Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Ukrainians commemorate 'iconic event'

Eparch leads celebrations for anniversary of first-millenium baptism

Holy Eucharist Ukrainian Heritage School students display their icons of Jesus and His Blessed Mother.
(Alistair Burns / The B.C. Catholic)

A group of 300 gathered for an important act of commemoration in St. Mary's Ukrainian Catholic Parish Centre April 14. Eparch (Bishop) Ken Nowakowski of New Westminster led a celebration of the 1025th anniversary of the baptism of the citizens of Kyivan Rus' in 988, a moment of triumph for Christianity in Eastern Europe.

"One thousand twenty-five years ago, St. Volodymyr the Great stood on the bank of the Dnipro River and accepted Christianity as the true faith of his and our peoples," began Eugene Lupynis, the master of ceremonies.

St. Volodymyr's mass baptism of his people became an "iconic inaugural event" in the spread of Christianity.

"The foundation of Kyivan Rus' had a great impact on Europe," stated Eparch Nowakowski. He recalled that according to tradition, Christianity had already arrived in Eastern Europe, thanks to the efforts of Pope St. Clement I.

For more on Kyivan Rus' and Pope Clement, click here.

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