Alexandria, Ukraine, June 21, 2021
The liturgical glorification of a number of local saints of the Alexandria Diocese of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church was celebrated yesterday on the feast of the Holy Spirit.
The Divine Liturgy and rite of glorification were celebrated at Holy Protection Cathedral in Alexandria by His Beatitude Metropolitan Onuphry of Kiev and All Ukraine. The Ukrainian primate was joined by 10 other hierarchs of the Ukrainian Church and local and visiting clergy, reports the Information-Education Department of the UOC.
The glorified saints include: Hieromartyrs Fr. Vasily Slotvinsky, Fr. Theodore Statkevich, Fr. Alexander Balanutsa, and Fr. Jacob Ilichevsky, and the Blessed Confessor Julita Pedan. According to tradition, the decisions of the Holy Synod of the UOC to glorify the saints were read out together with their lives. Then their troparions, kontakions, and magnifications were festively sung.
As an independently-functioning autonomous Church, the Ukrainian Orthodox Church canonizes all of its own saints.
Blessed Julita. Photo: news.church.ua
Blessed Julita was locally canonized by the Holy Synod on April 3, 2019, and her relics were uncovered on May 17 the same year. The hieromartyrs were canonized on December 9, 2020.
During his homily, His Beatitude emphasized that “The Holy Spirit comforts everyone who loves God, who fears God, who believes in God, who tries to live a pious life based not on human laws, but on Divine commandments.”
Such were the newly-glorified saints, Met. Onuphry emphasized.
“A great reward is given to the man who lays down his life for his faithfulness to God, who doesn’t break under torture, nor because of repression, nor from reproach and insults, but keeps his faith in Christ and submits himself to God, entrusts himself to the hands of God. Such people become saints,” he preached.
While we so often fight for earthly treasures, the saints are those who know that only those who live with God are truly rich and happy, His Beatitude said. But because there are great saints, we know that God offers great help for us sinners, the Ukrainian primate concluded.
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