From the Head of the Church: Askold’s Grave turns into pantheon of Ukrainian people

Tuesday, 24 May 2022, 14:30
His Beatitude Sviatoslav, the Father and Head of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church consecrated the tombstone of Prince Askold in the crypt of the Church of St. Nicholas on Askold's Grave in Kyiv on the parish feast day.

“A Viking, who 1140 years ago came to Kyiv as the first Christian”, the Primate said.

Prince Askold took the name Nicholas at his baptism. And this church is dedicated to the translation of the relics of St. Nicholas of Myra-Lycia from the city of Myra to the city of Bari in Italy.

“Perhaps this prince of Kyiv wanted to imitate St. Nicholas, who is an example of God's love for all of us. As a bishop in Myra, he was the bearer of the heavenly anointing with which every Christian is anointed. That is why the relics of Nicholas in the city of Bari still carve out this precious myrrh, which the Italians call ‘manna, coming from his relics and is the source of the grace of the Holy Spirit”, said the Head of the Church during his homily to the faithful.

His Beatitude Sviatoslav thanked the Lord for the thirty years of revival of the Greek Catholic community at Askold's Grave.

“We see that here the Lord built a special well of God's water. A special source of the grace of the Holy Spirit comes from this holy throne. How many different events have taken place in thirty different years”, the spiritual leader said.

By the marvelous Divine Providence, the Head of the Church assumes, precisely this church was the first cathedral church of the revived presence in its cradle of our Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church. He recalled how his predecessor, His Beatitude Lubomyr, had no other church where he could be enthroned as Patriarch of Kyiv-Halych, just as here at Askold's Grave.

“Therefore, it is a special sign of God, a sign of continuity, which reveals our roots, origins, this important moment of the transmission of living water of the Holy Spirit here in Kyiv, in the holy mountains of Kyiv”, the Primate pointed out.

The spiritual leader also stressed that we see how today Askold's Grave is becoming a pantheon of the Ukrainian people. Next to the tomb of Prince Askold, we have the tombs of our Heroes of Kruty, Heroes of the national liberation struggle of the twentieth century, as well as the newest Heroes against the russian invasion.

Askold's Grave, he says, becomes a symbol of the grace of the Holy Spirit that rests among us, reveals to us the special meaning of our Christian life, the special vocation of our Church today.

“I remember the moment," said His Beatitude Sviatoslav, “when I visited this community less than two months ago. At that time, Kyiv was experiencing the most difficult moments of the latest siege by the russian army. It was so nice to see that life and prayer did not cease here”.

Thus, today, the Head of the Church added, recalling our ancient 1140-year and recent 30-year history, we look to the future and standing here in Kyiv, on that ancient grave, among the graves of our Heroes of National Liberation Struggle, we pray for Ukraine's victory.

The UGCC Department for Information


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