Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Lvov at first sight!

   Thanks be to God, on Sunday afternoon i reached this very beautiful city by bus! Cheating again! The thing was, i crossed over into Ukraine from Poland and, as it was a Sunday, was keen at least to visit a Church. The police in the little frontier town of Krakovets however were clearly not enamoured of people `hanging around`, and i was told gruffly (though without any menace) that i must be gone within half an hour - after being escorted to first one, then a second Church. I then gave the fare for the bus to one of the guys, who paid it to the driver, specifying Lvov, about 65km away - and i didn`t offer any resistance! You might say i could have got out long before Lvov, but i reasoned that i might have been stopped by police again, who could conceivably have been in contact with the Krakovets folks.
St George's Cathedral, Lviv/Lvov
    So i`m here, and wonderfully blessed to be able to stay in a house run by the missionary order `Miles Jesu` (Soldiers of Jesus). An initial Russian visa, hopefully, is being arranged, and i`ve been able to see this beautiful city as if for the first time - a hefty layer of grime has been removed since i was last here, in January 2008. It deserves to take its place in the first rank of marvellous metropolises which were hidden behind the Iron Curtain for all those years; with Prague, Krakow, Budapest, Dresden, Tallinn, Vilnius and others. Another `revelation` to me on this trip was Erfurt, in the former East Germany. On the last walk i was very impressed by Verona. Shakespeare wasn`t joking when he called it `fair` - blimey! It looks a million Euros. Well, i defy anyone who`s actually been there to smirk at the idea that `Romeo and Juliet` could almost equally have been set in Erfurt, without sensibly losing its romantic credentials.
   Hope to be here in Ukraine for quite some time. Since this pilgrimage, like the last one, is dedicated `Totus Tuus`, all for Mary, i`d like to finish with the most recent of her messages from Medjugorje, from 25th of March (the Annunciation), which a friend kindly sent to me;

“Dear children! In a special way today I desire to call you to conversion. As of today, may new life begin in your heart. Children, I desire to see your ‘yes’, and may your life be a joyful living of God’s will at every moment of your life. In a special way today, I bless you with my motherly blessing of peace, love and unity in my heart and in the heart of my Son Jesus. Thank you for having responded to my call.”

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