Saint of the Day – 14 October – Blessed Roman Lysko (1914–1949) aged 35 Priest and Martyr (Ukrainian: Роман Лиск) was a Ukrainian Greek Catholic. Born on 14 August 1914 at Horodok, Lviv District, Ukraine and died by being tortured and starved to death on 14 October 1949 in prison at Lviv, Ukraine. He died for the Faith under the Communist regime.
Blessed Roman was born on 14 August 1914 in Horodok, Lviv Oblast. He studied theology and graduated from the Lviv Theological Academy. On 28 August 1941 he was ordained a priest by Metropolitan Andrey Sheptytsky. He was Pastor of the Archeparchy of Lviv for Ukrainians.
He was assigned as the administrator for the parish in the village of Kotliw, Oliyiv county. In 1944 he was appointed to a parish in the village of Belzets, Zolochiv county. He was also a member of the underground Ukrainian youth organisation “Plast” in his 30’s and leader of the Plast group “Fox” (Lys).
Blessed Roman was active in working with youth, together with his wife (ordaining married priests is a common practice in the Eastern Churches).
On 9 September 1949, he was arrested by the secret Police, the NKVD (KGB). He was put into prison in Lviv. The people of Liviv reported to one another that after being tortured, the young Fr Roman sang Psalms at the top of his voice. It was then reported that they had immured him alive in the prison walls. His death is officially dated on 14 October 1949.
A plaque on that building on Lonsky Avenue reads that here, within the walls of this building, entombed alive, lies Father Roman Lysko, who gave up his life for his faith.
He was beatified by St Pope John Paul II on 27 June 2001.
Note: Immurement (from Latin im- “in” and murus “wall”, literally “walling in”) is a form of imprisonment, usually until death, in which a person is placed within an enclosed space with no exits. This includes instances where people have been enclosed in extremely tight confinement, such as within a coffin. When used as a means of execution, the prisoner is simply left to die from starvation or dehydration. This form of execution is distinct from being buried alive, in which the victim typically dies of asphyxiation. In Blessed Roman’s case, he was actually cemented alive into the prison walls.