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Pope John-Paul II  In Memoriam



Pope John-Paul II, a good and faithful servant of God has been called home. During his long pontificate he visited more countries than any other pope in the entire history of papacy. He made more than 100 international journeys. One of them was to Ukraine where he was accorded a very warm reception. The Ukrainian Roman Catholics and people of other faiths grieved his passing.


The world has lost a great leader. John Paul II was an extraordinary man, one of the greatest popes in the churchs 2,000-year history. He will be remembered for his tireless witness to hope, to freedom and to the dignity of human life.

On April 8 he was buried in the crypt of St Peters basilica in Vatican. The funeral service was attended by an unprecedented number of the faithful. Among the 220 official foreign delegations that were present at the funeral, was a Ukrainian delegation led by President Viktor Yushchenko. He was accompanied by his wife.

On the same day, Patriarch of Kyiv and of All Rus-Ukraine of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Kyiv Patriarchate Filaret led a requiem mass, the first such ceremony ever held by the Ukrainian Orthodox church for a Roman pope, at the Cathedral of St Volodymyr in Kyiv.

The world has lost a champion of human freedom. He launched a democratic revolution that swept Eastern Europe and changed the course of human history.

The Pope had influenced the peaceful integration of Europe in many ways. By his efforts and through his impressive personality, he changed our world. His life was a long struggle against the lies employed to excuse evil. By combating the falsehoods of communism and proclaiming the true dignity of the individual, his was the moral force behind victory in the cold war. His untiring support of human rights and of Christian values had contributed to the spiritual reawakening around the world.

John Paul II was one of the greatest men of the last century. He became a symbol of love and goodwill for millions of people.

Pope John Paul II prayed for Ukraine, for its independence, for its entry into the civilized community of European nations.


By Mariya Kotsyshyn. Photos by Yury Buslenko


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