Pope John Paul II
1995 Apostolic Letter
For the Fourth Centenary
Of the Union of Brest

"A memory entrusted to Mary

13. We cannot fail to entrust the yearning for full Christian unity to the Mother of Christ, she who is ever present in the work of the Lord and of his Church. Chapter Eight of the Dogmatic Constitution Lumen gentium points to her as the one who goes before us on our earthly pilgrimage of faith and is tenderly present to the Church which, at the end of the second millennium, is working to re-establish among all those who believe in Christ that unity which the Lord wills for them. Because she is the Mother of the one Christ, she is the Mother of unity. Since Mary, by the power of the Holy Spirit, gave birth to the Son of God, who received from her his human body, she ardently wills the visible unity of all believers who make up the Mystical Body of Christ. The veneration of Mary, which unites East and West so intimately, will serve, I am convinced, the cause of unity.

The Most Holy Virgin, already present everywhere in our midst both in so many sacred buildings and in the life of faith of so many families continuously speaks of unity, a unity for which she constantly intercedes. If today, in commemorating the Union of Brest, we recall the marvellous wealth of veneration that the Christian people of the Ukraine have offered to the Mother of God, we cannot but draw from this admiration for the history, spirituality and prayer of those peoples the consequences for unity which are so closely linked to those treasures.

Mary, who has inspired in their trials fathers and mothers, young people, the sick and the aged; Mary, the column of fire capable of guiding so many martyrs of the faith, is certainly at work in preparing the hoped-for union of all Christians: in the light of this, the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church certainly has its own role to play.

To Mary the Church offers her thanks and asks her to make us share her concern for unity. With filial trust let us abandon ourselves to her, that we may be with her where God will be all in all. "