Photo: A typical roadside shrine to Our Lady in Ukraine. Villages compete with each other to see who will build the more beautiful one.
Day Eight - The Studite Monastery
Because Bishop Mudry was leaving early this morning for a week in Poland, he celebrated early morning Liturgy at 4:30 a.m. He was very pleased that we cared enough to be present, even though we had already said our good-byes the day before. After Mass and a very early breakfast, Bishop repeated that his home was at our disposal for as long as we were to be in his diocese. We said our final good-byes, and Bishop set off on his journey.
After lunch at the chancery, we set off for our next presentation. Our travels that day took us to a small Studite monastery in the neighbouring province of Ternopil, near its capital city of the same name. Today's event was exclusively for the monks and for the nuns they had invited from the nearby convent. Their hegumen (Father Superior), Fr. Hryhorij Planchak, we had already met several months earlier, at their monastery near Orangeville, Ontario, Canada. It was he who had invited us here to visit their motherhouse.
We were ushered into the monastery chapel, where we joined the monks and nuns in the singing of the chaplet of the Jesus Prayer. Again, as in the seminary several days earlier, their choral singing enchanted us by its beauty. These monks and sisters made us feel as if we were in heaven. After the chaplet, we spoke, as usual, about Garabandal and our connection to its events. Then we were asked to pray for each of the monks and nuns individually, using our medals with Mother Mary's kiss. As we did so, nun after nun, brother after brother, monk after monk, fell gently to the floor, resting in the Holy Spirit. There was such gentle peace on all their faces.
It was growing late when we finally finished (or so we thought). We still had a 2-3 hour drive back to Ivano-Frankivsk over unmarked, unlit and often unpaved country roads. As we were collecting our belongings from the reception room and taking our leave of the monks, one of them asked if we could please pray for two women in special need, who had just arrived. How could we refuse? Little did we know what lay in store for us.
One of the priest-monks ushered one of the women into the room. Then another two priests joined us. We pulled out our medals to pray with the woman, when suddenly, she let out a most horrible screech! Her body was shaking violently and being twisted into all sorts of unnatural contortions. The voices that came out of her were not human - they were not a woman's, nor a man's but something so vile and terrifying that, when we think about it, we thank God that He gave us strength for that battle. The three priests and I (Michael) had to physically hold her down. While Helen continuously sprinkled us and the premises with holy water, all the while repeating Pope Leo XIII's Prayer of Protection, the monks prayed and said exorcism prayers over the woman and I was using the kissed medal and our crucifix with the True Cross. The possessed woman bared her teeth, sneered and laughed at us, spat into my face, hurled profanities at us, even bodily lifted me up as if I weighed no more than a feather. But God gave us the strength to overcome. We withstood all of this. She even tried lying to us to confuse us but to no avail. The prayers continued well into the night. Finally, after a long battle, the woman quieted down and returned to normal. She returned to Jesus and begged His forgiveness and then went to confession and received the Sacraments.
We thought that was all. Were we ever wrong! When the priests led in the second woman, it began all over again. The same horrible scenes were repeated. And, as before, it took an hour of spiritual battle to defeat the enemy.
In the end we were all completely soaked, both in prayer and in holy water. Yes, and also in perspiration. We were now completely exhausted. It was very late. A long drive home was awaiting us. When we were saying our good-byes, Helen, holding her medal in her hand, embraced a young woman. As she did so, the woman started to shake and thrash about. Back we went once more with the priests, to fight it out again for a third time, for another hour. As with the previous two women, this one also, finally, became peaceful and was able to repeat, "Jesus, I love you" with joy in her face, instead of breaking out into screaming profanities.
After such a horrific several hours, we were finally able to set off for home at around 2 a.m., but only after one of the priests blessed us and our vehicle and sprinkled it thoroughly with holy water. Our poor driver, who had been listening to everything from another room, was afraid to retrieve his briefcase, which he had inadvertently left in the reception room where all this was taking place. Thus, without so much as a drink of water for the road, we set off for the long drive back to Ivano-Frankivsk.
The trip was supposed to take about two hours. (That's what one would expect, if it took two hours to get there, right?) However, we should have expected something called "retaliation". It came in the form of absent road signs and road markers. To make a long story short, we got lost. Country roads are never lit. They have no names. In the end, we were so tired and cold, that at one point our driver was unable to continue and simply had to stop on the roadside to get at least a half hour's sleep. We finally found our way back to Ivano-Frankivsk and the bishop's residence at 8 a.m. the following morning. It was Sunday. We were expected at Hoshiv that afternoon. We just dropped onto our beds and slept ... all of four hours. At noon we were up again, to get ready for our trip to the shrine of Our Lady in Hoshiv.
