I believe that Eastern Catholics are called to witness to the unity of the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church by living out our authentic liturgical, theological, and ascetical practices while also being in communion with the Pope of Rome. Two years ago a priest named Vladimir Ghika, who also believed in this vision of Eastern Catholicism, was beatified.
Blessed Vladimir was born to a noble Orthodox Romanian family in Constantinople. He was baptized and chrismated shortly after his birth. After studying in France and Rome he became a Catholic in 1902. He desired to become a priest but the Holy Father at the time, Pius XII, encouraged him to dedicate himself to serving the Church as a laymen. Blessed Vladimir traveled around the world serving those in need and was given the nickname of “apostolic vagabond” by Pope Pius XII. In 1923 he was ordained a priest in France and served Roman and Greek Catholics.
He returned to his native Romania and served the Romanian Greek Catholic Church and the Latin Catholic Church in Romania. He was also very close to the Romanian Orthodox Church. The world was engulfed then in the chaos of the Second World War.
After the Communists came to power in Romania Blessed Vladimir was arrested for treason. He was put in prision and suffered torture at the hands of the godless Communists. He gave up his soul to the Lord in 1954. He was beatified in May 2013 and his feast day is May 16, the day of his death.
Holy Martyr Vladimir pray to God for us.
Lord, Jesus Christ, Eternal High Priest, you sent your apostles and disciples into the whole world to bring the good news of your love to all peoples. At the Last Supper, just before your supreme self-offering for the Salvation of the world, you prayed to your Heavenly Father that your church might become One.
Look with kindness upon the people of Romania from whose midst you chose Vladimir Ghika, noble by birth and noble by vocation. He was your witness throughout the world, confirming his faith in you through his martyrdom, with the zeal of an apostle. May his example of faith and love shine ever more brightly amongst us.
During his earthly life, he accomplished great deeds of charity through your power and brought East and West together in harmony. We pray for the grace that through the merits and the sanctity of his martyrdom, he may be recognized as a saint and that through his intercession, in the near future, all Christians may be united. We ask this for your greater glory, you who live and reign for ever and ever. Amen.