The patriarch Sviatoslav (Shevchuk) on 25November with the special permission of Pope Francis led a solemn Pontifical Divine Liturgy at the main altar of the Vatican Basilica of St. Peter on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the laying of the relics of St. Josaphat, martyr for Church unity.
Cardinal Leonardo Sandri, Prefect of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches, almost all the bishops of the Synod of Bishops of the UGCC, Bishop Milan Shashik, Bishop of Mukachiv Eparchy, representatives of other Churches sui iuris and the Apostolic See were presented at the Liturgy
After the Divine Liturgy Pope Francis greeted Ukrainians pilgrims.”May the memory of this holy Martyr speak of the communion of saints, the communion of life between all those who belong to Christ,” said Pope Francis. “It is reality that gives us a foretaste of eternal life, because an important aspect of eternal life consists in the joyful fraternity of all the saints.”
He said through this communion of the Church, every aspect of Christian life can be animated by the desire to cooperate, to learn from each other, and to together be a witness to the faith.
“This desire for communion pushes us to try to understand each other, to respect one another , and also to accept and offer fraternal correction,” said Pope Francis.
“Dear brothers and sisters , the best way to celebrate St. Josaphat is to love among each other and to love and serve the unity of the Church,” he said. “We are supported in this also by the courageous witness of so many martyrs of recent times, which constitute a great wealth and a great comfort for your Church.”
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