Visit of Ivan Paul II to Ukraine
July 5, 2022
The visit of Ivan Paul II to Ukraine - the state visit of the Head of the Vatican State, Pope John Paul II to Ukraine at the invitation of the Ukrainian government and Catholic hierarchs, took place on June 23-27, 2001, the 94th international visit of Pope John Paul II. The purpose of the visit was to support Catholics in their faith and help in establishing friendly relations between denominations in Ukraine. According to the program of the visit, Ivan Paul II visited Kyiv and Lviv. The Pope was received by the President of Ukraine, Leonid Kuchma, who also took part in the ceremonies of the meeting and send-off of the Pontiff, and in liturgies in Kyiv and Lviv. The Pope also held meetings with representatives of political, business and cultural circles of Ukraine, participants of the meeting of the All-Ukrainian Council of Churches (except the UOC MP). The Pope knelt at Askold's grave (in honor of Askold - the first Christian prince of Kyiv), laid flowers at the tomb of the Unknown Soldier on the Hill of Glory in Kyiv, at the Memorial to the victims in Bykivna, in Babiny Yar. During the Pope's stay in Kyiv, over 200,000 people took part in various events, in Lviv - over 2 million pilgrims, and the Pontiff was welcomed along all the routes of the procession. The Pope served four services (two in the Latin and two in the Byzantine rite) in Kyiv (at the "Chaika" sports complex) and Lviv (at the hippodrome), the masses were attended by more than 1.6 million pilgrims. During the visit, he delivered 11 sermons and speeches. His speeches were characterized by exceptional poise and benevolence. Sermons were delivered in Ukrainian. The pontiff positively assessed Ukraine's contribution to ensuring peace and stability in Europe and the region.