John Paul II Avenue and Hagia Sophia Square appeared in Lviv
Today, after the university-wide Liturgy, Archbishop Borys Gudziak consecrated the square on the occasion of its renaming. The event was timed to coincide with the 20th anniversary of the visit of Pope John Paul II to Lviv and the graduation celebrations and dedication of the new UCU Collegium.
"Continuing a thousand-year tradition, our university has placed the Church of the Wisdom of God in its center. We are a community of knowledge, competencies, and technologies, but there are many such communities. The special vocation of this university is not only to seek knowledge, not only to manage information, not only to master data deftly and effectively. Our community is called to bear witness and serve. This is the essence of true-life wisdom – when knowledge turns into love. Therefore, the designation of this square by that name emphasizes our mission, suggests to us the purpose of our pilgrimage. May the veneration of the Wisdom of God in Hagia Sophia inspire us. Let this pilgrimage, which has been going on for a thousand years, lead us to the next century. May the blessing of the Holy Pope John Paul II, which took place here, be and be with us. Let us be worthy of this legacy and cherish true wisdom, which is only in God," His Eminence Borys Gudziak said.
Father-Rector of UCU Bogdan Prakh stressed the importance of this event: "I thank the Lord God, who sends Dreamers to this world among us, that they ignite other Dreamers and we become witnesses of the great miracle of God. It was thanks to such a dreamer as our bishop Boris, who answered the call of God, that the Ukrainian Catholic University was established. Today we stand in front of the University temple and realize this Providence."
In the lobby of the Sheptytsky Center, there is a photo exhibition of the Institute of Church History dedicated to the 20th anniversary of the pilgrimage of St. John Paul II to Ukraine.
As UCU has reported, in the XVI century, the territory that is now located near the UCU campus was called Sofiyevka. The name comes from the fact that the Lviv patrician Mrs. Sofia Ganleva built a church in honor of the death of her husband, which is now the Church of St. Sophia at the corner of Yaroslavenko and Franko streets. So the territory around the church was called Sofiyevka, and, obviously, covered the territory of the UCU campus, because the territory of such names does not have clear borders.
In addition, the logic in naming the Square is also that the University Church of St. Sophia – The Wisdom Of God is located on this site. In the tradition of Lviv naming, there are several squares (St. Petersburg square). Theodora, St. Georges), were or still are the names of those Saints, if the churches of the same dedication are located nearby.
As for Khutorivka, we are talking about renaming part of Khutorivka street (from Stryiska str. to Krasna Kalyna avenue) into St. John Paul II Avenue. The name of Khutorivka street appeared in 1950 and it is most likely associated with the manor building – a farm. Now, this street is well developed in communication and this name is no longer relevant for it. One of the arguments for renaming this street in honor of Pope John Paul II was that the UGCC seminary and the Faculty of Philosophy and theology of UCU are located here.
We remind you that on June 23-27, 2001, Pope John Paul II paid an international visit to Ukraine. During his stay in Lviv, the Pope consecrated the cornerstone for the construction of the university campus of the Ukrainian Catholic University, as well as the complex of the Lviv Theological Seminary of the Holy Spirit of the UGCC and the Faculty of Philosophy and theology of UCU.