“Ukrainians are a Christian nation which has always lived, lives and will live in unity with the successor of St. Peter” – His Beatitude Sviatoslav on the pilgrimage to Zarvanatsia Marian Shrine.

Wednesday, 27 July 2011, 11:45
On Sunday, 17 July 2011 Zarvanytsia welcomed pilgrims from all over Ukraine. The common prayer began with a Pontifical Divine Liturgy presided at by His Beatitude Sviastoslav (Shevchuk), the Head of the UGCC. Concelebrating along with the UGCC Primate was His Eminence Luis Martinez Sistach, Cardinal of Barcelona (Spain). The prayer was joined by a number of UGCC Bishops, numerous clergy and religious, as well as State representatives, ex-president of Ukraine Viktor Yushenko and the Mayor of Ternopil. There were also numerous guests from regional centers of Ukraine. “According to some estimates, the Virgin of Zarvanytsia has gathered more than one hundred thousand people from all over Ukraine for these two days” – said Bishop Vasyl (Semeniuk), Eparch of Ternopil-Zboriv.
On Sunday, 17 July 2011 Zarvanytsia welcomed pilgrims from all over Ukraine. The common prayer began with a Pontifical Divine Liturgy presided at by His Beatitude Sviastoslav (Shevchuk), the Head of the UGCC. Concelebrating along with the UGCC Primate was His Eminence Luis Martinez Sistach, Cardinal of Barcelona (Spain). The prayer was joined by a number of UGCC Bishops, numerous clergy and religious, as well as State representatives, ex-president of Ukraine Viktor Yushenko and the Mayor of Ternopil. There were also numerous guests from regional centers of Ukraine. “According to some estimates, the Virgin of Zarvanytsia has gathered more than one hundred thousand people from all over Ukraine for these two days” – said Bishop Vasyl (Semeniuk), Eparch of Ternopil-Zboriv. Commenting on the Sunday’s Gospel, His Beatitude Sviatoslav said in his homily that very often, especially recently, Ukraine has become similar to the Gadaryn country: “Quite often we can hear an appeal to hatred, aggression, confrontation and disunity. Attempts are made to oppose one Ukrainian against his brother, to create a confrontation of one piece of our land against another. It is said that there is no Ukrainian nation, but there are two ethnic groups, two nations. Those who speak this way are used by the one who divides, i.e. the devil”. His Beatitude stressed that here in Zarvanytsia a monument will be built expressly for Ukrainian immigrants. He called on all those present for a prayer “so that our holy Ukrainian land would gather together all her children dispersed all over the world”. The UGCC Primate also paid special attention to the Kyivan roots present here in Zarvanytsia: “It was on this place that a monk from Kyiv Pecherska Lavra experienced the presence of God, this great experience of the presence of God’s Son and his Most Holy Mother”. In the words of His Beatitude Sviatoslav, “on this pilgrimage we pray in a specific way for our people. We also give our thanks for the 10th anniversary of the Blessed John Paul II’s visit to Ukraine, who has prayed before the Zarvanytska icon in Kyiv on Askoldova Mohyla and witnessed that the Ukrainians are a Christian nation which has always lived, lives and will live in unity with the successor of St. Peter. This nation is a Marian nation and always feels Her special protection”. The UGCC Primate concluded his homily with the following prayer: “Let her, our Mother, intercede there where human power is powerless. Let God’s grace touch each of you and fill you with the experience of closeness to Christ and Heavenly Kingdom. Let the Most Holy Theotokos carry all our prayers to her Son, and thus open up for us His eternal, merciful and saving face”. At the end of the Liturgy, the Head of the UGCC expressed his gratitude to the clergy, religious, State representatives, medics, police, volunteers and youth from all over Ukraine.  After that the Head of Ternopil State Regional Administration, Valentyn Xoptian, conveyed the greetings to the Head of the UGCC and the Holy See representatives from the President of Ukraine Viktor Yanukovych.

UGCC Information Department

   
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