I had hoped on translating this yesterday but did not get to it, and due to a glitch in the calendar his name showed up again today so looks like it was Providential that I translate it.
Hieromartyr Basil was born in the village of Teratyn in the Kholm (Chelm) region in the 1860s-1870s. His father, Alexander, was a judge who later accepted priestly ordination. Basil, who had been raised in an atmosphere of piety, finished the Kholm Theological Seminary in 1897. [Interesting sidenote that he finished in the same class as St. Neophytus.]
Around the turn of the century, the 26 year old Basil dedicated his life to the service of Christ by accepting priestly ordination. Soon he was sent to far away Alaska for missionary work. The parishioners entrusted to him were spread out on different islands (including Afognak and Kodiak), and his ministry demanded much effort and self-denial. Later Fr. Basil was sent to various parishes within the quick-growing North American Eparchy (for instance, in 1907 he was appointed to St. Mary’s Church in Waturbury, Connecticut, [founded in 1906] where he remained until December). Altogether he served the Lord almost 12 years in the United States (mostly in Pennsylvania) and Canada.
Upon his return to Europe, Fr. Basil, in 1912, became the dean of the Orthodox parish in Sosnowiec (Silesia), Poland. Soon, however, began the difficult times of the First World War. Together with other refugees, Fr. Basil and his family left Sosnowiec and settled in Moscow in Spaso-Andronikov Monastery. During those tough times, he even worked in the unloading of train cars in order to provide for his family.
After the end of the war, Fr. Basil returned to Sosnowiec where he carried out his pastoral duties. But soon he began different podvig in Christ’s field-he set out to create an Orthodox chaplaincy in the Polish Army to provide for the Orthodox Christians therein serving.
In 1921 he became an Orthodox chaplain and was later the chief Orthodox priest in the Polish Army and he was raised to the high rank of protopresbyter. Although the chaplaincy put problems of a particular difficulty before him, Fr. Basil directed it for the following 15 years. He also worked closely with the first metropolitans of Warsaw and all Poland, George (Yaroshevskii) and Dionysius (Valedinskii), and took part in the preparation for the Polish Orthodox Church’s receiving of autocephaly.
After his well-deserved retirement, Fr. Basil, with his wife and daughter, returned to his native area of Grubeshov (Lublin region) and settled in Teratyn. This is where he spent the tragic years of World War Two and also met his eathly death.
Golgotha came for the Martyr Basil at the time when many already enjoyed peace. Great was the hatred for the aged Orthodox priest: on May 4, 1945, Holy Friday, his house was attacked. On that day of particular importance for every Christian, having endured great suffering, Fr. Basil took up the crown of martyrdom, giving over his life for the Holy Orthodox Faith.
Fr. Basil’s remains were buried in the cemetery in Teratyn, and in October 1963 they were transferred to Warsaw and bured in the Orthodox cemetery in Wola. At the beginning of 2003 the relics of Fr. Basil were uncovered and are now located in the Church of St. John of the Ladder in Warsaw. On March 20, 2003, Fr. Basil was added to the list of martyrs of Chelm and Podlasie by the Polish Orthodox Church. St. Basil is commemorated on the first Sunday of June on the Synaxis of the Martyrs of Kholm and Podlasie.
Troparion for the Synaxis of the Holy Martyrs of Kholm and Podlasie
Blessed are Thou O Christ our God, Who has glorified the martyrs of Kholm and Podlasie, who endured terrible persecution and torture for Thy sake, and through their suffering Thou didst affirm Holy Orthodoxy in our land. By their prayers, O Lord, establish oneness of mind and brotherly love in our hearts, granting peace to the world, confirmation to the Church, and remission of sins to all.
Kontakion for the Synaxis of the Holy Martyrs of Kholm and Podlasie
Bound in the union of God’s love and ornamented with the blood of martyrdom, O Holy Martyrs of Kholm and Podlasie, through your holy suffering you have destroyed the evil of human hatred and, therefore, have inherited eternal glory. Pray to God for us that he grant us rich and great mercy.