Delegation of Ukrainian soldiers prayed in Saint Sophia Cathedral in Rome

    On May 29th, the Ukrainian delegation of soldiers returning from the 55th Jubilee International Army Pilgrimage to Lourdes came to the Eternal City, where together with Bishop Mykhailo (Koltun), head of the Department of UGCC Patriarchal Curia for Issues of Pastoral Care for the Armed Forces of Ukraine, took part in the general audience with the Holy Father. Pope Francis, suddenly speaking Ukrainian greeted the soldier Christians in Ukrainian, “Slava Isusu Khrystu! [Praise be to Jesus Christ!].”
At the conclusion of the pilgrimage, the pilgrims visited Saint Sophia Cathedral in Rome, where they were met by Bishop Dionysyi (Lyakhovych), the Apostolic Visitator, who headed the Divine Liturgy. Concelebrants were: Bishop Mykhailo;
Prot. Ihor Havryliv, deacon of the Crimea deaconate; Rev. Lubomyr Yavorsky, vice-chair of the Department of UGCC Patriarchal Curia for Issues of Pastoral Care for Armed Forces; Rev. Ivan Stefurak, secretary of Apostolic Visitator; Rev. Petro Khmara; and Rev. Faustyn Kushnir,OF, a Roman-Catholic priest in Ukraine.
During the sermon, Bishop Dionysiy urged soldiers that in their difficult tasks, they always place themselves at God’s will, “In giving yourselves wholly to the Will of God, you, neither by your strength nor the strength of your weapons, but through the power of the Almighty God, will do your job. And the job, as Pope Frances whom you saw recently, likes to often note, lies in serving others. Your serving, in particular, should bring calmness and peace to the community. It is significant that in the Sermon on the Mount, Christ names those who make peace his sons; this he does because of their feats and the greatness of their award.”
During the Liturgy many soldiers participated in the Holy Sacraments of Reconciliation and Eucharist. At the end Bishop Dionysyi gave them all souvenir icons with the words of the prayer “Total Surrender of Oneself to God” and recommended it as a method of overcoming difficulties which arise when one tries to fulfill one’s job.
UGCC Italy Press Service


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