Day Nine - Sunday. More Miracles at Hoshiv
Hoshiv is a small village, about 1.5 hour's drive from Ivano-Frankivsk. Near the village, on a large estate, is an old Basilian monastery with a beautiful church dedicated to Our Lady. The church stands atop a small mountain called Yasna Hora, or Brilliant Mountain. In that church, hanging behind the altar, is a beautiful miraculous icon of the Blessed Mother. During World War II, when it became obvious that the Communists would take hold of western Ukraine, the monks fled, taking the icon with them. After Ukraine's independence in 1990, the monastery and surrounding estate were returned to the Catholic Church and to the Basilian Order. The original miraculous icon, however, has yet to be found. A copy hangs in its place but also, when Pope John Paul II visited Ukraine in 2001, he brought a gift to that monastery church: another beautiful copy of the same icon. Both of these now hang in the church - one behind the altar, the other, suspended from the ceiling above the sanctuary.(see picture below). Needless to say, Hoshiv has returned to its former fame and glory as a major pilgrimage site. People flock to Our Lady every Sunday and holy day and She continues to shower Her children with miracles. And now we were being invited to speak there to Her children and to pray with them.
Photos: Hoshiv, the Shrine and the icons.
We left for Hoshiv at about 3 p.m. When we arrived, we were told that it had been raining there since early morning. As soon as we arrived, the rain stopped. The crowds numbered in the thousands. We could not even drive onto the grounds because everywhere you looked there were crowds and crowds of people. Father Kasko of Radcha met us at the entrance gate and led us up the long winding driveway, through the crowd, past the church on the top of the hill, to a canopied outdoor altar, where he introduced us to Father Superior and the other priests and monks. The priests told us that 15,000 people had received Holy Communion during the Masses that day. They estimated the crowd to be at least 20,000 strong, in fact the largest ever at Hoshiv.
The afternoon began at about 5 p.m. with the recitation of the Holy Rosary. Unfortunately, no matter what the poor monks did, the microphones and loudspeakers simply would not work. That also meant that we would not be speaking to the pilgrims. In the meantime, when the people realized we had arrived and where we were standing, there was a general surge in our direction, a giant wave of people trying to get closer. Picture a sea of bodies as far as the eye can see, all advancing towards you, jostling, pushing, even trampling one another - an unstoppable force. It can be quite a frightening experience. Under those circumstances, we decided with the priests that it would be better to simply proceed immediately with the veneration of the medals. Since there was no room to even move here atop the mountain, we decided to go back down the hill, to the entrance gates. Several strong and muscular gentlemen were enlisted to keep back the crowd and create a path for us to go back down the hill. There, at the bottom, Helen and I stood on either side of the driveway near an outdoor statue of Our Lady, while our bodyguards forced the oncoming mass of people into two streams, one coming towards me, the other towards Helen. As each person approached one of us, they were able to quickly kiss our medals and continue on down the driveway to their vehicles. This plan seemed to work the best. By this time it was about 6 p.m.
Photo: Part of the crowd of 20,000 in Hoshiv.
As before, in the Ivano-Frankivsk Cathedral, in order to successfully preserve any semblance of order, it was necessary to remind everyone to continuously recite the rosary. Otherwise, the oncoming river of people became a dangerous avalanche. A young woman approached me (Michael). As soon as she came close to my medal with the kiss of Our Lady, suddenly, without warning, she began screaming, kicking, and contorting her body. I can still hear those horrible sounds when I think about this episode. Instantly, there was a lot of room around us. The people retreated in fear to a "safe" distance. I called out, instructing them to keep on reciting the rosary out loud. Father Superior was standing beside me, invoking exorcism prayers. Eventually, after a lengthy battle of prayer, everyone's prayer, we were all able to witness the great miracle of victory in the name of Jesus Christ, as the young woman returned, soul and body, to Our Lord. Father said that today he saw a miracle. He had known this woman and her family for some time. Later, he wrote an article, which appeared in the December issue of a local religious newspaper. In it he describes the events of that day in Hoshiv, the miracles he witnessed there, including the deliverance of this woman, as well as some miraculous healings we do not even remember.
