/ News / Pope Beatifies 28 Greek Catholics at Largest Byzantine Liturgy in History:
June 23-27, 2001    
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• Pope Beatifies 28 Greek Catholics at Largest Byzantine Liturgy in History // 27.06.2001 (21:14)

Pope Beatifies 28 Greek Catholics at Largest Byzantine Liturgy in History

The papal visit to Ukraine reached its climax Wednesday morning with a three-hour beatification ceremony for 27 martyrs and the foundress of a religious order. Estimates of those in attendance ranged from 900,000 to the Vatican press secretary’s count of 1,500,000, but even the smallest estimates confirm the opening remarks of Fr. Borys Gudziak that “Today you form the largest choir ever to sing the Byzantine Liturgy.”

27.06.2001 (21:14) // Religious Information Service of Ukraine

   Before the liturgy began, His Beatitude Lubomyr Cardinal Husar spoke briefly about the historic moment of the beatifications. As Head of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, he also used the opportunity to offer a general petition for forgiveness for the Church’s failings at various times. This follows a pattern set by the Pope himself during the Jubilee year 2000 of using the new millennium as a time for the purification of the past.

  During the beatification ritual, which preceded the scriptural readings, four official new icons of Bishop Charnetsky and companions, Bishop Teodor Romzha, Fr. Emilian Kovch, and Sr. Josaphata Hordashevsky were brought forward and placed on large stands on a lower level of the elevated sanctuary. The Pope also announced the feast days for the new blesseds: 27 June for Charnetsky and 24 Companions, 1 November for Teodor Romzha, 27 June for Emilian Kovch, and 20 November for Sr. Josaphata.

  The Pope’s homily pointed out the special role each of the new martyrs has as models for the church in Ukraine.

  "This land of Halytchyna, which in the course of history has witnessed the growth of the Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Church, has been covered, as the unforgettable Metropolitan Yosyf Slipyi used to say, 'with mountains of corpses and rivers of blood.'"


  See the full text of Cardinal Husar’s address.

  See the full text of Pope’s address.


  The Pope was joined again by President Kuchma later in the day for farewells at the airport.


  See the full text of President Kuchma’s airport remarks.

  See the full text of the Pope’s farewell remarks.

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