Head of the UGCC entrusts Ukrainian military fleet to the protection of Our Lady of Perpetual Help

04.07.2021, 09:35
Head of the UGCC entrusts Ukrainian military fleet to the protection of Our Lady of Perpetual Help - фото 1
On the first Sunday of July, Ukraine celebrates the day of the Naval Forces of Ukraine, and the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church celebrates the feast ofOur Lady of Perpetual Help. With this in mind, the head of the UGCC, His Beatitude Sviatoslav, took the initiative on Sunday, July 4, 2021, to give over the Ukrainian military fleet under the protection and affectionate patronage of Our Lady of Perpetual Help.

Today, military personnel and veterans of the Ukrainian navy and their families will be remembered in the churches of the UGCC and in personal prayers, being entrusted to the special spiritual care of military chaplains.

"We believe that today, in a time full of trials for our people and their troops, the Mother of God will listen with a sincere motherly heart to the prayers of Ukrainian sailors and their commanders and will remain a reliable refuge for them and an affectionate guide through the challenges and turbulent waves of everyday military service for the benefit of Ukraine and its people," the Department of Military Chaplaincy notes.

Historical background

Throughout the centuries-old history of the struggle for the freedom of our people and the independence and integrity of our state, it has become a good custom for the Ukrainian army to seek protection and support under the protection of the Most-Holy Theotokos. It was to her, the Mother of God, that Christian Soldiers trusted their own lives, the well-being of their families and the future of Ukraine. At the state level, defender of Ukraine Day is celebrated on the feast of the intercession of the Most-Holy Theotokos.

About Our Lady of Perpetual Help icon

Among the various forms of honoring the Most Holy Theotokos, the cult of Our Lady of Perpetual Help has become particularly popular among our people. On December 11, 1865, Pope Pius IX handed over the original miraculous icon of Our Lady of Perpetual Help to the congregation of Redemptorist fathers. Thanks to the righteous Metropolitan Andrey Sheptytsky and the missionary work of the Redemptorists, whom he invited to Ukraine in 1913, the mother of God of tireless help, glorified in the icon of the same name, became known among our people. Since then, many churches have been built in her honor, in 1927 the Brotherhood of Our Lady of Perpetual Help was founded, scientific works and publications were published, in particular, the famous work of the Blessed Vasyly Velichkovsky "The history of the miraculous icon of Our Lady of Perpetual Help" and wrote liturgical texts.

At one time, celebrating the 150th anniversary of honoring Our Lady of Perpetual Help and observing her icon in churches of different faiths, as well as in numerous homes of believers in Ukraine and abroad, and taking into account the spread of her cult among our faithful, the Synod of Bishops of the UGCC, held in Lviv on September 3-12, 2017, established the feast of Our Lady of Perpetual Help, and the Primate of the USCC proclaimed its annual celebration on the first Sunday of July.