The crowds continued to approach. Slowly, one by one, we were able to provide each person our medals for veneration. Finally, when we were done, the monks invited us for a bite to eat in their refectory. I (Helen) answered by telling them of our adventures the night before and that, as a result, we had not yet been to Mass. They immediately led us into the now empty church, put on their vestments and began Divine Liturgy for our intentions. I glanced at my watch: it was 8:30 p.m. How was that possible? Only a couple of days ago, it took us at least until midnight to pray with 1500 people. But this was twenty thousand people! Even if we saw one person per second, we could not have done this in only 2.5 hours! What a momentous miracle! God had literally suspended time and stopped the clock!
After Mass and Holy Communion, we now felt complete and refreshed. We took some photographs in the church and then joined the priests and monks in the monastery refectory for a late meal. After supper, the monks loaded us with gifts: holy pictures of Our Lady of Hoshiv, holy cards, books, blessed objects. The reception they gave us will forever live in our minds and hearts. We went home exhausted but pleased. The following morning we found out that there had already been 17 miraculous healings reported from the previous evening. Ah, yes ... Mother Mary and God were definitely there with us all.
Day Ten - Testimonies on Video
Because of the many miracles of healing, Bohdan Shyptur and Father Zenovy Kasko felt that a video record should be taken with testimonies from those who were healed. A videographer was hired for Monday morning to record testimonies in Radcha and for Monday afternoon in the Cathedral of Ivano-Frankivsk. Helen and I were asked to come and, reluctantly, we agreed. Arriving at Radcha, we expected about 4 or 5 people to show up. What a surprise, as we entered the belfry chapel in Radcha, to find the room filled to capacity with people, children and adults, wishing to give testimony of their healing. We were amazed and very, very pleased. The videographer, a non-believer, was skeptical, to say the least, and kept glancing at his watch. Father Zenovy then asked us to pray over one or two individuals. Again the power of the Holy Spirit took over as children and older people fell to the floor until there was no room to stand. The videographer had not seen anything like this in his life. He was now genuinely interested and began to record in earnest everything he saw and heard.
In the afternoon, Bohdan and the videographer left for the Cathedral in Ivano-Frankivsk to tape more testimonies. We were to join them later, but first we were invited to Father Kasko's home where he and his family prepared a very special farewell lunch for us. It was our last day in that province, so Father also wanted to shower us with prayers, gifts and the promise of continued prayerful union. What a wonderful, holy priest, and now dear friend!
When we arrived later at the Cathedral, the videotaping was almost over. There were even more people giving testimony here than in Radcha. Even the parents of one of the little boys who began to walk for the first time came and brought their son. The video shows him climbing down from his parents' laps, running, falling down, laughing, getting up and running some more. We all rejoiced and praised the Lord at his every movement. The completed video has now been sent to us. We have had it duplicated with English subtitles and it is now available to anyone who wishes to have it.
So much joy and happiness was evident on the faces of all these people. They received God's love and were healed. We said our fond farewells to all our new friends, the wonderful and special priests we had met and everyone that had touched our lives so profoundly. We were leaving for Lviv the following day.
Day Eleven - Lviv
We arrived in the city of Lviv, the capital of Western Ukraine, around noon. Here we took our leave of Bohdan Shyptur, our trip organizer/chauffeur/public relations man. It was a tearful good-bye. During these first ten days, we had grown very close to Bohdan and his lovely wife, Luba. However, schedules are schedules.
We were met in Lviv by Bohdan P., who was taking care of us during this stage of our trip. His first job was to take us immediately to St. George's Cathedral, seat of the Archbishop of Ukraine, His Beatitude Cardinal Lubomyr Huzar. The Cardinal was away in Kyiv at the time but he left instructions with the cathedral administrator to interview us thoroughly and discern about us. So our first stop in Lviv was the chancery office.
When we arrived at the chancery, Bohdan P. introduced us to Msgr. Roman Krawchyk, the administrator, who promptly ushered us into his office. Waiting for us there were another three priests, one of whom was the chairman of the diocesan tribunal, and Dr. Dytka, a medical doctor - the vice dean of the Faculty of Medicine at Lviv University. The doctor was part of the pontifical committee that worked on the beatification process of Blessed Sister Josafata (see above, part 1). All-in-all we were before a formidable group of interviewers.
Photo: St. George's Cathedral in Lviv.
