May 1, 2021


With the pandemic still looming large and taking note of the many various and unsettling shifts in culture and dismaying political developments, Holy Eucharist Parish in Winnipeg, decided to add to their daily prayer life the long-held Ukrainian Catholic custom of daily Marian devotions - "Mayivky" - throughout the month of May.

The plan started off in a big way..... A few months ago, His Grace Metropolitan Lawrence Huculak donated to the parish a copy of a unique version of the miraculous icon of the the Mother of God of Pochaiv. The family of Ed and Mavis Kaluzny sponsored the mounting of the icon in a beautiful golden frame. Another parishioner, Nelson Hoffman, a skilled woodcarver (who helped touch-up the iconostas a few years back after it was installed) agreed to design and make two crowns for the icon. Everything was ready before the end of April.

Now the original plan was to have a ceremony of the crowning of this new icon on the feast of the Nativity in September to recall the crowing of the original Icon of Our Lady of Pochaiv on that feast day (September 8/21) way back in 1773. However, There was another date that would be most appropriate - May 1st.

It was on May 1st, 1773 that Pope Clement XIV issued a decree from Rome that the Miraculous Icon of Pochaiv was truly worthy of all-Church, global recognition as a source of God's grace to His People via the intercession of Mary. The Pope ordered that the Icon not only be crowned, but the Vatican made and passed along to Ukraine two beautiful crowns that were to be used. May 1st is considered as the Feast of the Crowning of Our Lady of Pochaiv. At the crowning at Pochaiv two bishops performed the crowning in a field outside the monastery walls. The reason why that occurred was because the new church was still not completed, but especially... to accommodate all the people that gathered from far and wide! The bishops were joined by 1000 priests and 100,000 people!

The Crowning that happened at Holy Eucharist Parish church was not as grandiose, but surely every bit as inspirational. The Icon was paraded forward by Ed and Mavis, who were escorted by their two granddaughters Mya and Katya - members of the parish Girls of Mary.

After a welcoming and brief introduction by parish priest, Fr. Michael Kwiatkowski, a history of the Icon of Pochaiv was presented by Ed and Mavis' daughter Penny Spewak. Then Nelson Hoffman presented the breathtaking carved and gilded crowns for the Metropolitan to bless and place on the icon.

When the icon was carried forward and placed on the stand the small congregation sang "Pid tvoyu mylist" "Under your mercy".That is what the massive crowd sang in 1773 in the field near Pochaiv. It was Sister Pavla, SSMI of the Sisters Servants at Bethany Home here in Winnipeg, who graciously agreed to lead the singing for the evening. As our Metropolitan affixed the crowns to the icon she led everyone in the appropriate verse from Левадов, долинов, "Accept this crown, O gracious Mother..."

During the Moleben' that followed, His Grace, Metropolitan Lawrence shared an amazing account of how the icon of Pochaiv - and especially the Icon of Pochaiv from the Basilian Monastery in Mundare - has mirrored the way of Mary the Mother of Jesus. She was chosen to be the 'Theotokos' who would bring our Saviour into the world, yet she has always been the quiet, unassuming handmaid of the Lord that gets around and gets so much done in her role in God's salvation of so many.

Alas, the covid restrictions now in place did not permit the attendance of many more people or a reception of celebration at the end. However, many did join online via livestreaming. In fact the parish wants to invite all who wish to attend the Moleben' every evening during May at 6:30 PM [HERE].


Ой, зійшла зоря вечеровая,

Над Почаївом стала,

Виступало турецькеє військо,

Як та чорна хмара.

Oh, the evening star had risen,

And stood over Pochaiv,

The Turkish army was advancing,

Like a black cloud.

Турки з татарами брами облягали,

Манастир звоювали,

Мати Божа Почаївськая

Буде нас рятувати.

Turks and Tatars stormed the gates,

The monastery was under attack,

Mother of God of Pochaiv

Will save us.

Отець Заліло* з келії вийшов,

Та слізьми умліває:

"Ой, рятуй, рятуй, Божая Мати,

Манастир загибає".

Father Zalilo came out of his cell,

And tearfully begged:

"Oh, save us, Mother of God, save us.

The monastery is perishing!"

Ой, вийшла, вийшла, Божая Мати,

На хресті вона стала,

Кулі вертала, турків вбивала,

Манастир врятувала.

She appeared, the Mother of God appeared,

She stood above the cross,

The arrows turned around, and dispatched the Turks,

She saved the monastery.

А ми люди всі, христіяни,

До Бога всі вдаряймо,

Матері Божій, Почаївській

Поклін всі віддаймо!

And we, people, all Christians,

Let us all turn to God,

And to Mother of God of Pochaiv

Let us all bow!


* uncertain, a name Zalilo? a verb flooded?

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