Blessing of the icon devoted to Euro-2012

Wednesday, 14 October 2009, 13:09
On October 8, 2009, in the city of Kolomyja there was an attempt to bring the Ukrainian Christian spirit and Ukrainian national flavor to the Euro-2012 soccer tournament. The specially painted icon of the Mother of God and the Child Jesus above a soccer field with the national symbols of the host countries of Euro-2012 — Ukraine and Poland — provoked a special interest from clergy, residents of Kolomyja, and representatives of the media.
On October 8, 2009, in the city of Kolomyja there was an attempt to bring the Ukrainian Christian spirit and Ukrainian national flavor to the Euro-2012 soccer tournament. The specially painted icon of the Mother of God and the Child Jesus above a soccer field with the national symbols of the host countries of Euro-2012 — Ukraine and Poland — provoked a special interest from clergy, residents of Kolomyja, and representatives of the media.  The mentioned measure also included a symbolic tying of knots which are supposed to join all the cities of Ukraine and reproduce a symbolic soccer stadium. Director Raguli Vasidze and the artist Vasyl’ Stefurak, who painted the icon, were the initiators of the project.    The special moment of the holiday was the performance of an ensemble from the village Prokurava, Kosiv region, which, dressed hutsul costume, showed those present the zealous Ukrainian character. The organizers of the project, with the encouragement of the city authority, invited the clergy of the churches of Kolomyja for a joint blessing of the newly painted icon. The bishop of the eparchy of Kolomyja and Chernivtsi of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church Mykolay (Simkaylo) and a priest of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church-Kyivan Patriarchate came to bless the icon.  During an interview with journalists Father Mykolay remarked that this icon carries a special character and shows the vision of the event of Euro-2012 through the prism of the Christian consciousness. "I notice that in this icon I do not find any heresy and that is why came to bless the project of two initiators. Certainly, for us it is something new which causes attention, but generally the plan of this project is good," said the bishop.  "People who will visit Ukraine during Euro-2012 must remember not only our stadiums but also Ukrainian culture, the spirituality of the nation. This is exactly the purpose of this project," explained Raguli Vasidze. "Probably, from this moment, we no longer have doubt that the soccer championship will take place in Ukraine. Recently, there was an influx of negative information: Euro-2012 will take off or will not take off in Ukraine, but there is little optimism, thus it is necessary to join together and to do as planned," said Vasyl Stefurak.

Fr. V. Pertsovych, press-secretary
The Eparchy of Kolomyja and Chernivtsi, UGCC

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