On September 5, the Catholic Church in Ukraine experienced a solemn event – the proclamation of a new sanctuary – The Shrine of Our Lady of Tyvriv and the martyrs for the faith.
It was an event that brought great joy for the Oblates of the Delegation as well, as they were given the task of administering it. Fr. Krzysztof Machelski, OMI, became the custodian of the newly- created Shrine.
Bishop Leon Dubravsky, the Ordinary of the Kamyanets-Podilskyi diocese, celebrated the festive Eucharist. Bishops Radoslaw Zmitrowicz, OMI, Bronislaw Bernacki, and Stanislaw Shyrokoradiuk, as well as priests from various dioceses, concelebrated the Holy Mass.
According to the decision of the Episcopal Conference, the first Saturday of September is celebrated as the Day of Prayerful Remembrance of Martyrs for the Faith, and, on the last Saturday of July, there will be a liturgical celebration in honor of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Tyvriv.
The decree and the signed statutes of the sanctuary were handed over to the new guardian and custodian of the shrine, Fr. Krzysztof.
In his address to the audience, Bishop Leon Dubravsky emphasized, “Only the Virgin Mary can help us, lead us to Jesus, and show us the right direction”. “I want this Shrine to be a place where we ask for the graces necessary for the world and for all of us,” he summed up. He also restored the consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary and encouraged people to come to this place to ask for the necessary graces and to receive forgiveness.
At the end of the liturgy, Fr Krzysztof thanked all those who participated and prepared for today’s ceremony.
Fr. Pavlo Vyshkovskyi OMI, the Superior of the Delegation, and a researcher of the history of persecution of the Church in Ukraine, shared his impressions of today’s event:
“For us, the Missionaries of the Oblates of Mary Immaculate, the restoration of this church to the status of a shrine is a great event. It used to be a famous shrine, visited by many pilgrims, but in Soviet times, in 1956, this masterpiece of Podillya was turned into an ugly building – a plastic factory that became a complete ruin in the 1990’s. When, exactly 10 years ago, the OMI Missionaries came to Tyvriv, they immediately started to rebuild the monastery and the church. Today we thank God for the fact that in Tyvriv there is a youth center, a retreat house, and a Memorial of the Martyrs for the Faith, and, from today – a Shrine. This place, once so glorious, is now being revived. Thanks be to God for everything!”