Ukrainian emigrants from Italy visit French Lourdes
The pilgrimage of Ukrainian emigrants from Genua to the French Lourdes organised by father Vitaliy and mother Lyuba on June 1 – 2 (2013) was aimed at making life of Ukrainians living abroad more spiritual.
Lourdes is a commune situated in south-western France, that has developed into a major place of Roman Catholic pilgrimage and of miraculous healings.
After the peasant girl, Bernadette had a series of eighteen visions of the Virgin Mary in the grotto of Massabielle near Lourdes in 1858, Lourdes went from being a small village in the Pyrenees to a global attraction.
Story and photos by Halyna Horishna
The Godmother statue in the cave (grotto), always surrounded by many prayers, is the place where Godmather appeared.
The way of the cross in Lourdes on the hillside weaves along a steep wooded area, represents 14 stories about Jesus and human sins. This is the way the pilgrims follow to remember everything that Jesus had to overcome and to honour all his sufferings.
Procession with candles is a traditional act, which takes place every day in Lourdes at 9 p.m. Pilgrims from all around the world, among which there are also disabled people, come to Lourdes to follow it. Miracles happen here and lots of people recover. There you can here people praying aloud in all languages of the world including Ukrainian.
You could easily recognize Ukrainians by their flag. This time about 80 people from Genua, Savona and other cities participated in the pilgrimage organizes by father Vitaliy.
Besides the processions involving all the pilgrims from all over the world, many services were held especially for Ukrainians. Even after leaving Lourdes, father Vitaliy continued preaching in the bus systematically by teaching, discussing and praying.
Godmother standing on the sphere symbolizes the eternal guardianship for all of us. The letter M symbolizes the beginning of her name, 12 asterisks are the 12 apostles, the heart with crown of thorns is the heart of Jesus and the heart pierced with a knife is the heart of Mary.
Godmother appeared to Catherine, a girl from Paris and told her about these symbols and this medallion. This is a gift to us from the Godmother and Catherine, who made it possible to create this medallion.
There is also a Ukrainian church in Lourdes