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Greek-Catholic pilgrims honoured the memory of St. Josaphat Kuntsevych in Vienna and Prague
Wednesday, 16 November 2016 12:30

On the 12th of November the group of priests and young Greek-Catholic believers from Belarus took part in the gala natal day of Saint Josaphat Kuntsevych in Vienna. The event coincided with the centenary of the translation of St. Josaphat Kuntsevych’s relics from Polish town Biala Podlaska to Vienna into the sanctuary of Saint Barbara.

The journey passed over on the invitation of Cardinal Christoph Schonborn OP, Archbishop of Vienna, Metropolitan bishop of the Vienna ecclesiastical province, Ordinary for the Byzantine faithful in Austria.

The Protopresbyter of the East Deanery, the Senior Priest of the parish of the Resurrection of Christ in Vitebsk father Zmitcer Gryshan was at the head of the pilgrimess.


The way of the pigrimess to Vienna was passing through Biala Podlaska from were 100 years ago the relics of Saint Josaphat Kuntsevych had been translated to Vienna. As they went Archimandrite, Apostolic Visitator for Greek-Catholics in Belarus Jan Sergiusz Gajek attached himself to the travelers.

Pilgrims stopped for praying at the Basilica of Saints Cyril and Methodius in Velehrad, where they prayed to the saint Apostles of the Slavs and to their first pupil – Saint Gorazd, patron of students who learn theologic fundamentals.


On the 12th of November Archimandrite Jan Sergiusz Gajek, father Zmitcer Gryshan and father Andrej Ablamejka bore a part in the academic session addressed to the personality of Saint Josaphat that had been arranged by Cardinal Christoph Schonborn OP.

On the evening of November 12th Belarusian pilgrims took part in the Divine Liturgy in the honour of Saint Josaphat which was celebrated by the First Hierarch of the Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Church Archbishop Sviataslau Shauchuk.


Archimandrite Jan Sergiusz Gajek, Syrian Metropolitan Yan Klement Zhanbar from Alepo and many other priests from East Catholic churches of Byzantian tradition (Ukrainian, Roumanian, Melchite, Ruthenian, Slovak, Belarusian) also stood in the Divine Service.

At the end of the Divine Liturgy Archmandrite Jan Sergiusz Gajek gave thanks to Cardinal Christoph Schonborn OP for valuable spiritual gift - the part of pontifical clothing (hypogonation) that the Cardinal had granted to the Belarusian Greek-Catholic Church in Budslav in July 2016.

The apostolic visitator for Greek-Catholics in Belarus and father Zmitcer Gryshan from Vitebsk gave the ground from the place of Saint Josaphat’s martyrdom as a symbolic sign of acknowledgement.


On the 13th of November Belarusian pilgrims participated in the Belarusian-language Divine Liturgy in the honour of Saint Josaphat Kuntsevych and Saint John Chrysostom that was celebrated by Archmandrite Jan Sergiusz Gajek at the invitation of Exarch of Czech Greek-Catholic Church Ladislav Huchko.

Before Liturgy pilgrims had an opportunity to pray at the Greek-Catholic Cathedral of Saint Clement and also to visit places connected with the life and activity of Franciscus Scorina.

Father Jauhien Usoshyn (IL)
Photos of Aliaksandr Malama

Updated Monday, 21 November 2016 10:21
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