“The unwavering faith of the 20th century martyrs may inspire Europeans to take the route of a Christian life,” UGCC Head

Thursday, 14 November 2013, 15:44
“It is with great joy that I found out that this symposium is dedicated to the 390th anniversary of the passing into eternity of St. Josaphat, one of the greatest saints of the Eastern Catholic Churches. The example of St. Josaphat shows why each authentic testimony of faith also has an ecumenical character. Since one who lives in close contact with God cannot not suffer schisms in the Church,” wrote His Beatitude Sviatoslav (Shevchuk), Major Archbishop of Kyiv-Halych, UGCC Head to Cardinal Christoph Schoenborn, Archbishop of Vienna, the Ordinary for the faithful of the Byzantine Rite.

 UGCC Head wrote the text on the occasion of the Symposium, “What does it mean to be a Christian today?  From the experience of martyrdom in the Eastern Churches” held on November 9th in Vienna.  This greeting was read by Bishop Bohdan (Dziurakh), Secretary of UGCC Synod of Bishops, who represented our Church at this gathering.

The Church Primate stresses that St. Josaphat and thousands of witnesses of faith and martyrs of the 20th century offer today’s Christians a valuable lesson on how to preserve and bear witness to one’s faith in our times.  In his opinion, today in many aspects of human life, there rules confusion and uncertainty.  Due to this, we should learn from them how to utilize every opportunity to share with others the joy and hope which we receive from our relationship with the Resurrected Christ.

“If our Church, as well as many other Churches of Central and Eastern Europe were granted the grace of martyrdom, then this blessing should serve all of Europe.  Convinced that, specifically, the sacrificial commitment of the 20th century martyrs  to the highest Grace and their unwavering faith in God’s Providence may inspire the Christians of Europe to express courage, to stand up for truth and to  take the path of a Christian life in contemporary Europe,” he writes in his greeting.

In addition to this, UGCC Primate states that Christians, as the carriers of the Holy Spirit -- who in the Byzantine tradition is also known as the “Comforter” -- we are called  to preach and pass on to others a new hope and a new life.  It is the Holy Spirit who grants the strength to martyrs of all times and to us who live today to be true witnesses of Christ in our times.

Finally, His Beatitude Sviatoslav appealed to all to bear witness to the living Christ and to truth in today’s Europe.  “Look towards Europe’s future with hope and trust, listen to the voice of God and permit the Holy Spirit to act in you and through you!  Live sincerely in faith!”

Watch the direct on-line transmission on http://www.3ltv.com/live-stream.php.

 

UGCC Department of Information

 

 

 

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