UGCC Head stressed the importance of self-identification during his meeting with Ukrainian youth in Poland

Monday, 16 September 2013, 12:48
In Biały Bór in Poland, the Head and Father of the Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Church, His Beatitude Sviatoslav met with Ukrainian youth. The meeting took place as part of the pastoral visit of UGCC Head to Wroclaw-Gdansk Eparchy on the occasion of the eparchy’s celebration of the 1025th anniversary of the Baptism of Rus-Ukraine and the 55th anniversary of pilgrimages to Biały Bór.
In addressing youth, His Beatitude Sviatoslav emphasized the importance of faith in the self-identification of people.  “During our evening prayer,” said he, “there was a moment when in the church everything changed:  there was darkness and then the light shone… This is the most important part of the Vechirnia [Evening Prayers] – the lighting of candles in the church when the sun is setting and evening begins.”  In this the Church Head sees a deep symbolism.  “The real light for every person is Jesus Christ,” he emphasized.  “When the light of faith gets lit, the person totally changes.”  His Beatitude reminded all that this year “has been announced as the Year of Faith, the year of light, which offers a young person the possibility of not getting lost in the darkness of the world,”

“This year we mark the 1025th anniversary of the Baptism of Rus-Ukraine and 55 years of time since here to Biały Bór, faithful started coming. This celebration we would like to dedicate to the goal that this light of the Church never gets lost.

“On this earth, we can often find everything or lose everything,” he said.  “Many people lose the sense of their own life and do not know who they are: do not know if they are Ukrainians or Poles or someone else…  In the contemporary, quickly changing, world we never have time – neither for ourselves nor for our neighbor nor for God.  In order for a person to find themselves, one has to find the answer to the question “who am I?”   According to His Beatitude Sviatoslav, only a believing person can get to know and touch one’s roots.  “It is faith that is above time,” he said. “Fifty years ago people started coming here.  What seemed to attract them? Someone wanted to pull them out of their native land, to take everything which they owned, so that they would forget who they are.  But can you take away from people their faith in God?  Those people who believed in God did not lose their memory of their parents and they remember whose children they are.”

“Thanks to the fact that your parents, your ancestors had the roots of faith, you are here today,” the Head of the Church addressed the young Ukrainians, “you are here as people, as Christians, as Ukrainians.”

“Through the light of the faith that was lit by Prince Volodymyr on the banks of the Dnipro River and which our people brought to the banks of the Baltic Sea, you will be able to light your future and then it undoubtedly will be bright,” emphasized His Beatitude Sviatoslav, “The light of the future does not come from what we possess, but from who we are.”

UGCC Department of Information






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