This church is a testimony that God is with our people, - the Head of the UGCC at the Cathedral of Saints Sergius and Bacchus in Rome

Tuesday, 16 November 2021, 23:19
Today it is the first time I can serve in this church which became a cathedral. Establishing an episcopal center here in Rome for our exarchate and our people is a sign that God is with us. The Father and Head of the UGCC His Beatitude Sviatoslav said in his homily during the Hierarchal Divine Liturgy on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of restoring the Cathedral of Saints Sergius and Bacchus in Rome.

In today’s Gospel from Luke His Beatitude Sviatoslav mentioned what it means to be a neighbor according to Jesus and told a story of the Good Samaritan.

According to St. Gregory of Nyssa, the closest neighbor for a person is the Lord, who approaches her in the most critical and painful moment.

“To love your neighbor as yourself means to stand by someone in need as well as you help yourself. And every time we show mercy we primarily feel that God loves us. When I give something to someone in the name of God, that person feels that God saves through a benefactor”, His Beatitude Sviatoslav assumes.

Andrey Sheptytsky used to say that everything what we take to eternal life with us is what we left to our neighbor. Thus, everything which is left to us is what drew us closer to people of our times.

The Head of the Church considers today’s Liturgy is a special occasion to thank God for fifty years since this church was consecrated by patriarch Josyf Slipyj and returned to the UGCC.

 “This church is a story of how God got united with our people. This church was the first and the only embassy of Kyiv Church at the Holy See”.

The second moment of convergence of God with our people through this church was a moment when patriarch Josyf, released from Siberian captivity, was forsaken by everyone, yet close with God, His Beatitude Sviatoslav mentions.

“He stepped into this church and managed to ransom and make it the first parochial church for Ukrainians in Italy. It was a moment when Ukrainians who found themselves here after the WWII felt that God did not leave them.

His Beatitude Sviatoslav called everyone to pay a special attention to all those who are forgotten and humiliated in this society, adding that during the quarantine we often felt the closest were those who kept checking up on us when we needed it the most.

“Mercy it is not only about a sacrifice. Mercy is about movement of our heart towards those who are around”, he assumes.

The UGCC Department for Information


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