The Patriarchal Cathedral of the Resurrection of Christ in Kyiv is the main shrine of the UGCC, which rises on the left bank of the Dnipro River. Its importance and relevance for the Church and the entire Ukrainian people is invaluable, as over the past ten years, it has become more and more meaningful in the life of every Greek Catholic every day. The Patriarchal Cathedral of the Resurrection of Christ is a continuation of the significant efforts of many generations of Ukrainians and one of the manifestations of the spiritual revival of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church.
A visible sign of the unity and conciliarity of the UGCC
Construction of the main Greek Catholic shrine began on October 27, 2002. Then, His Beatitude Lubomyr Husar, then Head of the UGCC, consecrated the cornerstone. This day was pivotal for all Greek Catholics around the world, as it marked the beginning of the history of the Patriarchal Cathedral of the Resurrection of Christ.
This year marks ten years since the now Head of the UGCC, His Beatitude Sviatoslav, consecrated the Patriarchal Cathedral in Kyiv, which unites all faithful Ukrainians worldwide. This event took place on August 17–18, 2013, on the 1025th anniversary of the Baptism of Rus-Ukraine. More than 20,000 pilgrims and more than 700 priests joined the pilgrimage.
Lubomyr Husar’s resting place
The crypt where His Beatitude Lubomyr Husar is buried is a unique place in the cathedral. Prayer in this place is important for the cathedral and the church because His Beatitude Lubomyr of blessed memory emphasized while building it that the Patriarchal Cathedral is a temple that unites everyone: “People will come here for pilgrimages. The faithful will gather not only to look at the church but also to pray in it. Everyone who comes will find themselves saying, ‘This is my church. This is our church, and this place unites us.’”
Apart from this, the cathedral is unique for its pure white marble altar, which houses the relics of 12 apostles, St. Josaphat Kuntsevych, St. Nicholas Charnetsky, and two popes, Martin and Clement, who once stepped on Ukrainian soil.
Today, the Patriarchal Cathedral of the Resurrection of Christ is becoming the spiritual and cultural hub of the Ukrainian nation. In difficult times for the Ukrainian people, the UGCC shrine becomes a refuge for everyone in need. Only three months after the consecration, the Revolution of Dignity participants hid in the cathedral’s basement, a hospital was organized to treat the wounded, and a memorial service was celebrated for the heroes of the Heavenly Hundred who died on the Maidan. This period entered the cathedral’s history under “Patriarchal Hideout.”
A life-saving space during the pandemic
In 2020–2021, the cathedral became a focal point for the communal prayer of the global congregation of the Church through live broadcasts on Live TV and a space for saving human life during the Covid-19 pandemic. The Church adhered to all sanitary requirements and opened a vaccination point. The Patriarchal Cathedral of the Resurrection of Christ in Kyiv became the first Church of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, where, at the request of the Ministry of Health of Ukraine, on November 7, 2021, health workers vaccinated everyone against Covid-19.
Solid shelter in time of war
In 2022, a full-scale war broke out in Ukraine, with the city of Kyiv surrounded by Russian troops. Then, according to His Beatitude Sviatoslav, the Patriarchal Cathedral became “Noah’s Ark.” Ukrainians began to seek salvation in the church. Hence, the cathedral’s foundations became a refuge for hundreds of people.
“From February 24 to early April, 30–40 people lived in the cathedral’s basement regularly,” recalls Fr. Nikanor Loik. About 500 people were in the cathedral in the first days of the full-scale invasion. “What is touching is that not only people but also dogs, cats, rabbits, and hamsters found shelter with us.”
“The first spontaneous reaction on February 24 was to save people and their lives. Interestingly, people also began to seek salvation precisely in the church. Our Patriarchal Cathedral of the Resurrection of Christ turned into a grand shelter,” said the head of the UGCC, “And we realized then that we were responsible for that nation, for those people. We then tried to feed them, keep them warm, provide them with medicines, and tried to support them in spirit.”
A symbol of hope and faith in the future
The Patriarchal Cathedral of the UGCC has proved to be an irreplaceable spiritual center for the faithful and Ukrainian people. Over the past ten years, this church has become a place of prayer and a symbol of unity, hope, and faith in the future. It has become a place to find physical and spiritual refuge and feel supported. Prayer here has become a source of strength and confidence in difficult moments, helping people to tackle difficulties and remain optimistic.
Since its establishment, the Patriarchal Cathedral of the Resurrection of Christ has become a light in dark times, a source of inspiration, and a venue for all those seeking spiritual community and solace.
To mark the 10th anniversary of the consecration, the Head of the UGCC, His Beatitude Sviatoslav, invites every diocese and exarchate of the UGCC in Ukraine and around the world to embark on a pilgrimage to the Patriarchal Cathedral of the Resurrection of Christ in Kyiv during the year.
Prepared by Vira Valchuk
The UGCC Department for Information