskyy and others people like him, the Church did not reconciled with that situation. They continue to hope without hope. They still did not believe that the communist system could be perpetual or everlasting. They kept believing that it was temporary, and that very soon their power would change."

  • "Father Budzinskyy told that during the German occupation he had to be so-called chaplain in the Soviet concentration camp in Lviv. It was a terrible camp ... Father Budzinskyy told that Sheptytskyy then negotiated with German authorities, that, nevertheless, spiritual service is needed for these soldiers and prisoners. And they gave this role to Father Budzinskyy. Before he confirmed with a signature that no information from there would leak. He said, "and I have not done it, I knew if I do that, they would forbid any spiritual services for those prisoners" ... But he told that these prisoners died from typhus, thirst, hunger. - "They all came to the Communion, all, who confessed, who has not confessed, because every crumb of food was for them happiness." He says: "I gave the Communion to everyone. Although I was aware that not everyone came there from religious motives. This was for them a crumb, under the consciousness of death it was a bit of food, a communion. "He says," I could not give the person that last thing, that he could take in life, this Holy Communion."

  • "He started writing on behalf of the Committee to newspapers. In particular, to those newspapers which wrote something against the Catholic Church. At that time there were a lot of publications against the Catholic Church. He wrote the references to the newspapers. Of course, he did not receive the answers, his letters were not published. And these his letters, in general, would have had disappeared without a trace, if not one situation. Specifically, Father Herman Budzinskyy through my friend, Myron Bendyka, got contacts ... So, actually, Myron Bendyk got in contact with Estonian believers, very unoticeable, especially with this one Voyli Ogarenko. That is Ukrainian surname. Maybe he was Ukrainian, but he did not speak Ukrainian or Russian. And that man found the opportunity with the help of other people to transfer his letters abroad through diplomatic mail. When Father Budzinskyy was writing to some newspaper or any Soviet institution there, then he had to pass the letter, the copy of the letter, and to send it first to Estonia, give it to Mr. Voyli Ogarenko, and only he followed up. I cannot say who got these letters after that, because it was unknown for us. We were not interested in such things, because at that time it was very dangerous to know that. And then few days later, the letters were published abroad in various sources. And when they got abroad, when some international meetings took place and so on, where there was a living material, the real material, with the help of which it was possible to operate, to blame the Soviet system in church persecution, particularly persecution of Greek Catholic Church ... "

  • "He told me that Kurt Lewin, son of Lviv Chief Rabbi, who was saved by Andrey Sheptytsky then in Studites monastery. It just happened to Budzinskyy that he adapted him to the then situation. So, he taught him how to live in a period of occupation. He told, Father Budzinskyy, that Kurt Lewin as the boy looked very Slavic. He had face features, appearance, he did not look like a Jew, and so it was very easy to walk in a street, to hide or to use him, because he did not look like a Jew... but the only thing that often exposed the Jews is the fact that they had a panic fear. They could not be noticed for a long time, walking out as ordinary people, but when he saw the Germans, Gestapo, he began to cry, started to shake, and so he could be exposed. They came and shot on the spot. And he says: "Not to allow this to happen, I took Kurt Lewin and began to take him with me around the city. I dressed him accordingly, and told him to go. He started to shake, I took his hand." Father Budzinskyy says: "Come down, be quiet, and calm down. It’s enough. Go straight. Look into the eyes of Gestapo. You will not hide forever. You must somehow continue to live. You do not know how long it will last. "And so he taught him, he took him to the funerals, parastas (funeral services), that the child was then able to walk freely in Lviv and nobody noticed that he was a Jew."

  • "But Father Budzinskoho got persecuted for those letters. His house was searched. His house started to shake; they took all sorts of religious things. Everything was taken. I remember, they took an icon of Virgin Mary, painted on wood ... So this was an ancient icon of Father Budzinskyy. I came to him, even several times, to his house, after those searches, inspections, when he was lying in bed with his ill legs, the door was opened again, everyone was welcomed to enter the house. That frightened brother, who was there, sobbing, shaking, complaining, because the old Father wanted peace, but there was no calm, no peace, because of the Father. And the people, and constant inspections in the house. Brother Teoksyt. Teoksyt, was his name. And father Budzinskyy calmly was telling how the inspections took place, what they told him, what they said, and what illogical conversation they had... So he perceived this very calmly ... And says, "They do not want to arrest me, because they know that I’ll die, today or tomorrow. “ He, indeed, was already old, and very, very sick. He could hardly rise on the bed, except for worshiping and praying. And so, even talking with people, he was in the supine position. He had so terribly maimed legs ... and Father Budzinskyy then told me one thing that they told him during the last inspections: "You, old man, soon you will die. The most important for us is to find a courier. «Then I thought ... Then I just realized what a dangerous mission I had. (Author - Father Metodiy Kostyuk carried the letters of Father Herman Budzinskyy to Estonia)."

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    село Карачинів Яворівський р-н. Львівська обл., 14.12.2007

    duration: 55:35
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“A man who truly believes, who has a firm ground under his feet – nothing can shake him off”

Отець Методій  Костюк
Отець Методій Костюк
photo: Archiv - Pamět národa

Mykola Kostyuk was born on December 20, 1953 in the village Sharpantsi, Sokal district, Lviv region. Shortly after his birth the family moved to the village Skomorokhy, Sokal district, where he spent his childhood. When the boy was 15, according to his mother advice, he went to study to Lviv medical school.In Lviv Mykola Kostyuk got to know closer the Greek Catholic underground. He often attended Roman Catholic Church. During his studies in Lviv he met with various representatives of the priesthood and laity of underground UGCC. In 1969 he decided to become a priest and immediately began to study theology secretly. In 1972 he was summoned to the KGB, but he refused to cooperate. In 1973 he stopped studying because of military service. After returning from the army, he continued to contact with the Greek-Catholic priests.On March 20, 1988 Mykola Kostyuk got consecrated by the Bishop Sofron Dmyterko. Immediately right after his ordination, Father Mykola was actively involved in the movement for defending the rights of UGCC.In 1989 he took part in the action on the Arbat (campaign for the legalization of the UGCC), and in early 1990s he began his real priestly ministry in the parish of the Assumption of Blessed Mary in Stryy. On July 27, 1994 Mykola decided to enter the Studite monastic community. After the initial monastic formation in Holy Assumption Monastery in Univ, on January 14, 1997, Father Mykola Kostyuk made his perpetual vows, taking the monastic name Metodiy.In early 1990s Hieromonk Metodiy began a work fervently on the restoration of monasteries, which at that time were in ruins. In 1998 he became a prior of newly created Khrestoproishodzhenskyy Studite Order in Pidkamin. He died on December 18, 2008.