On the path to holiness

For the tenth consecutive year, the Vincentian Family organized a pilgrimage to the tomb of the Blessed Marta Wiecka in Sniatyn. On March 25-26, more than 600 persons participated in this event during which time they offered prayers to this revered woman. The life and ministry of Blessed Marta Wiecka has become known in the Ukraine and in many other places throughout the world. The National pilgrimage to the shine of Blessed Marta Wiecka grown in numbers with each passing year. It was organized by members of the Congregation of the Mission, Daughters of Charity and other branches of the Vincentian Family. This event had the blessing of the Conference of Roman Catholic Bishops and the Synod of the Greek Catholic Church in Ukraine.  During the past two years, the relics of the blessed Marta Wiecka were venerated in many towns and villages (475 Roman and Greek Catholic parishes from the east to west of Ukraine to Sniatyn). “Martha visited” all those who could not, for some reason, come to Sniatyn to pray at her tomb. When her relics were brought to the various parishes and communities, people prayed together for peace, unity and mercy.

The two-year pilgrimage of the relics of the blessed Marta was an event that coincided with the 400th anniversary of the birth of the Vincentian Charism. All of this began in 1617 when the heart of St. Vincent de Paul was enflamed with the love of God and love of neighbour, when he became a “mystic of charity”, a father of the poor, a father of the poorest of the world.

This year, during the pilgrimage to the tomb of Blessed Marta, another important event occurred in the Ukraine. Two Vincentian priests from Province of Italy, Fr. Salvatore Fari CM and Fr. Valerio Di Trapani CM, brought here some relics of Saint Vincent de Paul which will be venerated in all the places where the Vincentian Family is ministering. The relics will remain in the Ukraine until the end of December 2019.

During these days, many visitors from throughout the Ukraine and from other countries came to Sniatyn. Among these pilgrims, we welcomed visitors from the General Curia of the Congregation of Mission, the Superior General of the Congregation of Mission, Fr. Tomaž Mavrič CM, the secretary-general, Fr. Giuseppe Turati CM, and visitors from the United States, Poland, Germany, Russia, and Belarus. Bishop Vitaliy Skomarovskiy, ordinary of the Diocese of Lutsk, celebrated the Eucharist on May 25, and Father Tomaž Mavrič CM, gave the homily.

A solemn procession moved through the streets of the town where the faithful prayed together to Blessed Marta Wiecka and glorified God.  Once again, on May 26, the Bishop of Lutsk, Vitaliy Skomarovskiy, presided at the celebration of the Eucharist. All the events of May 25th were transmitted by National Catholic Radio Maria.

At the conclusion of the celebrations, the Visitor of the Vice-Province of SS. Cyril and Methodius, Father Jan Trzop CM, thanked all the guests and pilgrims, the organizers and all people of good will who made this celebration such a successful event. We are also grateful to Catholic “Radio Maria”, staff and volunteers who helped to cover event, inform the listening audience of the pilgrimage, and broadcast the Liturgies surrounding the pilgrimage in Sniatyn.

Fr. Michael Talapkanych CM
Vice-Province of Cyril and Methodius