"Shevchenko will speak to Ukrainian souls forever - as long as there is our people and Ukraine," - Head of the OCU
Metropolitan Epifaniy of the OCU wrote it on his Facebook page.
"He is a real genius, a loyal son of Ukraine, multi-faceted and sometimes complex, like life itself, but he is an extremely strong-minded person... Taras Shevchenko throughout his life fought with a fiery word against untruth, shackles – not only royal, lordly, but also, above all, spiritual, which bound and imprisoned his native people for centuries: "there is untruth and captivity all around, the tortured people are silent"", the Metropolitan added.
The first hierarch drew an analogy between Shevchenko-era Ukraine and today's Ukraine:
"Today we are the direct creators of a free Ukraine, who know at what cost freedom is acquired and protected, how hard those "shackles" are being torn, and how the ill-fated modern "Lords and executioners" still strive to leave us slaves, to bind us even more. And although we live, as Taras Shevchenko predicted, "in a large family, in a free, new family", the best sons and daughters of Ukraine are still forced to give their lives for our freedom in the confrontation with the aggressor. The internal contradictions, disagreements and confrontations that ancient Ukraine suffered so much from and over which the great Kobzar also shed tears cannot but be confused..."
The Primate of the OCU addressed the Ukrainians with the following words:
"Today, we have the opportunity to pray in Ukraine in our native language in our native, United local Autocephalous Orthodox Church of Ukraine. The memory, instructions and spiritual testament of Taras Shevchenko live among our pious people. It is still modern for us, although it was born 207 years ago. And I am sure that he will live just as interesting, relevant and truthful and speak to Ukrainian souls forever – as long as there is our people and there is the Ukraine for which he called to pray to God:
«Be humble, seek the Lord in prayer
Mindfully of one another;
Star, O Star! — and the bitter tears rain —
Love her... in fierce times of evil,
In the last dread hour of struggle,
Fervently beseech God for her.»