A Feast of Faith, Hope, Love and ...
By Father Teodor Pylavskyj, OSBM
November 1, 2002
I would like to share my impressions of the stay in Ukraine of Dr. and Mrs. Rozeluk from Canada. Dr. Michael and Helen came to Ukraine on September 22, 2002, not only to visit the land of their ancestors, who had emigrated to Canada some time ago looking for a better life, but, above all, with a mission, at the invitation of His Excellency, Bishop Sophronius Mudry, the ordinary of Ivano-Frankivsk, Ukraine. The purpose of the mission was to bring to the Ukrainian people the message of the Blessed Virgin Mary, which She had left for mankind during Her apparitions in Garabandal (Spain) between 1961-1965. Michael and Helen also had with them miraculous medals from Garabandal, which the Blessed Virgin had kissed during Her apparitions. (Editor's note: The medals Dr. Michael and Helen have, were touched to that of Joey Lomangino, which was kissed by Our Blessed Mother). It was with the help of such a miraculous medal that the Lord had cured Dr. Rozeluk from an incurable illness, and not only him, but also many, many others. He healed him not only physically but also spiritually, making him His apostle, so that he would spread the news of God's goodness and mercy and what God has done for him through the intercession of the Blessed Virgin.
Having heard that the Rozeluks would be having a meeting with the faithful in the Basilian monastery in Ivano-Frankivsk on September 24th, 2002, I and about 30 of my parishioners from the city of Zolochiv, went to this meeting. I call it rather a feast of faith, hope, love and God's miracles. People from various corners of Halychyna (Western Ukraine) came with faith and hope in God's help and in the intercession of their Heavenly Mother. Everybody brought to the Blessed Mother their illnesses, their troubles, their misfortunes, looking for help and consolation. The ill were brought in automobiles, in wheelchairs or were led in by their arms. One had the impression that evangelical times had returned, when Christ Himself walked through the cities of Palestine and crowds of people were searching for Him. In everyone's eyes were rays of hope. And indeed, the love of God, through the prayers of the faithful and of Dr. Michael and Helen, poured out generously on all present.
The first thing that one noticed was the great faith of Dr. Michael and Helen, their love for Our Lord God, for the Blessed Mother and for all present. Their faces and their eyes radiated love. Their prayers were very simple but filled with love and were very sincere. And where there is real love for one who is suffering, there is God. And indeed, this presence of God, about which all of us know, was very evident that evening. I think that most of the healings were spiritual. Whoever did not receive a physical healing, without a doubt received a plenitude of God's love, to be able to carry his cross or his illness patiently and to offer it for the salvation of souls. I know that from the testimonies of our pilgrims.
However, there were also miracles of physical healing. Our own pilgrims from Zolochiv were witnesses of one such miraculous healing. I did not see it personally, because I was in the church at the time, but my parishioners told me about this incident with great emotion. Helen, who was praying and providing her medal for veneration in the monastery auditorium, had taken into her arms a little boy (about 4 years of age) who, because of some illness, was unable to walk from birth. The child kissed the miraculous medal and all present in the hall became witnesses of a miracle. Helen put the child down on the floor and the child walked with his own legs. Everybody was filled with emotion. Their eyes were filled with tears while at the same time everyone was very happy and full of gratitude to God for His great love. Two women from our group were also cured there in Ivano-Frankivsk. I think that they will write about it themselves. Thus the people became witnesses, as one of the prophecies of Garabandal came true, that through these medals, kissed by Our Lady, Jesus will perform miracles. And this should also stimulate everyone to seriously accept the message, which the Blessed Mother gave to mankind during these apparitions.
Surprising also was the great patience of Dr. Michael and Helen and their physical stamina. In my opinion, this was also a great grace from God. After all, in the course of almost two weeks, they did not have one day of rest. Each day these meetings lasted between six to eight hours, sometimes longer. In the Ivano-Frankivsk monastery church, there were so many people that the priests, at the end of the Holy Liturgy, were unable to distribute Holy Communion because it was impossible to pass through the crowd. And imagine Dr. Michael amidst this great multitude of people, pressing, pushing and shoving from all sides. It was difficult to estimate how many people there were: 2,000 or 3,000, perhaps even more, because as some left, more came into the church from the outside. Father Zenovy, the pastor from the nearby village of Radcha, was also there helping Dr. Rozeluk and using the Garabandal medal he had received, providing it to the faithful for veneration. The event lasted from 5 p.m. until 11 p.m. One really needs a great deal of God's grace to endure all this with love and with peace. And at each such meeting, Dr. Michael and Helen were available for the people as long as people came. No one was left unattended, no one was left without attention. Everyone present had the opportunity to come up and kiss the medals, right up to the last person.
This pilgrimage left unforgettable memories in all our souls. That is why we would first like to thank our own countryman, His Excellency Bishop Sophronius Mudry, who has always been and continues to be a wonderful spiritual father to the faithful, for inviting the Rozeluks to the Ivano-Frankivsk Eparchy in Ukraine. We sincerely thank Dr. Michael and Helen for their self-sacrifice for the good of souls and for the good of their people, for the example of their life, which is also an encouragement to others to be active in their religious and church life, sharing God's graces and in this way multiplying them. We also thank Mr. Bohdan Shyptur who was so instrumental in organizing this meeting, Fr. Volodymyr Palchynsky, OSBM, the father superior of the Ivano-Frankivsk monastery and also all the priests and brothers for the wonderful organization of this particular meeting and for welcoming our pilgrims with open arms. We thank also the generous donors from Canada, the United States and elsewhere for the holy pictures, the rosaries, medals and videocassettes.
As for myself, I am thankful for the prayers, for the wonderful friendship and for the miraculous medal of Garabandal, which the Rozeluks have given me. May our good Lord continue to generously gift you with His graces and may Our Blessed Mother take care of you always. We pray for you and look forward to our next meeting with you in Ukraine next year. We await you in Zolochiv!
Father Teodor Pylavskyj, OSBM
November 1, 2002
NOTE: The Rozeluks' own story will follow shortly.
See also the story by Fr. Teodor Pylavskyj of the healing through his own
Garabandal medal (Ivanka L.).