Pilgrimage of UGCC communities in Italy to grave of apostle Paul held

Saturday, 29 December 2012, 13:42
On December 26, communities of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church from all over Italy held a pilgrimage to the grave of the holy Apostle Paul in Rome. The hierarchical Liturgy in the Basilica of St. Paul was led by the Apostolic Visitator for Ukrainian Greek Catholics in Italy and Spain, Archbishop Dionisii (Liakhovych).

"St. Paul came to Rome as a prisoner, and Ukrainians also had to come to this holy city from their homeland due to unfavorable social and political circumstances. They work here mostly as house workers, nurses but at the same time, they are carriers and witnesses of the faith after the hard trial of many years of atheism in the Soviet Union. Today, they have to emigrate but as they do, they carry the living and authentic affiliation to their native community. In this sense, they can make their own contribution in the pastoral care and evangelization of Italy which received them. We thank the Italian people and Italian Bishops Conference for the brotherly reception,” noted Bishop Dionisii in the beginning of his sermon.

The service was conducted in concelebration with more than 30 clergymen, who are mostly members of monastic communities, students at the pontifical universities, priests of Ukrainian communities from Italy. Ambassador of Ukraine to the Vatican Tetiana Izhevska also attended the service. The event was attended by over 2,000 people.

In the end of the liturgy, the participants were addressed by the National Coordinator of pastoral care for Ukrainians in Italy, Fr. Marko Yaroslav Semegen who thanked the pilgrims for their active participation.

After the service, numerous Ukrainian pilgrims gathered in the yard of the basilica where а nativity play was performed by the Ukrainian Folk Theatre Berehynia from Rome and Ukrainian church choirs sang many carols.

UGCC's Press-office in Italy
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