Dear Vincentian Family,
I would like to take this opportunity to make you aware of the progress of the Pilgrimage of the Relics of Blessed Marta Wiecka that is currently ongoing in Ukraine. The Ukrainian state is going through tough times now – it is a time of trials and sufferings. It is a time when many people are forced to leave their homes; many hearts are wounded by the war that is currently underway in Eastern Ukraine. What can help them recover from the effects of the war? Probably only God’s words and His medicine, which are Love and Mercy.
The theme of the Pilgrimage is “Courage of Mercy.” It is precisely with these virtues that Blessed Marta Wiecka fought and won over human hearts for the Lord. Nowadays, while visiting different Catholic parishes of Ukraine and following the example of Blessed Marta, we also have a chance to bring relief to those who suffer and are desolate. We can show them we are not alone in this world, but rather we belong to the Mystical Body of Christ – His Church that is called to be the Community of Love.
The Pilgrimage of Relics was launched by His Excellency Mieczyslaw Mokrzycki, Lviv Metropolitan, at the tomb of Blessed Marta during the Annual Pilgrimage of the Vincentian Family to the tomb of Blessed Marta. From there the relics have been transported to Ukraine’s east, and are visiting Catholic parishes as they gradually move backwards to her tomb.
The Pilgrimage is first and foremost timed to coincide with the 400th anniversary of the emergence of our Vincentian charism, and thanks to God’s Providence, it has also merged with the Jubilee Year of Mercy and the Year of Collabaration of the Vincentian Family. While visiting Catholic and Greek-Catholic parishes, we share our charism in the first place by not only speaking of it, but also offering actual possibilities for its realization. Within the scope of this Pilgrimage we have already succeeded in engaging the Sisters of Charity, Vincentian Marian Youth, St. Vincent de Paul Society and the Marian Sisters. Experience shows we can do a lot of useful things together as the Vincentian Family in order to speak to this world in terms of the virtue of Mercy, our charism. However, it is important that we do not fall into temptation of caring just about the glorification of our branch of the Vincentian Family. We should rather keep in mind the fact that all together we form the Church and are therefore called to glorify Jesus Christ, who is the Head of the Church, with our every action or charism. We should not wait until someone does something for us, but to the best of our gifts and abilities we should trigger the work of salvation.
This is the way Blessed Marta Wiecka lived. She comes to us now as an efficient witness of Mercy. She gives us a chance to feel we are not alone, because it is through the presence of Mercy in this world that we can best feel God’s presence in this world as well.
So let us be the ones who make God present in their communities. But how can we do that? Well, Blessed Marta gives us the exact answer!
Fr. Serhii Pavlish, CM,
Coordinator of the Relics Pilgrimage