Outstanding figures of the Belz land: Fr. Osyp Leszczuk

Ukrainian writer, theologian, teacher, priest. He was born on January 6, 1894, in the village of Stai (now Staivka) in the Sokal region. He studied in Belz, graduated from the Ukrainian gymnasium in Przemysl.

Then he studied at the University of Vienna, and after the war at Lviv University in Kromerizh, graduated from the Przemyślany Theological Seminary.

Before that, he was a sergeant major. Osyp Leshchuk was also a catechist and professor at the State Gymnasium in Rava-Ruska. He was a parish priest in the villages of Rychky and Stai, head of the Prosvita branch in Rava-Ruska, an official guardian of the disadvantaged, and head of the Marian Youth and Women’s Association.

In 1923, during the first Holodomor in Ukraine, Osyp Leshchuk, as the head of the Prosvita branch, initiated the adoption of a protest against the destruction of the conscious Ukrainian people.

Osyp Leshchuk left a large literary and creative body of work, in which, in addition to theological works, a significant place is occupied by short prose works in the form of novels, some of which are reprinted today, such as “Hania “9 (a novel recently published in the magazine “Missionary”).

His life credo was two words: God and Fatherland. Fr Leshchuk’s life ended tragically: he was tortured on August 28, 1949, in a Stalinist prison near Poltava.

He passed away at the age of 56. A writer, theologian, polymath (he was educated in Vienna, Przemysl, and Lviv), patriot, Fr. Osyp Leshchuk was tortured primarily for his indomitable spirit and devotion to the Ukrainian Catholic Church. The Staiiv school is named after him. In 2011, Tikhon Leshchuk’s book “You are Peter the Rock” was published in memory of his father, Fr.

This edition was sent to many domestic and foreign libraries. The school museum contains materials about the father, exhibits a collection of works, portraits of Taras Shevchenko and Ivan Franko, presented to Fr.

Every year the museum receives many guests not only from Ukraine but also from abroad.

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