In Berdychiv, thousands of Ukrainian and foreign Roman Catholics prayed to the Mother of God for peace and unity in the country
This year marks 10 years since the Sanctuary in Berdichev became an all — Ukrainian sanctuary and thus the main shrine of the Russian Orthodox Church in Ukraine. This year, Catholics also commemorated the 20th anniversary of the visit of Pope John Paul II to Ukraine. They prayed especially to the Holy Betrothed of the Virgin Mary, on the occasion of the Year of St. Joseph, which continues throughout the Catholic Church.
Thousands of pilgrims came to the festivities — mainly from Ukraine and Poland, as well as from France, Croatia, Slovenia, Slovakia. The celebration was attended by almost all Ukrainian Roman Catholic Bishops, superiors of monastic congregations, numerous priests and consecrated persons from Ukraine and abroad.
Representatives of the state and local authorities of Ukraine, as well as representatives of the diplomatic corps, prayed together with the faithful.
In his sermon, Archbishop Mieczyslaw said in particular: "We are here to follow our Heavenly Mother and shape our Christian life according to her example. In the All-Ukrainian sanctuary, we thank you today for 30 years of the restoration of the structure of our church, accomplished by Pope John Paul II, who, through his prayer and actions, contributed to bringing the end of the totalitarian system that for decades destroyed the church spiritually and financially. In this place, we thank him for restoring the face of our land, for 30 years of independence and state creation... Here, in the place where our mother Reigns, we beseech from the bottom of our hearts: Mary, ask the Lord to grant for peace! Let Ukraine hear from this place: peace will come when reconciliation comes. Let unity be our sign. We are not divided by nationality, nor rite, nor religion... Let's return from Berdychiv as people of faith, love and unity! Let nothing divide us."
The pilgrimage Mass for pilgrims and all the faithful was led by Bishop-ordinary of the Diocese of Kyiv-Zhytomyr Vitaly Krivitsky.
At the end of Mass on July 18, Ukraine was traditionally dedicated to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. The act of trust was read out by Bishop Vitaly Skomarovsky. After that, the spiritual anthem of Ukraine “Great God, one” was played.