About VII Pilgrimage to the tomb of Blessed Marta Wiecka – 2016
Marta Wiecka was a Sister from the Congregation of the Daughters of Charity, who sacrificed her life out of love for her neighbors. She is buried at a Sniatyn cemetery, not far from the chapel of St. John of Nepomuk, whom she venerated. The faithful used to come and still come to her burial place to entrust themselves to her care, to ask for help and intersession before God in their different needs, just as people used to do it while she was alive. People believed and still do that she “will help them in their hard times, sicknesses and misfortunes.” People of different nationalities and confessions gather at her tomb. There have never been any discord and quarrels at place there. One can always feel here unity before God; the tomb kind of radiates light and mercy.
Every year pilgrims from all over Ukraine come to the tomb of Blessed Marta Wiecka to venerate memory of Blessed Marta, to pray in front of her tomb asking for her intersession in various needs. This year pilgrimage, which is the seventh in succession, differs from all previous ones with its taking place during the Year of God’s Mercy. This year the faithful from Slovenia, Slovakia, Croatia and Poland joined Ukrainian pilgrims.
During the solemn Liturgy headed by Ordinary Bishop of Kamianets-Podilskyi Leon Dubravskyi we heard in a sermon that we gathered there to honor blessed Marta who united all of us. As St. Vincent de Paul said, “Sunbeams fall on dirty ground, however, they do not get dirty at that, but rather remain the sun. The same applies to holiness: against all odds, wherever it falls, let it be even the biggest sin, it does not get contaminated, but rather stays on holiness.” We see this through the examples of St. Vincent de Paul and Blessed Marta. The tomb radiates light, it radiates holiness. Here we can draw charity and inspiration for good deeds.
Celebrating the Year of God’s Mercy, we specially pray for peace in Ukraine, with that kind of faith with which Blessed Marta prayed for everyone.
During the pilgrimage, using the opportunity to communicate with each other, participants gathered in groups to discuss their personal experience and to share with others their plans for the future. Work in groups was conducted under the slogan “United in charity”.
A procession from the church to the cemetery, where the grave of Blessed Marta Wiecka is situated, became the testimony of faith for the citizens and guests of Sniatyn. Pilgrims headed by Ordinary Bishop Leon Dubravskyi prayed over the tomb of Blessed Marta for peace and mercy and asked for God’s blessings in their needs.
So, even now we invite all those willing for the 8th Pilgrimage that will be held on May 27-28, 2017, in the year of 400th anniversary of Vincentian charisma. Around this time the solemn completion ceremony of the 2-year pilgrimage of the relics of Blessed Marta Wiecka throughout our homeland Ukraine will also take place.