Ukrainian migrants in Western Europe completed a joint pilgrimage to Lourdes

Friday, 01 November 2013, 09:58
During October 25-27th, Ukrainian migrants from Italy, Spain, Portugal and France completed a joint pilgrimage to the world renowned place of the appearance of the Blessed Mother –to Lourdes in southern France. This year’s pilgrimage, in which pilgrims from France also participated, was dedicated to observing the 1025th anniversary of the Baptism of Rus-Ukraine. The pilgrimage was led by the Apostolic Visitator Bishop Dionisii (Liakhovych).

On October 25th, the Ukrainian pilgrims participated in the Divine Liturgy at the Ukrainian church, after which they prayed and said the rosary and formed a procession with candles.  On the following day, in the Church of St. Bernadette, the Ukrainian migrants attended a Pontifical Liturgy, headed by Bishop Dionisii  and concelebrated by some thirty priests who serve as pastors in Western Europe.

The bishop addressed the pilgrims and urged them to thank God for the gift of faith “that our ancestors received during their Baptism 1025 years ago.  With this pilgrimage we want to thank God for this gift and to implore the Blessed Mother to protect all Ukrainian people.”  During the Liturgy there was also the Act of Renewal of Baptism Vows, something which UGCC Head urged faithful to do in his Epistle on the Occasion of the Jubilee of the Baptism of Ukraine. On that day after lunch, the pilgrims prayed the Moleben [public prayer] to the Blessed Mother in the Ukrainian Church.  After the prayer, Bishop Dionisii preached on the intercession of the Blessed Mother.  In the evening, the pilgrims had the opportunity to participate in a joint international prayer of the rosary and a procession with candles.  Together with other languages, the prayers were also said in Ukrainian.

On the following day, a Pontifical Liturgy was celebrated in the Grotto of the Appearance of the Blessed Mother and after lunch an Akathist was said in the Church of St. Bernadette.  The pilgrimage ended with the placing of candles at the feet of the Blessed Mother as a gift from the Ukrainian pilgrims.

It is noteworthy that this is a third joint pilgrimage of Ukrainian migrants in Europe and has become a tradition of the spiritual life of Ukrainian faithful beyond the borders of Ukraine.


St. Sophia Association Press Service   



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