“Thank you for 25 years of heroic testimony of faith in God and love for the Motherland”: Head of the UGCC to Ukrainians in Greece

September 17, 2023, 22:09 96

On September 17, on the Sunday of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross, in the Cathedral Church of the Holy Trinity in Athens (Greece), the Father and Head of the UGCC, His Beatitude Sviatoslav, in concelebration with the bishops of the UGCC, presided over the Hierarchical Divine Liturgy. This solemn Divine Liturgy marked the 25th anniversary of establishing the Ukrainian church community in Greece. One of its first priests was the current Head of the UGCC.

 “Thank you for 25 years of heroic testimony of faith in God and love for the Motherland”: Head of the UGCC to Ukrainians in Greece

In his sermon, His Beatitude, Sviatoslav noted that today, the spiritual eyes of the Church are turned to the beautiful mystery of the suffering, death, and resurrection of our Savior. The Hierarch noted that Christ himself fulfilled his words: “Whoever wants to save his life will lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel will save it” when he became a man and went to the cross for our salvation.

“If Christ had abandoned the cross, death, and resurrection, none of us would have received eternal life. When Christ died on the cross, He poured out the eternal life that He carried in Himself on us, people,” the Primate emphasized.

His Beatitude Sviatoslav remembered how the Ukrainian community in Greece gathered together for the first time to celebrate Easter 25 years ago. Regardless of all the difficulties and obstacles the Ukrainian immigrants faced, “the Lord God revealed the power of His resurrection in this small community.”

The Head of the UGCC thanked the congregation and the Lord God for 25 years of heroic testimony of faith in God and love for the Motherland.

The Primate also noted that the bishops present at the Liturgy came from Ukraine, which is bleeding and crying today. Among them, he named Bishop Vasyl Tuchapets from Kharkiv and Bishop Mykhailo Bubniy from Odesa.

“We are telling you today: Ukraine is standing! Ukraine is fighting! Ukraine is praying! But we ask you here in Greece: do not surrender your front to the enemies who want to wipe out our people, their culture, language, and faith in God. Fight not to dissolve or assimilate into the sea of great Greek culture where we are today. Preserve what is yours!” the Head of the Church addressed the Ukrainians.

In the end, His Beatitude Sviatoslav called to pray for the Ukrainian army, which sacrificed its lives for God and the Motherland. He noted that the power of the cross of Christ protects Ukraine and gives the people hope.

“We will defeat our enemy! We will win freedom and independence for our people through the power of love for our homeland! I believe that we will all return home to celebrate the victory together. I expect you all in Kyiv, in our Patriarchal Cathedral of the Resurrection of Christ. We believe that the Lord God will bless the nation that is not ashamed of Him before other nations of the world,” His Beatitude Sviatoslav addressed the Ukrainian community in Greece.

After the Liturgy, the Head of the UGCC thanked Bishop Manuel Nin of the Byzantine Rite in Greece for his pastoral care for Ukrainians.

The UGCC Department for Information

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