During the pilgrimage of Melitopol-Zaporizhzhia the pilgrims covered 200 km
On August 6, 2017, the eight-day pilgrim from Melitopol to Zaporizhzhia ended. From July 30 to 6 August representatives of the Roman Catholic community of Zaporizhzhia, the region, all Ukraine and guests of the country walked 200 km with prayers.
It was the twentieth pilgrimage to the Sanctuary of God the Father of Merciful in Zaporizhzhia. According to the Roman Catholic priest Fr. Andriy Popov, who had been in charge of pilgrimage for many years, this year's pilgrimage was held on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the Fatima revelations of the Virgin Mary.
Father Andriy Popov said: “The first and last words of the Virgin Mary she said 100 years ago to children in Fatima, were as follows: ‘Pray daily at the Rosary. Do not offend the Lord God anymore!” This call, which is also relevant today, was a slogan of pilgrims. The pilgrims not only introspected in the meaning of the Fatima revelations, but also responded to it, praying daily a full rosary for the peace in Ukraine, the unification of Christians, the establishment of a feast in honor of God the Father and in their own intentions.”
During last section of the path across Zaporizhzhia the pilgrims were led by three bishops of the Diocese of Kharkiv and Zaporizhia: Ordinary bishop Stanislav Shyrokoradyuk, auxillary Jan Sobilo and Emeritus Marian Buchek.
The pilgrimage ended with a solemn Liturgy in the Sanctuary of God the Father of the Merciful. Bishop Stanislav thanked the pilgrims for the prayers and sacrifices for the sake of which they set off for their pilgrimage.
The most memorable participants of the pilgrimage were evening conversations near the fire, when they shared their thoughts and emotions, talked with the priests. According to the participants of the pilgrimage, this prayer trip was not only a test but also an opportunity for each participant. During the pilgrimage there were daily Eucharists, pilgrims walked about 25-27 km a day, prayed with the prayer rope (all sections), read the Crown for Divine Mercy and attended conferences. They were sleeping in the tents, preparing food in the open air. The truck carried heavy stuff. For convenience every evening the pilgrims had the opportunity to take a shower – a car with a shower was accompanying the pilgrims. The locals responded differently to the pilgrims – some of them did not understand that it was a trip, some welcomed them and treated with fruit and watermelons.
All participants of the pilgrimage sincerely congratulated on its completion the parishioners of Zaporizhzhia who came to the solemn Liturgy, thanked for the past prayer path and resistance to the abnormally hot weather. It was reported by Helena Makovetska.