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Bethlehem Light Passes to Churches in Kyiv, Ukraine

KYIV — On December 20, 2009, in the Ivan Honchar Museum, the Ukrainian Center of Folk Culture, the Bethlehem peace light was passed to Ukrainian Churches and organizations. It was received by representatives of four denominations, the Ukrainian Orthodox Church-Kyivan Patriarchate, the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church, the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, and the Roman Catholic Church, reports Ukrinform.  

The Bethlehem Peace Light campaign was initiated in 1988 by an Austrian broadcasting company. Its aim is to bring the flame from the symbolic place of birth of Jesus Christ to people celebrating Christmas away from their home, in hospitals, orphanages, etc. It is transported from Bethlehem by plane by Austrian scouts to be passed to other European scouts.

From Austria the light travels to Poland, through Slovakia, and then to Ukraine, where it is taken care of by Plast, the largest scouting organization in Ukraine.

Awake, O sleeper, and arise from the dead!

My soul, O my soul, rise up! Why are you sleeping? The end draws near, and soon you will be troubled. Watch, then, that Christ your God may spare you, for He is everywhere present and fills all things.

From the Great Canon of Andrew of Crete

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

We honor the relics of the martyrs, that we may adore Him whose martyrs they are. We honor the servants that their honor may be reflected upon their Lord who Himself says: "He that receives you receives me."

St. Jerome, Epistle 109:1, NPNF II, 6:212

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