When the last week of April was around the corner, my heart started beating faster and faster. The reason for that was the upcoming meeting in Ukraine, which I had looked forward to since summer. All of us Vincentians who went to Krakow and to other meetings of the Vincentian Marian Youth, know how fun, valuable and instructive these kinds of meetings are. I was expecting nothing less than the best out of it. And I got what I expected.
The meeting was amazing. The journey was great and fun, Ukraine is just beautiful, and the people I met were incredibly open, nice and caring. I think I can say for the majority of us that we were filled with happiness and joy from the first till the very last second we spent in Ukraine.
And yet all of these are not the most important things that I learned there. I left Synak with a gift which I would not be able to get anywhere else in the world. A gift of family. Two families, actually. The first family is the family of our Slavic nations. There are more things connecting us than we could ever imagine; we have nearly the same mentality, very similar languages, some of us even have almost identical flags, sometimes featuring the coat of arms. And we all feel immense love and gratitude for our beloved Mother Mary.
The second family is our Vincentian family. A family that connects us, so we can be brothers and sisters in Christ. After the incredible week I spent with this family, I know now that only together we can follow the example of Saint Vincent de Paul and see the face of our Lord Jesus Christ in the poor.
I hope that all this new enthusiasm, a consequence of our hard work during the week in Ukraine, never dies and that in a few months, when we meet in Rome, we will be able to share the fruits of our work and prayers.