On November 24 commemorative events dedicated to the 85th anniversary of the Holodomor took place in Senlis. On these mournful days, the Church of St Borys and Hlib and Anne of Kyiv Center gathered the Ukrainian community in France to commemorate the victims of the Holodomor.


The laying of wreaths was held at the memorial board in Senlis. The event was attended by the Eparch of Paris Borys Gudziak, the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Ukraine to France Oleh Shamshur, representatives of the embassy and Ukrainian singer Ruslana Lyzhychko.

Bishop Borys and the priests of the diocese held a liturgy in the Church of the St Borys and Hlib.

In his sermon, Bishop Borys focused on the decision to follow Christ and become His disciples.

These days, when we celebrate the fifth anniversary of the Maidan, when war goes on in Ukraine, when rhetoric of hatred develops in the world, when human desire to dominate leads to disasters, we pray for the victims of the Holodomor, during which millions of people starved to death while living in the fertile land. It is easier for us to understand the calls for radicalization in our spiritual life as we are facing big challenges. There is a fight for our past and for the future, for our dignity. And whoever stands at the front should be radical in the evangelical sense of this word. God made a radical act - became one of us and died to save us
— preached Bishop Gudziak.

He also told the audience about Anne of Kyiv who built bridges with the European world and France in the XI century.


After the lunch, Talia Zajac, a Canadian researcher of Ukrainian origin who studied marriage ties of Kyivan Rus with other European powers, gave a lecture at the Paris Cathedral. She analyzed the role and influence of Anne of Kyiv in France on the basis of historic documents. The lecture was held with the support of the Ukrainian Cultural Foundation.

In the course of her speech, the researcher also answered questions about the figure of Anne of Kyiv, and debunked some of the myths associated with her. She also confirmed some information, such as the fact that Anne of Kyiv made a name Philip popular in France. Her son Philip I, the king of France, and his brother passed this name to their descendants. This is how this fashion spread all over the country.

The day terminated with a concert of the Polyphony project, the purpose of which is to study, preserve and transmit Ukrainian song tradition. The program featured unique folk polyphonic songs that are a real treasure of the Ukrainian song heritage which Ukraine can share with the world.


Authentic performers like Domenika Chekun and a family group from Svarytsevychy of the Rivne region and the Bozhychi folk ensemble from Kyiv together with the international musicians fascinated spectators with their songs, which portrayed the sorrow for the victims of the Holodomor and filled listeners with energy at the same time. After all, as Bishop Borys noted: "Today, we not only commemorate the victims and think about the past, but we also thank for the gift of life and look forward to the future."

An unexpected surprise for the audience was the impromptu performance of a singer Ruslana Lyzhychko, who participated in a commemoration day with the community of Senlis and the faithful of the Parisian diocese.