John Paul II amazed at how one and a half million people prayed not in a clean square, as in the Vatican, but knee-deep in mud, - Head of the UGCC
UGCC Information Department published the memoirs of Patriarch Sviatoslav on this historic visit and the Pope's impressions of Ukraine.
"He was very impressed with this visit. First of all, I am amazed at what I saw, amazed with these meetings, amazed with the number of people who came to meet him – people who stood in Kyiv and Lviv on the streets, along the perimeter of his movement, and sincerely congratulated him.
But there was one thing that really moved his heart. At the racetrack, after those rains, where people were supposed to stand, there was a knee-deep swamp. And the Pope saw one and a half million people standing not in a clean square, as in the Vatican, but knee-deep in the swamp. But they prayed with such force that he was simply captured by those people. I remember because my parents were also at that Liturgy and how they came out of that mess. But everyone was so happy…
The pope, returning to Rome, shared his impressions with people in the prayer "Angel of the Lord" on Sunday. This prayer is usually performed from the window of the Papal Palace, and the people who pray while standing in the square – clean, spacious, beautiful, paved with ancient paving stones. And the pope said to them: "here, you are standing in a beautiful clean square, and one and a half million people prayed with me in Ukraine: they were knee-deep in mud, but they didn't even notice it...". Yes, the power of prayer that brought them together was so strong that all these inconveniences completely faded into the background," the head of the UGCC said.