Dr. George Isajiw, who has been practicing medicine in Lansdowne for more than 35 years, has found evidence of his Ukrainian grandfather’s martyrdom during World War II in the pockets of his grandmother’s dress, writes Kevin Jones for the Catholic News Agency.
Isajiw’s grandfather was a Ukrainian priest killed by the Soviet secret police who had orders to kill clergy during the war. Despite knowing the danger, Nicolas Konrad went to visit a sick parishioner with a parish cantor.
On their way back, the two men were detained and shot in the woods. Father Konrad, a married priest in the Eastern Catholic tradition, left behind his widow Antonina and their four children.
Both men were among the Greek-Catholic martyrs beatified by Pope John Paul II in 2000. After Father Konrad’s beatification, Isajiw’s sister recalled an unusual detail about her grandmother’s dress. Together, they examined the dress and found bullet holes behind the pockets.
“That’s his cassock,” said Isajiw. “The cassock he was wearing when he was killed.”
He suddenly realized that his grandmother had transformed the cassock into a dress, and covered the bullet holes with pockets.
“She made a dress out of it for herself, so when she put her hands in her pockets she could feel the bullet holes,” he said.
Read more about Father Konrad from the Catholic News Agency by clicking here.