These days St. Pope John Paul II’s first visit to Poland in 1979 is commemorated. One of the central events of this visit was the Feast of Our Lady of Czestochowa, which took place on August 26 at the Clear Mountain.
This visit was then a harbinger of the fall of the communist regime, both in Poland and throughout Eastern Europe. Ten years later, the Berlin wall was overthrown and the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church left the underground.
At the invitation of the Bishopric of Poland, His Beatitude Sviatoslav, Head of the UGCC, arrived to attend this year’s festivities. He led the evening prayer before the miraculous icon of the Virgin Mary during the so-called “Jasnugur Apel” (prayer to Our Lady).
In his speech, His Beatitude Sviatoslav, in particular, said: “In these events we clearly see the wonderful intercession of the Mother of God and the special role of Saint Pope John Paul II. They overthrew communism. Thanks to the position of Pope John Paul II, the martyrdom of known and unknown witnesses to the Christian faith in Eastern Europe became known throughout the world. We thank God today for the rebirth of free Poland and Ukraine.”
His Beatitude Sviatoslav announced a joint decision of the bishops of Poland and Ukraine to proclaim the Saint Pope John Paul II as the patron saint of Polish-Ukrainian reconciliation. The Head of the UGCC participates in the meetings of the Polish Bishops’ Conference in Czestochowa.
The UGCC Department for Information