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Monday, June 5, 2017

For the funeral of Cardinal Husar

The Holy Father, Pope Francis has sent a letter to His Beatitude, Sviatoslav Shechuk, Major Archbishop of Kyiv-Halyč (Ukraine) on the occasion of the funeral being celebrated for Cardinal Lubomyr Husar, Major Archbishop emeritus of Kyiv-Halyč who died on 31 May of this year.


Letter of the Holy Father, Pope Francis
to His Beatitude, Sviatoslav Shevchuk
Major Archbishop of Kyiv-Malyč

Your Beatitude,

On the day of the Christian celebration commemorating the beloved earthly presence of the Major Archbishop emeritus of Kyiv-Halyč, Cardinal Lubomyr Husar, I wish once again to be among those who are praying to our heavenly Father, entrusting to Him the chosen soul of our Brother.

I join the extraordinary affluence of persons who during these days have come to render homage to the mortal remains of the Cardinal who I have come to know.  This presence is the eloquent sign of what he has been: one of the highest moral authorities and most respected over the past decades by the Ukrainian people.

I turn to you, Your Beatitude, with whom I have had a long-standing relationship of knowledge and esteem, to comfort you at the loss of him who was both a father and a spiritual guide.

He was such a father and guide for the entire Greek-Catholic Church, which he collected from the legacy of the catacombs where he was confined in persecution, and to which are dedicated not only ecclesiastical structures, but above all the joy of his own history, founded on faith that exists through and beyond every suffering.

Following the laborious and intense period of his ministry, this father and leader of the Greek-Catholic Church, with the arrival of old age and illness, changed his style and presence among the people, but if possible, these became even more intense and enriched.  On a regular basis, he intervened in the life of your country as a teacher of wisdom: his words were simple, understandable to everyone, but very profound.  He possessed the wisdom of the gospels, the bread of the Word of God broken for the simple, the suffering, for all those who seek dignity.  His exhortations were sweet, but also very challenging for everyone.  He prayed incessantly for everyone, feeling that this was his new duty.  And many people felt represented, challenged and comforted by him, both believers and non-believers, even over and above confessional differences.  Everyone felt that a Christian was speaking, a Ukrainian who was passionate about his identity, always filled with hope, open to the future of God.  He had a word for everyone, he felt people with the warmth of his great humanity and with an exquisite gentleness.  Above all, he loved dialogue with young people, with whom he had an exceptional capacity to communicate and many of whom looked to him.

It moves me to think that today, all of Ukraine is weeping, but that many are certain that he is already resting in the embrace of the heavenly Father.  They feel that, after having had such an example of coherent and credible life, they can continue to benefit from his prayer, through which he will protect his people who are still suffering, marked by violence and insecurity, and yet secure in the knowledge that the love of Christ will never disappoint.

Grateful for his unique religious and social presence in the history of Ukraine, I invite you to be faithful to the constant teaching of Divine Providence, to totally entrust yourselves to this teaching and to continually be aware of his smile and his embrace.

Upon all of you, beloved Ukrainians, both in that country and in the diaspora, I invoke the abundance of heavenly blessings.

From the Vatican
5 June 2017

Francis
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