“10 years ago we could see with our own eyes John Paul II, the Peter of our days, and hear his word” – His Beatitude Sviatoslav in Sokal (Lviv region)

Friday, 22 July 2011, 17:16
On July 12, on the Cathedral feast of the Apostles Sts. Peter and Paul, the Eparchy of Sokal-Zhovkiv solemnly celebrated the 10th anniversary of John Paul II’s visit to Ukraine as well as proclaiming him as a Blessed of the Catholic Church. These celebrations were combined with his first official visit to the Eparchy, by His Beatitude Sviatoslav, the Head of the UGCC. Together with the Eparchy’s Bishop, Most Rev. Mykhail (Koltun), the UGCC Primate presided at a thanksgiving Liturgy, - reports the press office of the Eparchy of Sokal-Zhovkiv.
On July 12, on the Cathedral feast of the Apostles Sts. Peter and Paul, the Eparchy of Sokal-Zhovkiv solemnly celebrated the 10th anniversary of John Paul II’s visit to Ukraine as well as proclaiming him as a Blessed of the Catholic Church. These celebrations were combined with his first official visit to the Eparchy, by His Beatitude Sviatoslav, the Head of the UGCC. Together with the Eparchy’s Bishop, Most Rev. Mykhail (Koltun), the UGCC Primate presided at a thanksgiving Liturgy, - reports the press office of the Eparchy of Sokal-Zhovkiv. During his homily, His Beatitude Sviatoslav noted: “Today I would like to celebrate with you the 10th anniversary of the Blessed John Paul II’s visit to Ukraine. This was when, with our own eyes, we could see John Paul II, the Peter of our days, and hear his word…Ten years ago the Holy Father granted us the Blessed Martyrs, who, similarly to St. Josaphat, sealed with their blood the unity of the Ukrainian Church with the Apostolic See”. Comparing the Apostle Peter, an ordinary fisherman without a special social status or education, with the Apostle Paul, the greatest of the disciples of that time, His Beatitude observed that “Christ combines in himself all these seeming contradictions”. Thanks to this unity in Christ, “both Peter and Paul shared the same faith, proclaimed one and the same Gospel and spread all over the world one and the same Church of Christ”. His Beatitude also said: “Thanks to the faith of Peter and teaching of Paul, in unity with the Holy Father we can withstand the opposing winds that blow against the Church of Christ”. Talking about the role of the Martyrs who gave their lives for the Church’s unity, the UGCC Primate noted: “The Martyrs’ blood calls upon every one of you: ‘Do not let yourself be deceived by false prophets who are trying to annihilate the reverence of our Church toward the Holy Father”. Thus the preacher called on everyone for unity: “Let us be united with the one who has the keys to the Heavenly Kingdom and through who the gates of hell will not prevail over us”. Bishop Mykhail (Koltun) expressed his gratitude to “the young Patriarch for his first visit” to the cathedral and pointed out the importance of “the apostolic succession” in the Church’s ministry. After that he presented His Beatitude Sviatoslav with a copy of the Sokal Miraculous Icon of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Addressing a large number of clergy present mostly among the people of God inside of the cathedral, His Beatitude noted that “the priests today can experience what it means to be crowded in the church”, but “it is a good sign that today the priests are standing among the laity, since before God we are all equal”. After that the UGCC Primate set as an example the figure of Rev. Markiyan Shashkevych who carried out his pastoral ministry on the territory of today’s Sokal-Zhovkva Eparchy. His motto was “to go amongst the people and talk to the people in their language”. For this reason Rev. Markiyan should be an example of every good priest. His Beatitude wished all the priests present at the Liturgy that every one of them “would become another Markiyan”. After the Divine Liturgy all of God’s people prayed for the intention of the Holy Father. Afterwards, representatives of regional and local government addressed the people. At the end of the celebration, His Beatitude Sviatoslav extended his blessing upon all the faithful.

  UGCC Information Department

 

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