After introducing us, Monsignor Krawchyk informed us that he knew little of us and that it was not certain if we would be permitted to talk in the cathedral itself, but probably in the small parish reception hall. The cathedral was now a place of pilgrimage because a full-size copy of the Shroud of Turin had just arrived and was being displayed there for veneration for the next several weeks. We offered no protest whatsoever. Whatever arrangements the Monsignor would make were fine with us.
We then all sat down and the real interview began. Our interviewers were quite emotionless but their questions flew at us one after the other with incredible speed. Helen and I felt as if we were at an inquisition. Every word and gesture of ours was being scrutinized. This looked like it was going to be a long afternoon. Some of the questions were of a profound theological nature, certainly not of the kind that we ordinary citizens would be expected to be able to answer. And yet, the answers came out of our mouths, simply and truthfully, sometimes before our conscious minds could even formulate them. This went on for less than two minutes when, suddenly, all the interviewers simultaneously became very excited. Without warning, they cut short the interview and told us that we absolutely MUST speak in the cathedral and not in any hall. They acted like excited little boys with a new discovery. I looked at Helen and she looked at me and to this day neither of us knows exactly what it was that changed their attitude so unexpectedly. It was as though someone had suddenly clicked on a light switch or snapped his fingers. Now they were asking us how long we would be in Lviv and were very disappointed that we said only three days. Monsignor Krawchyk said that we absolutely must come back again as soon as possible and for at least for two weeks and that Kyiv, the capital of Ukraine, must also be included in our itinerary. They would make all the necessary arrangements themselves. So, when were we coming back?
Photo: Main altar at St. George's Cathedral.
They then gave us a quick tour of the cathedral. They wanted to show us the apartment where Pope John Paul II stayed when he visited the previous year but time constraints prevented this. They took us to the crypt under the main altar, where previous archbishops are interred, among them Metropolitan Andrey Sheptytsky, Cardinal Josyf Slipyj and Cardinal Myroslav Lubachivsky – to whom we had first sent the Ukrainian video on Garabandal in 1996. Beatification processes are under way for the first two of these archbishops. The crypt is constantly being visited by pilgrims and there was a lineup of people at the entrance to the crypt. The priests led us to the front of the lineup, ushered us in and closed off the entrance. We were there for a private visit.
The tombs of the deceased are sunken into the marble floor. Only heavy stone lids stand in relief, indicating the placement of each tomb. We prayed before the remains of these holy men. Then, to our surprise, Msgr. Krawchyk and another priest took heavy steel rods, slid them into metal rings alongside one stone lid and lifted it away. We were given the unusual and great privilege to see, under a glass covering, the preserved mortal remains of Cardinal Josyf Slipyj. This holy priest is venerated by all Ukrainians as a confessor of the Faith. While still an archbishop during World War II, he was arrested by the Russian Communists for refusing to deny his Catholic faith and was sentenced to life imprisonment in Siberian concentration camps. After eighteen years, he was released in 1963 through the influence of Pope John XXIII who had him brought to Rome. Later, Pope Paul VI made him Cardinal and, until his death, Josyf Slipyj led his worldwide Ukrainian Byzantine Catholic flock from Rome. His dying wish was to be buried alongside his predecessor, Metropolitan Sheptytsky, at St. George's in Lviv. This became possible only after the breakup of the Soviet Union and Ukraine's independence. And now we were standing before his mortal remains. We were awed and speechless. We prayed.
From the crypt, Msgr. Krawchyk led us back upstairs, directly to the copy of the Shroud of Turin that was on display in the nave of the cathedral. After we venerated this relic, the priests took us to lunch where we talked even more about our ministry, the miracles we have witnessed and showed the priests our medals. After lunch, Father Krawchyk asked us to arrive a couple hours earlier tomorrow because he wanted us to meet several more of his colleagues. We agreed.
From St. George's, our new "caregiver" Bohdan took us to his home in the nearby city of Novo-Yavorivsk, where we met his lovely wife and some members of his family. His daughter, who was visiting from out-of-town, was suffering from a spinal problem. We prayed over her with our medals and she rested in the Holy Spirit. Several days later, during a phone call with her parents, she said that all her spinal pain had disappeared.
That evening we had a presentation at one of the churches in Novo-Yavorivsk. A great multitude was awaiting us. The church and the grounds surrounding it were overflowing with people.
Photos: The church and the crowd at Novo-Yavorivsk
When we arrived, the congregation, led by the pastor, was reciting the holy rosary. This was followed by the Holy Liturgy. Then the pastor introduced us to his parishioners and we spoke, as usual, about Garabandal, Our Lady's messages and our own subsequent apostolate. After our presentation, Father placed me (Michael) by the front entrance while Helen provided her medal for veneration at the side door.
