Lithuanian Ambassador presents Head of the UGCC with a commemorative medal marking St. Josaphat’s anniversary

February 22, 2024, 13:18 27

Today, February 22, 2024, a solemn ceremony was held at the residence of the Head of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church in Kyiv, where His Beatitude Sviatoslav was presented with a commemorative medal marking the 400th anniversary of the martyrdom of St. Josaphat Kuntsevych.

Lithuanian Ambassador presents Head of the UGCC with a commemorative medal marking St. Josaphat’s anniversary

The medal was presented by Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Lithuania to Ukraine Valdemaras Sarapinas.

“St. Josaphat, who became an eminent clergyman in Vilnius, devoted his life to strengthening the unity of Christians. He unites Lithuania and Ukraine, reminding us of the Greek Catholic Church’s historical loyalty to Europe,” the Ambassador emphasized.

His Beatitude Sviatoslav thanked for the commemorative medal and noted that St. Josaphat carries great significance for both countries. “He molded the modern identity of the Ukrainian and Lithuanian, as well as Polish and Belarusian peoples,” said the Primate.

The Head of the UGCC also noted that Lithuania was the only European country to celebrate the anniversary of the martyrdom of St. Josaphat at the state level.

“In September 2023, I had the honor of visiting Vilnius, where I took part in the anniversary services and met with the Prime Minister and First Lady of Lithuania. I was greatly impressed by the openness and sincerity of the Lithuanian state towards our Church and the Ukrainian people,” the Primate shared.

His Beatitude Sviatoslav thanked the Lithuanian state and the Lithuanian people for their solidarity with Ukraine. “These days, we are witnessing ten years since the beginning of Russia’s war against Ukraine and two years of full-scale invasion. Thank you very much for the solidarity of the Lithuanian people with Ukrainians!” said the Head of the UGCC.

In 2023, Lithuania declared it the year of the 400th anniversary of the martyrdom of Josaphat Kuntsevych. With this declaration, the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania underscored Josaphat’s significance to the country’s history and culture. Throughout the year, Lithuania hosted over 40 events to commemorate the anniversary. These events included an international scientific conference, exhibitions, devotional music concerts, prayer services, pilgrimages, and lectures. Additionally, the Department of National Minorities of the Lithuanian Government issued a commemorative medal.

The UGCC Department for Information

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