President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko in Zarvanytsia: As an Orthodox I feel very comfortable here

Monday, 16 July 2018, 08:52
President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko arrived at the National Pilgrimage to Zarvanytsia in order to thank God for the 1030th anniversary of the Baptism of Rus'-Ukraine and pray for peace in Ukraine together with one hundred thousand community of believers.

The Father and Head of the UGCC, His Beatitude Sviatoslav, greeting the President, said: "He is just as wet as you are (the rain was falling in Zarvanytsia- Ed.). And he came to pray for Ukraine together with his people. Congratulations to you as the Head of Our State, as the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, as to whom the Lord has placed on the shoulders the duty to protect and build our state."

In the words of Petro Poroshenko, the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church occupies a special place in Ukrainian history. "She has provided constant communication with the West European Christian community. For many centuries she has been taking care of Ukrainian flock. At the time when Ukraine was stateless and divided between its neighbors, the UGCC, especially during the reign of Metropolitan Andrey (Sheptytsky), created the prototype of the Ukrainian national organism on the basis of the church structure ... The priests, their sons, and their grandchildren, formed entire dynasties of the Ukrainian intelligentsia," said the Head of the State.

"You, Your Beatitude," continued Petro Poroshenko, "were right to say about the great Metropolitan Sheptytsky as an ethnarch of the Ukrainian people, as the father of the Ukrainian nation, whose spirit, thought, and prayer went far beyond the bounds of the historical period in which he served God and people.

The successor of Metropolitan Sheptytsky - Josyph Slipyj, who was born in these lands, united the Ukrainian diaspora and made it a powerful factor in Ukraine's path to  independence. They say that in the childhood, when he fell ill, his mother carried the child to Zarvanytsia in her arms, prayed for a long time ... And there happened a miracle of healing of the future Patriarch."

According to him, the national revival of the 1980s began with the revival of the UGCC. Following the Church, Ukraine also came out from the catacombs. The Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church throughout the period of its ministry, paying the blood of the holy martyrs, firmly defends the faith of Christ and Ukrainian statehood.

"I would like to pay tribute to Cardinal Lubomyr (Husar). We all remember his great moral authority as a teacher. My special thanks to all of you for your great volunteer work, for the help you provide to the Armed Forces of Ukraine," thanked the President.

Addressing the pilgrims, the Head of the State noted that tens of thousands of faithful of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church each year visit Zarvanytsia. They walk for a day, two, a week, sometimes in the rain, to unite here in a common prayer. "Zarvanytsia is one of the most famous holy places in Europe, which is open to the faithful of other Churches in the fraternal spirit of Christian unity. I was told that the Orthodox brothers from Ternopil region prayed here on the feast of John the Baptist. And on the feast of Dormition the Orthodox pilgrims from Ivano-Frankivsk region will arrive here. And I myself, an Orthodox Ukrainian, feel extremely comfortable here, among you. Why? Because we are praying for peace. We are praying for Ukraine. And I am sure and convinced that the Lord will hear our prayer," assured the Head of State.

In the end, President Poroshenko gave His Beatitude Sviatoslav the eucharistic set. "On this very solemn day, especially for me, because I am here for the first time  and I am impressed with our common prayer," added Mr. Poroshenko.

The Head of the UGCC thanked the President for a joint prayer and presented him with a copy of the miraculous icon of the Virgin Mary of Zarvanytsia. "She is a witness to the undivided Kyivan Church," said His Beatitude Sviatoslav.




Department of Information of the UGCC


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