There was no possibility to pray at length for anyone but God needs only the faith of his little ones to shower them with His love. So it was here also. We received news about healings only later, via telephone or through the mail. One man came who had a malignant brain tumor. The cancer was terminal and inoperable. It also affected his ability to walk and caused him much pain. He walked with the support of two canes. After he kissed the medal from Garabandal, he left the church. At that moment, blood suddenly gushed from his mouth, his nose and his ears. Alarmed at this situation, his loved ones rushed him to the medical facilities. He was kept there for some time for a thorough reassessment. However, at the same time, he was now no longer in pain and felt that he could also walk without his canes. After further examination, x-rays and CT Scans, the doctors were compelled to admit to him that the cancerous tumor in his head had completely disappeared!
Day Twelve - St. George's Cathedral
Today is our wedding anniversary. We spent a very comfortable night at Bohdan's home. We will always remember him and his lovely wife as a very gracious and generous couple who, like Bohdan Shyptur, put their own lives on hold in order to be of service to us. Such beautiful people!
After breakfast, Bohdan gave us a short tour of his home town, then drove us back to Lviv.
Photo: Five priests celebrate Moleben prior to our talk at St. George's Cathedral.
We came early, as Msgr. Krawchyk had asked. He met us near the entrance gates to the cathedral complex and we walked together to a nearby restaurant, where he had reserved a table for lunch. On the way there, he told us that he had a phone call that morning from Father Petro, one of the priests from yesterday's interview, who had afterwards also been with us at lunch. Apparently, Father Petro had an accident two weeks previously: he had had a bad fall and had injured his back. He found it very difficult to sit through the interview and had barely made it through the luncheon. In fact, he was sorry he accepted the invitation to lunch at all. He told Msgr. Krawchyk that, as we were leaving the restaurant, I "happened" to place my hand, with the Garabandal medal in it, on the very spot on his back that was in pain. By the time he arrived home, his pain had totally disappeared and he is now pain-free! What a confirmation from God Himself for His beloved priests! Thank you Jesus!
We enjoyed lunch again with Msgr. Krawchyk and several other priests. After lunch, we returned to the cathedral for our presentation. Msgr. Krawchyk apologized that they had done no advertising of our event, because they knew nothing about us before we came, so please, not to be disappointed if very few people show up. We were to begin at 3 p.m. in order to be finished by 6 p.m. evening Mass. When we arrived, the cathedral was completely filled - at least 2000 people.
Six priests began with Devotions to the Blessed Virgin (Moleben). Then Msgr. Krawchyk introduced us and we spoke, as usual. And, as usual, we needed a bodyguard of strong men to help direct the crowd as each of us stood at opposite exit doors, providing our medals for veneration to the people as they left the building. And, as usual, only continual recitation of Hail Mary's preserved order and peace. Beside each of us there was also a priest, praying with us as well as observing and discerning. By 6 p.m. everyone had been ministered to and Mass began.
As we were leaving the Cathedral, we were given a wonderful surprise. A group of young Studite monks and nuns from the Ternopil area monastery (where we had the "unearthly" adventure), instructed by their Father Superior, had come all the way to Lviv (several hundred kilometers) just to greet us and wish us a happy anniversary. They even brought us gifts: rosaries, holy pictures etc. we were so very touched! Msgr. Krawchyk and the other priests were more than a little surprised that we knew each of them personally. We were given the opportunity to have a short visit with them in the reception hall and again to pray with them individually. What a blessing that was!
After another exciting day, we went to our host's home for some well deserved rest.
Day Thirteen - Church of St. Michael
Photo: Helen and Michael with some of the priests present at St. Michael's.
Rear center: Fr. Volodymyr, pastor of the church and chairman of Diocesan Tribunal.
Names of other priests unknown.
This was our final day in Ukraine. We were invited to speak at St. Michael's Church on the outskirts of Lviv. The pastor of this parish was the chairman of the diocesan tribunal, one of the priests who had interviewed us two days previously. People arrived as before, by car, by bus, on foot, in wheelchairs, and any way that was possible. Five priests celebrated Mass, while several others were in various corners of the church hearing confessions. After Mass, the Blessed Sacrament remained on the altar while we spoke. The priests continued to hear confessions and, every fifteen minutes or so, returned to the altar to give Holy Communion to those who had just been to confession. This went on for the entire evening.
