On Thomas Sunday (according to the Julian calendar) May 5, 2019, Sisters Lydia Anna Sawka, Nazariya Mykhayliuk and Emanuela Vavrekova participated in the Divine Liturgy at the St. Sofia Minor Basilica in Rome.
Following Liturgy, Rev. Andriy Soletsky, vice-rector of the basilica, greeted all mothers, including spiritual mothers. This was followed by a prayerful resurrection service for departed souls, the main part of which is composed from the Resurrection Matins. The basilica was filled with faithful. The services concluded with the anointing of oil and giving out the artos.
It was a day that was filled with activities. In the hall next to the basilica, immediately after all the services, Mrs. Sofika Zielyk, an artist-pysanka writer from the United States of America opened her display of pysanky. The opening remarks were made by Mrs. Tetiana Izhewsky, the Ukrainian Ambassador to the Vatican. It was through the efforts of the Ukrainian Embassy that this display of the ancient Ukrainian craft of pysanky-writing was brought to Rome – the center of Catholicism in the world. This craft with its special methodology had been passed on to Mrs. Sofika from her mother, having learned it from skilled crafters preceding her in Ukraine.
For those interested, it was possible to view a display and purchase embroidered icons of well-known late Reverend Father Blazheowsky. Hungry participants of the day’s events were able to feast upon Ukrainian dishes and delicious entrees prepared by the parishioners of the basilica. In the afternoon, Ukrainian songs echoed through the halls while dancing to Ukrainian tunes took place in the downstairs hall due to the rainy weather outside.