The Vincentian Family has organized a pilgrimage to the tomb of the Blessed Martha Weicka in Sniatyn for eight consecutive years. More than 1000 pilgrims came on May 27-28 to pray and ask for the grace from the patronage of the Blessed. The number of pilgrims increases yearly. Information on Blessed Martha Weicka and her life is spread around Ukraine and abroad. The National pilgrimage of the relics of the Blessed Martha Weicka also contributed to the growing number of pilgrims.
It was organized by Fathers Missionaries of the Congregation of Mission and Congregation of Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul with blessing of the Conference of Roman Catholic Bishops and the Synod of the Greek Catholic Church in Ukraine and lasted for two years (2015-2017). During the pilgrimage, the relics of Blessed Martha Weicka visited many towns and villages in Ukraine, including 475 Roman and Greek Catholic parishes from the east of Ukraine to Sniatyn. “Martha visited” all those who cannot for some reason come to Sniatyn to pray at her tomb. While visiting parishes and communities people prayed together for peace, unity and mercy.
The two-year pilgrimage of the relics of Blessed Martha was devoted to celebration of the 400th anniversary of the Vincentian Charism, which started in 1617 when the heart of St. Vincent de Paul started burning with the flame of love to neighbors, when he became a “mystic of charity,” and a father of the poorest of the world.
Over these days a lot of guests from all over Ukraine and other parts of the world, such as Italy, France, Slovakia, Slovenia, Poland, Croatia, Macedonia and other countries, came to Sniatyn. Among other guests, we welcomed visitors from the General Curia of the Congregation of Mission, Superior General of the Congregation of Mission Fr. Tomaž Mavrič, CM, his assistant Fr. Miles Heinen, CM, and General Mother of the Daughters of Charity Sr. Kathleen Appler, DC. Father Tomaž celebrated the solemn Mass on May 27. A solemn procession moved through the streets of the town from the church to the tomb. The faithful prayed together to Blessed Martha Vetska and glorified God.
May 28 the Archbishop Metropolitan of Lviv of the Roman Catholic Church Miechyslav Mokshytsky offered a Mass. Bishop of Mukachevo Greek-Catholic Eparchy Milan Shashik, CM and coordinator of Vincentian Family at the world Fr. Joe Agostino, CM concelebrated with him.
Representatives of Vincentian Family branches (there are 10 of them in Ukraine) had the opportunity to meet for breakfast with Fr. Joe Agostino, CM. Representatives of different branches talked about ways they serve people in need, actual problems and cooperation in our common cause of promotion of the Vincentian Charism. Father Joe promised to come to Ukraine again to have more time to work together.
At the end, Superior of Vice Province Fr. Yan Trzop, CM thanked all the guests, organizers and all people of good will who helped to organize the celebration, all those who prayed all the time for the pilgrims and organizers. We are grateful to Parish priests who hosted a group of pilgrims during all-Ukrainian pilgrimage of the relics of Blessed Martha Weicka. We are grateful also to Christian “Radio Maria,” staff and volunteers who helped to cover event, inform the audience on the pilgrimage, and broadcast Liturgies of pilgrimage in Sniatyn.