Our Lady of Zarvanytsia :

Published on April 26, 2022

In 1240 Kyiv was being attacked by invaders. Some monks fled to the west of Ukraine. One of them, exhausted and traumatised, slept at a place called Zarvanytsia, and in his sleep saw and was given an icon of Our Lady. There was a church built on the site and it became a place of pilgrimage. It continues to be a place of pilgrimage for Ukranians, and the place and the icon has been a place of memory, identity and renewal. During soviet times the Church there was turned into a warehouse, the spring of water became a dump, surrounded by barbed wire. The collapse of the soviet regime saw the restoration of the place of pilgrimage, and it has become one of the most important pilgrimage sites in Ukraine. We pray that Our Lady of Zarvanytsia will offer to the people of Ukraine, those at home still and those scattered throughout Europe, protection, identity, and a return soon to peace. Cards, with the icon and a prayer of Pope John Paul II for Ukraine, are available at the Church door. On Easter Day we still feel pain, our own pain and the pain of others. But a new element has been introduced. It doesn’t remove the pain, but gives it a meaning, and lights it up with hope. All is different because Jesus is alive and speaks his words of peace to us.

Therefore, there is a quiet joy among us, and a deep sense of peace. Jesus has broken the power of death, and given us the hope of eternal life. Lord, guard this hope with your grace, and bring it to fulfilment in the kingdom of heaven.
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