Photo: Helen and Michael speaking at St. Michael's Church in Lviv.
As we took our places at the exit doors to provide our medals for veneration, we were touched by the fervor and trust in Our Lady. Many, many people approached, identifying themselves as orthodox. Among them were many orthodox priests. They came ... to Mary, with hope, faith and love, a love that we have yet to see here in the West. We westerners would never be willing to stand for hours anywhere, much less in church, especially in such cramped conditions. (Churches in Ukraine have no pews). We would never be willing to stand for hours outdoors in the rain, in the cold, so tightly packed that we could barely breathe. But these people did and they kept coming. Some even followed us from town to town, from church to church. And God rewarded them. We have since received letters and newspaper articles with testimonies from people who were healed also in this church.
One lady that we got to know very well, was so very happy. She reported that, towards the end of our stay in Ukraine, her husband, who had not gone to church for a long time and, naturally, not been to confession in many years, after hearing us speak not once, but several times, took our words to heart. One day, he sneaked out of his house on a pretext and, without anyone's knowledge, sought out a priest, went to confession, and, for the first time in years, received Holy Communion.
Every priest and nun we met in Ukraine, whether they were Catholic or Orthodox, received a small medal from us containing a piece of missal kissed by Our Lady. God provided exactly the number of medals we needed to hand out and we came home empty-handed. Our trip was completed.
Day Fourteen - Return Home
We got up quite early on Friday, in order to arrive at the airport on time. Our hosts saw us off with tears in their eyes. At the airport, as we were waiting at the departure gate, we struck up a conversation with a nun who also happened to be flying to Frankfurt. It never ceases to amaze us how wonderfully God arranges "coincidences" in our lives. The nun introduced herself as Sister Marta Kozak, the Provincial Superior for the Sisters Servants of Mary Immaculate in Ukraine. She was on her way to visit her sisters in Calgary but was concerned about her transfer in Frankfurt because she spoke neither German nor English. So, we marvelled, ... God arranged to put her on the same flight with the Rozeluks. It was a good thing because the transfer in Frankfurt involved changing terminals and, because of construction at the airport, there were some detours in transfer directions which a person not knowing English or German would undoubtedly have missed. Our Lord was definitely taking care of His good Sister and, while doing so, He took care to acquaint her with His Mother's apparitions in Garabandal. We shared with her our wonderful experiences of the previous two weeks and presented her with the very last reliquary medal left in our pockets. In Frankfurt, we had time for lunch and then to pray the rosary with Sister Marta in the airport chapel. Then we directed her to her departure gate and went on our way.
On the flight home, for the first time, we began to feel the exhaustion of the past two weeks. But what joy was in our hearts. It overwhelmed any fatigue. We returned home safely and, two weeks later, we were in New York City giving more presentations on Garabandal.
Summary of the Trip
The trip was unprecedented in size and scope. We have never seen so many people in such a short time. In the course of two weeks, we saw and prayed with approximately 40,000 people. We have never before witnessed so many healings, Such dramatic and profound healings: "the lame walk, the dumb speak, the blind see"... The proof was there for all to see. Since our trip to Ukraine, many letters and newspaper articles have been sent to us detailing many other healings which happened while we were there and some that became evident over a period of time afterwards. These will all be presented in due course.
This was not our trip but Mary's triumph in Ukraine. She was in charge. There is a fire in Ukraine, a fire in the hearts of the people of God. The forced soviet communist regime tried for half a century to eradicate religion from the life and hearts of these people. But the communists forgot to take into account that this poor, underdeveloped country was, centuries ago, consecrated to the Immaculate Heart of Mary and placed under Her protection. She has protected it and, when Ukraine finally declared independence 13 years ago, not one bullet was fired, not one person lost their life. It was a peaceful return to freedom, a very rare thing in human history. It was Our Lady's intercession with God that achieved this. This is Her country. The fire of devotion to Her Heart and to the Heart of Jesus is so intense here, it will continue to spread and reach across the whole of Ukraine to the East and from there across the world.
We have much to learn from these poor people. We thank God that He gave us the opportunity to see and learn from these people the meaning of true faith . Not only did they see our love for Mother Mary but we, in turn, seeing their great devotion, were ever more strengthened in our own faith.
We have been invited to return to Ukraine again. When that will be is still in God's hands. May His Holy Will be done. AMEN.
Written by Helen and Michael Rozeluk