History of Rus-Ukraine teaches that it is precisely the Ukrainian people who are the new Christ’s people, who were born in the baptismal waters of Dnipro. As Epiphany on the Jordan was preceded by the Nativity of the Son of God and his secluded life in Nazareth, so also the Epiphany on the Dnipro was preceded by several centuries of history of the inoculation of Christianity and its non-noticeable but secure growth on Ukrainian lands. This thought was expressed by His Beatitude Sviatoslav (Shevchuk), UGCC Head, in the Epistle to UGCC faithful and all people of good-will on the occasion of the 1025th anniversary of the Baptism of Rus-Ukraine.
UGCC Head is convinced that the Baptism in the Dnipro waters, similarly to the Baptism of Christ in the Jordan River, marked a new era in the spiritual growth
of the Ukrainian people. This event resulted in “a big significant civilized progress of our people who entered the circle of European Christian countries.” In his epistle, the Primate turns to historical origins of Christianity on Ukrainian lands, underlining that “Kyiv became the center of our Church, as once Jerusalem was the center of the Church of the Apostles.” Therefore, it is not accidental that Christianity in Ukraine was labeled “Kyivan”. “Therefore, our people and our nation are the inheritors of the Christian civilization and Baptism became “the spring of our nation’– filling the national organism with the spirit of the Resurrected Body of Christ,” notes His Beatitude Sviatoslav in the epistle.
UGCC Primate urges all faithful to renew their Baptismal vows, whose essence has remained unchanged – “to throw away any marks of slavery dating back to the times of ancestor Adam when the devil placed these on humankind, and to put on the baptismal clothes of Liberty and Love which are the shining robes of the Resurrected Christ.” Therefore, the Major Archbishop recommends every believer and all parish communities to ceremoniously renew the Baptismal Vows on the Feast of St. Volodymyr (Sunday, July 28th after the Divine Liturgy).
“I urge all, by the prayers of the Saint equal to the apostles Prince Volodymyr and all the saints and righteous people of the Ukrainian lands, by the blessing of the Almighty God –Father, Son and Holy Spirit Ghost,” concludes UGCC Head his Epistle to UGCC faithful and all people of goodwill on the occasion of the 1025th anniversary of the Baptism of Rus-Ukraine.
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