St. Pope Clementine returned to Crimea

Tuesday, 24 July 2012, 20:45
“There is great significance in the event taking place in this small church. This is the return home of Pope Clementine to the Crimean soil, where he sacrificed his life for preaching Christ’s Gospel. We have awaited him for so long – and finally he has returned. These were the words (audio available) with which His Beatitude Sviatoslav, UGCC Head, turned to all gathered in the Church of the Holy Trinity in Yalta (see Vidradne, sv. Klymentia vul.1, rajon Prybereznnyi). This church was constructed a year ago thanks to its benefactors, the family of Oksana and Petro Tokach. A Celebratory Liturgy marked the exposition for public veneration of the relics of St. Clementine, brought to this church by His Beatitude Sviatoslav.
“There is great significance in the event taking place in this small church.  This is the return home of Pope Clementine to the Crimean soil, where he sacrificed his life for preaching Christ’s Gospel. We have awaited him for so long – and finally he has returned.  These were the words (audio available) with which His Beatitude Sviatoslav, UGCC Head, turned to all gathered in the Church of the Holy Trinity in Yalta (see Vidradne, sv. Klymentia vul.1, rajon Prybereznnyi). This church was constructed a year ago thanks to its benefactors, the family of Oksana and Petro Tokach.  A Celebratory Liturgy marked the exposition for public veneration of the relics of St. Clementine, brought to this church by His Beatitude Sviatoslav. The main celebration was the Divine Liturgy led by His Beatitude Sviatoslav with co-celebrants: Bishop Ihor (Vozniak), Archbishop and Metropolitan of Lviv; Bishop Volodymyr (Viytyshyn), Archbishop and Metropolitan of Ivano-Frankivsk; Bishop Mykola (Simkaylo), Kolomyia – Chernivtsi Eparch; Bishop Vasyl (Ivasiuk), Odesa-Crimea Exarch; numerous clergy, monastic orders, faithful from Sevastopol, Evpatoria, Alushta, Simferopol and Kerch who gathered on this day in Yalta.   The choir Yevshan from Lviv joined the celebration and beautifully sang the Liturgy. In his homily, his Beatitude Sviatoslav emphasized the unique role which St. Clementine played in the history of the establishment and development of the Kyivan Church. “For us, the inheritors of Kyivan Christianity, the figure of St. Clementine is especially significant – because he is a witness of Christ’s only indivisible Church of the first millennium: a Church, whose symbol became the successor of Apostle Peter in Rome.   He reminds all of us -- those who are the inheritors of Kyivan Christianity, independent of confessional adherence, that St. Volodymyr blessed Rus at a time when the Church was still indivisible.  And to this unity, to which he once invited the Corinthians, he today also beckons the Ukrainians.  Similarly, as there is one God in three Persons, so also there exists one , holy, ecumenical, apostolic Church, which fulfills the sermon of  Christ’s Gospel among different peoples amid various cultures. UGCC Head also drew a symbolic parallel between St. Clementine’s mission and that of UGCC. “The Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Church, said he, has a mission, which we recognize in the figure of St. Clementine. Above all, we should jointly bear witness to that only Christianity which was accepted by our forefathers in the Dnipro waters.  That Kyivan Church, about which we hear about and speak of so often, was the daughter of indivisible Christianity and it is due to this that to this day the Church so strongly venerates Pope Clementine of Rome. In the same way in which he pronounced the truth about one God in three Persons, this same mission is now taken on by our Church. UGCC Primate expressed the hope that this small church and the relics of St. Pope Clementine “will be a call for unity to all Christians, independent of confessional affiliation, because his cult is particularly treasured in Ukraine by both the Orthodox as well as us, the Greek-Catholics.” “May he be today that “Fortress of Peter” upon which we shall continue to build the unity of Christ’s Church in Ukraine,” emphasized UGCC Head. The Divine Liturgy ended with a celebratory Mnohaya Lita [God grant many years] during which His Beatitude Sviatoslav expressed special gratitude to Bishop Vasyl (Ivasiuk) and the clergy for  working under difficult conditions facing UGCC pastors in the Odesa-Crimea Exarchate. After the Liturgy, attendees had the opportunity to listen to a lecture on St. Clementine delivered by Arch Monk Yustyn Boyko, a Studite, as well as to touch the relics of the saint and to pray for his intercession.   Who was St. Clementine of Rome?: justyn-studyt.blogspot.com Photo Album:  ugcc.tv/ua/media/54621.html

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