Holy Mother, Nizhnee Bolotnoe, Irshava, Zakarpattia, Ukraine
On August 27, 2002, two girls - Olena Kuruts, 10, and Mariana Kobal, 9 - went
to fetch water at Dzublyk spring in the Carpathian foothills of western Ukraine.
As one was drawing water, the other shouted, "Look who's behind you!"
They saw a beautiful white lady standing on a flower-strewn hovering cloud.
Frightened of this possible witch, the girls hurried home with their water, but
the lady accompanied them on her floating cloud. On hearing the story, Olena's
parents scolded her, but Mariana's father Petro, a Greek Catholic priest,
cautioned them to make the sign of the cross if they saw the apparition again.
That evening when the girls went to get Olena's little sister from kindergarten,
the lady on the cloud reappeared, making the sign of the cross herself after
they did so. Thus reassured that the vision was not an evil spirit, Olena and
Mariana asked her name. She answered that she was the Virgin. The girls began
seeing and conversing with her every day. She asked that their parents go pray
at the countryside spring, and that Father Petro tell the bishop about the
apparitions. He did. The bishop traveled to their village and questioned the
girls in his car, requesting that they ask the lady for a sign to show that
the events were from God. After speaking with her on the spot, they answered
that the greatest sign was that people were flocking to pray at the spring.
Happy with this reply, the bishop conducted the first liturgical service at
Dzublyk on August 31, only four days after the apparitions began. But that
bishop died a year later, and other church authorities were dubious. The
Ukrainian Greek Catholic Synod issued letters to all parishes discouraging
pilgrimages to Dzublyk. However, after the seers visited Pope John Paul II at
the Vatican in 2003, and following successful negotiations by a supportive monk,
the hierarchy relented, allowing the building of a church complex and monastery
at the apparition site. Meanwhile, there were miracles: pilgrims also saw the
Virgin, as well as solar phenomena; a large cross bled; lapsed believers
returned to Greek Catholic practice. Mariana stopped seeing the apparitions, but
Olena continued to meet often with pilgrims and report frequent meetings with
the Mother of God. For a time, she experienced the pain of Christ's crucifixion.
The shrine hosts big pilgrimages on the 27th of each month, with fireworks on
the apparition date, August 27. It celebrated the 10th anniversary of the
Virgin's appearance in 2012.
|"Apparition of Our Lady and Holy Family at Dzhublyk in Zakarpattya
(Ukraine)," www.dzhublyk.org.ua/ (information & photo)|
|Agnieszka Halemba, "Virgin Mary and the Border: Identity Politics of
the Greek Catholic Church at the Ukrainian/Slovak Borderland," Sociológia
vol. 40, no. 6, 2008, www.sav.sk/journals/uploads/02031217Halemba.pdf|
|Vasili Dyatlov, "С небес
на землю," Журнал
"ИТОГИ" No. 49
(495), May 12, 2005, www.itogi.ru/archive/2005/49/64156.html|
|Mariya Vlad, "Appearances of the Virgin in a remote village," Welcome
to Ukraine, 2005, www.wumag.kiev.ua/index2.php?param=pgs20054/124|
Also commemorated this date:
|Our Lady of Lourdes, Meyronne, Saskatchewan, Canada. Church consecrated,
|Notre-Dame-des-Portes, Châteauneuf-du-Faou, Finistère, Brittany, France.
New chapel dedicated, 1893. Pardon penultimate Sun. Aug.|
|Notre-Dame, Bon-Encontre, Lot-et-Garonne, Aquitaine, France. Oratory
blessed, 1551. Pilgrimages in May.|
|Madonna di Prascondù, Ribordone, Torino, Piedmont, Italy. Apparition,
|Madonna della Biorca, Sondalo, Sondrio, Lombardy, Italy. Church dedicated,
1624; festa Sept. 29.|
|Santa Maria delle Grazie, Certosa di Pavia, Lombardy, Italy. First stone
of Cistercian monastery laid, 1396.|
|Madonna della Febbre, Rome, Italy (Madonna of the Fever). Painting in St.
Peter's crowned, 1636.|
|Madonna della Lizza, Alezio, Lecce, Puglia, Italy. Procession commemorates
protection during earthquake Aug. 27, 1886. Festa Aug. 15.|
|Madonna della Neve, Taverna, Catanzaro, Calabria, Italy, Mancuso village
(Madonna of the Snow). Torchlight procession.|
|Madonna del Romitello, Borgetto, Palermo, Sicily, Italy. Painting crowned,
Boża Różańcowa, Smardzowice, Skała, Krakow, Małopolskie,
Poland (Mother of God of the Rosary). Painting crowned, 1972.|
|Besednaya Icon, Besedniy Monastery, Tikhvin, Novgorod, Russia (Aug. 14