Ukraine – Don Bosco and his liturgical feast (31 January) is henceforth entered among the Eastern saints in the liturgical calendar of the Greek-Catholic Church in Ukraine

19 September 2023

(ANS – Lviv) – The Synod of Bishops of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church in its 93rd session, held on 1 and 2 February 2023 in Lviv, Ukraine, decided to reform its liturgical calendar and move from the Julian calendar in use in this Church until now, to the Gregorian calendar. And so from 1 September 2023, the date that marks the beginning of the liturgical year, the Church has switched to the new Gregorian style for immovable feasts. At the same time, the Kiev Orthodox Church also switched to following the new Julian calendar. According to this decision, from 1 September 2023, all the immovable feasts of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church and the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Kiev in Ukraine will be celebrated in a new style, preserving the current Eastern way of celebrating Easter.

From now on, the feasts of the Lord, Our Lady and the Saints will be celebrated in this way: Feast of Christmas - December 25; Epiphany - January 6; Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary - March 25; Feast of the Protection of the Blessed Virgin Mary - October 1; Saint Nicholas - December 6... In 2025, the 1700th anniversary of the First Ecumenical Council will be celebrated. In preparation for this anniversary, they are working together in dialogue between Rome and Constantinople on a renewed Easter, meaning all Christians in the world can celebrate it on the same day.

In addition, in the wake of the reform of the Liturgical Calendar, the Synod of Bishops of the Greek-Catholic Church held recently in Rome from 3 to 13 September, introduced into the liturgical calendar of the Church the new saints who belong to the other Churches sui iuris: martyr Pavlo Hojdic, (17 July) martyr Vasyl Hopko (23 July), Saint Charbel Makhlouf (24 July),  Saint Mother Teresa of Calcutta (5 September),  Saint John Paul II (22 October), SaintAnthony of Padua, (13 June), Saint Alphonsus Mary Liguori (1 August)... and among these also the founder of the Salesians, Saint John Bosco (31 January).

The introduction of the names of saints of other Churches sui iuris in the liturgical calendar of the Greek-Catholic Church shows the openness and respect that the Greek-Catholic Church has for the traditions of holiness in the Latin Church and other Eastern Catholic Churches. Being an Eastern Church sui iuris in close communion with the Catholic Church of Rome, it enjoys all the goods and therefore the glory and intercession of the saints that the universal Catholic Church offers to all her sons and daughters.

Some of the saints who have just entered the Church's liturgical calendar are directly related to monastic orders or religious congregations serving in the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church. Others are quite common and known among the faithful of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church: churches and monasteries are built in their honour, streets named, monuments erected, relic venerated and various devotions practised.

For these "new" saints who have entered the liturgical calendar of the Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Church in the near future, the new liturgical parts will be prepared for the liturgy on their feast days - obviously according to what is required by Eastern tradition and rite and by the particular law of the Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Church.

These decisions were a source of deep gratitude to the Synod of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church and of great joy for the Salesians, the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians and the entire Salesian Family present in Ukraine for more than thirty years, because from now on they will be able to celebrate the feast of their Founder not only in the Salesian communities and works, but with the entire ecclesial community of the country, together with the entire Salesian Catholic world.


ANS - “Agenzia iNfo Salesiana” is a on-line almost daily publication, the communication agency of the Salesian Congregation enrolled in the Press Register of the Tibunal of Rome as n 153/2007.

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