Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Greetings to pilgrims from Mukachevo (Ukraine)

This morning, before the General Audience, the Holy Father, Pope Francis received in audience, at the Altar of the Chair inside the Vatican Basilica, a group of Byzantine rite participants taking part in a Pilgrimage from Mukachevo, Ukraine to mark the 30th anniversary of the emergence of the Eparchy of Mukachevo from hiding.

Greetings of the Holy Father, Pope Francis
addressed to pilgrims from Mukachevo

Dear brother Bishops,
Dear priests, religious men and women,
Dear brothers and sisters,

You have come to Rome to celebrate together the 30th anniversary of the emergence of the Eparchy of Mukachevo from hiding with the Successor of Peter.

I am pleased to welcome you to the Tomb of Saint Peter, and together with you I want to thank the Lord who is infinitely good; with his powerful hand, he freed your Church from her long oppression under the Soviet regime.

The Church of Mukachevo is the mother of many martyrs, who with their own blood have confirmed your faithfulness to Christ, to the Catholic Church and to the Bishop of Rome.

In particular, we remember the Blessed Bishop and Martyr Teodor Romža, who in the darkest moments of your history knew how to lead the people of god with evangelical wisdom and courage, an untiring man who followed the example of Christ, the Good Shepherd, to the point of giving his own life for the flock.

I also want to remember your ancestors, grandfathers and grandmothers, fathers and mothers, who in the intimacy of their homes, and often under the surveillance of the hostile regime, risking their freedom and life, transmitted the teaching of the truth of Christ and offered to future generations, of whom you are representatives, an eloquent testimony of firm faith, of living faith, of the Catholic faith.

I thank you with all my heart, dear brothers and sisters, for your fidelity to Jesus Christ and I invite each of you, wherever and whenever you are, to renew today your personal encounter with Jesus Christ or, at least, to make the decision to let Him meet you, to look for him every day without stopping. There is no reason why anyone might think that this invitation is not for him, because no one is excluded from the joy that is offered by the Lord (Evangelii gaudium, 3).

In these solemn circumstances, I am praying to the Lord that He may protect the Eparchy of Mukachevo from the dangers of evil, and that He may grant you the gift of prosperity.

As we draw near to the Christmas festivities, entrusting your Pastors and all of you, dear faithful, to the protection of the Blessed Virgin of Mukachevo, I wish you a Holy Christmas: may the Son of God be born in your hearts!

Take my cordial greetings to all your loved ones, especially the children and those who are sick and suffering.  And, please, don't forget to pray for me.  May God bless you all!
Testo originale nella lingua italiana
Texto en español
Текст українською мовою

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