Ukrainian immigrants in Italy held a joint pilgrimage on Mother’s Day

Tuesday, 28 May 2013, 09:20
On Sunday, May 26, Ukrainian immigrants in Italy held a Joint Pilgrimage to the renewed Saint Sophia Cathedral in Rome. This was done as a celebration of Mother’s Day, which the UGCC in Italy has organized for thirteen years. This year’s pilgrimage was special because it also included the display of the relics of the Ukrainian Blessed Josaphata Hordashevska.

On Sunday, May 26, Ukrainian immigrants in Italy held a Joint Pilgrimage to the renewed Saint Sophia Cathedral in Rome.  This was done as a celebration of Mother’s Day, which the UGCC in Italy has organized for thirteen years. This year’s pilgrimage was special because it also included the display of the relics of the Ukrainian Blessed Josaphata Hordashevska.

The pilgrimage began with a Pontifical Divine Liturgy headed by Bishop Dionysiy (Lyakhovych), Apostolic Visitator for Ukrainian Greek-Catholics in Italy and Spain.  Concelebrants were Bishop Iryney Bilyk, canonic of the Roman Papal Basilica of Maria Maggiore.

In turning to the pilgrims in his sermon Bishop Dionysiy noted that the heroism of Blessed Josaphata Hordashevska and her great desire to educate children and youth should become an example to be followed by every woman who is a mother:  Why did we choose Ukrainian Blessed Josaphata Hordashevska as the patron of our mothers in Italy this year?  Probably most of us, Ukrainian Christians, know that Blessed Josaphata with the assistance of Rev. Yeremiy Lomnytskyi and Rev. Kyrylo Seletskyi became the founder of the Congregation of the Sisters Servants of the Immaculate Virgin Mary.  This happened near Krystynopil, in Zhuzheli village where Rev. Lomnytskyi led missions.

Then several girls under the leadership of Josaphata Hordashevska expressed their desire to dedicate themselves to God and their people.  In such a way began the interesting and filled with trials history of the Sisters Servants, about which we can learn from books and letters.  This happened on August 28, 1892 when Blessed Josaphata decided to dedicate her life to the education of children and youth and to focus her activities on”raising the ethical level of villages in Halychyna.”  It is exactly this great desire – then as now—especially now when she is so close to Our Lord – to educate children and youth that has great sense for us, so that we can place our children, from whom we are separated by thousands of kilometers, under the protection of Blessed Josaphata.”

After the Liturgy, there was an Akaphist prayed to Blessed Josaphata and her relics that were displayed in the Cathedral were adored.  The celebration concluded with a concert of Ukrainian groups in Italy.  During the concert, prizes were also awarded to the winners of the charitable lottery

According to the Pilgrimage organizer, Rev. Marko Semehena, “this year’s celebration of Mother’s Day took on the form of a Pilgrimage to Saint Sophia Cathedral, in order to thank God for the sacrifices that Ukrainian mothers make for the sake of a better future for their children and all of Ukraine.”

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UGCC Italy Press Service

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