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Nov 28, 2013

Museum September 20, 2012

Patriarch's translated message

His Beatitude, Sviatoslav Shevchuk, made a historic visit to the newly constructed Museum building at 222 Avenue M South in Saskatoon on September 20, 2012. Many people have said they would like to have his message (which was mostly given in Ukrainian) - translated. The following is a copy of his translated message to all the Friends of the Museum who were present for the blessing. Please share it with others.


It is a special joy for me that I can finally speak Ukrainian with you. All  day I was speaking English and finally I get a place, like a paradise for the Ukrainian soul, where I can speak Ukrainian. [Patriarch said this sentence in English].


In his time, my great predecessor, the servant of God, Metropolitan Andriy Sheptytsky, said the following: "A nation which forgets its history has no future". I am very pleased to recall these words right here and right now.

Next year the Ukrainian community in the whole world will be commemorating the centennial of one very interesting event. The first person who began collecting Ukrainian antiquities such as icons, holy books and other things was him indeed - Metropolitan Andrej Sheptytsky. And t next year it will be 100 years ago that he presented his whole collection to the people of Ukraine. And thus the first Ukrainian National Museum was established in Lviv. He understood very well that a nation which doesn't know its history - doesn't have its future.

In the light of these centennial anniversaries, I think it is very symbolic that here in Saskatoon an idea came about for the Ukrainian community to have its own museum. I know there is yet a lot to do in order for this idea to be fulfilled completely and to carry out all the financial obligations undertaken by the initiators, but it is a very noble affair. We may never forget our great forerunners and our history, even when this history was difficult and full of tears, sorrow and misfortune. For if we should forget about those tears, sorrow and misfortune, then they may repeat themselves.

Our people take pride in their culture, their history and their wealth of being a Ukrainian. I would like to thank sincerely all the donors for I know that this Museum did not emerge because some kind of a state program gave you the money, and not because Ukraine helped you - though she should have done it. In fact, it was a commitment and good will of ordinary Ukrainians, good people, donors, who possibly are contributing their last mite so that the glory of the Ukrainian people on this land does not expire. So, I thank you sincerely.

I would like to reassure you of my prayers for you, and of my support and of the fact that Ukraine remembers you, Ukraine loves you and is ready to support you, though at the same time, at this particular moment of history, she probably requires your support as well.

So may the all-merciful God generously bless all of you, multiply all of your gifts and opportunities, so that you could always remember that the history of the Ukrainian people is connected indissolubly with the Ukrainian Church.

Next year we will be celebrating 1025th anniversary of Kyivan Rus' christening. It was this christening that made us a nation. And if we want to remain a nation we must realize that it is the church that is, and will always be, the soul of this nation. The Ukrainian culture can be understood only if we understand the Christian soul of this nation, a nation that has grown able to create supreme examples of art and culture. The one who wishes to study the culture of the Ukrainian people but wants to throw the out God's name and the church reality of that culture, will understand nothing of who a Ukrainian is and what his culture is.

May the Lord generously bless all of you. I tell you good bye, and Glory be to Jesus Christ!