The Kolomiya Caritas was the organizer of a bicycle pilgrimage to Zarvanytsya


Every year, the spot that the Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Church believes to be the holiest spot in Ukraine—the Mariys’kyy Spiritual Center in the village of Zarvanytsya—draws more and more pilgrims. The Kolomiya Youth Commission of the Kolomiya-Chernivtsi eparchy organized the bicycle pilgrimage together with Caritas of the Kolomiya-Chernivtsi eparchy. “It was a joint idea,” explains Roman Reznik, Manager of the Kolomiya Caritas.

The days were hot, and people mostly needed assistance with uncontrolled blood pressure and light-headedness.
For that reason Caritas’ medical stations were helpful and effective—they proposed a short rest, assessed the pilgrims’ blood pressure, administered medications and water, and gave out informational booklets on hypertension.

Every year Zarvanytsya’s Mariys’kyy Spiritual Centre draws hundreds of thousands of pilgrims. The pilgrimages during the summer months are especially well attended.

The Roman Catholic and Ukrainian-Greek Catholic Churches were represented by parishioners, clergy and leadership. Faithful came from Poland, Belgium, Spain, France, Canada, and Brazil. The leadership was represented by the Archbishop of Barcelona Cardinal Luis Martinez Sistak, and the Patriarch of the UGCC, Svyatoslav Shevchuk.

The pilgrimage even drew a small number of politicians and government officials. Aside from the rulers of the Ternopil region, Victor Yushchenko, former President of Ukraine, Valentyn Nalyvaychenko, leader of Our Ukraine’s political council, and Oleh Tyahnybok, Svoboda leader were in attendance. Also present were the governors of the L’viv, Ivano-Frankivs’k, and Chernivtsi regions, Chairmen of Regional and District Administrations, and people’s deputies.

During the pilgrimage there were many prayers, discussions with spiritual leaders and clergy, concerts, candlelight marches from parish churches to the location where miracles have happened, an Arch-bishop’s liturgy led by Svyatoslav Shevchuk, Patriarch of the UGCC and celebrated together with other Bishops. All were able to bathe in the healing waters, have their icons blessed, or receive a personal blessing from a member of the clergy.

In addition to providing medical assistance, workers and volunteers from the Caritas Home Care’s Information-Consulting Centre offered advice on healthy living, answered questions and drew attention to Caritas’ activity which is based on sincere Christian concern, care, and understanding the needs of our loved ones.

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