St. Martyr Maximus Gorlicki (Sandowicz) was born in 1886 in Zdynia on Lemkowyna, in family of Greek Catholic psalmist Tymoteusz Sandowicz. After several years of studying in middle school in Nowy Sącz, he joined the Basilian monastery in Krechów. But disappointed with the level of spiritual life he left it, converted to Orthodoxy and became a novice in Pochayiv Lavra.
With a blessing of Metropolitan Anthony of Volhynia and the superior of the community, Maxim joined the Theological Seminary in Zhytomyr. After graduating, he got married and in 1911 took holy orders. He got assigned to a parish in Grab, where residents converted to Orthodoxy because of a conflict with a local Greek Catholic parson. In 1912, constantly persecuted by the Austrian authorities for the celebration of the Divine Liturgy, Maxim was arrested on a charge of spying for Russia. After a two-year stay in prison in Lviv and the famous lawsuit he was acquitted. However, he was sent into prison again. After the outbreak of war between Austria-Hungary and Russia, on 6.08.1914, the military district court without proving father Maxim's fault, sentenced him to be shot. They brought him outside, set against the wall and marked his heart with chalk. When the volley fired, holy words resounded on his lips: "Hail to the Holy Rus' and Orthodoxy."
In 1994, Maxim Sandowicz was canonized by The Polish Autocephalous Orthodox Church.
To this day he remains a symbol of martyrdom of Lemkos-Rusyns - persecuted by the regime of Austro-Hungarian Empire. A symbol of Ruthenians murdered for their land, suffering and dying in the Austrian camp Thalerhof. A symbol of affection and love for his nation, its traditions and faith, steadfastness and persistence in their beliefs even in the face of the worst persecution to the greatest sacrifice - their lives.
St. Maximus in large measure contributed to the mass Lemko-Rusyns return to the Faith of Fathers - the Holy Orthodoxy.