Sister Michaela Rak a winner of the St Christopher’s Award

Sister Michaela Rak and the mayor of Vilnius Artūras Zuokas, fot. wilnoteka.lt/B. Frątczak

Sister Michaela Rak, an abbess of the Sisters of Merciful Jesus in Vilnius, the founder of  the Hospice of Blessed Michael Sopocko, was awarded with St. Christopher statuette, given to those honored to Vilnius. It is the sixteenth time when the statuettes of St Christopher, the patron saint of Vilnius, were given. The ceremony was held in the Vilnius Town Hall. The winners are: firefighter, scientist, architect, photographer, hospital, charitable foundation.

The sister Michaela Rak received the award from the mayor of Vilnius, Artūras Zuoka,  for the “Angel of Mercy of the Vilnius”. At the scene she came together with Aneta Górniewicz, a project coordinator at the Hospice of Blessed Michael Sopocko in Vilnius. “I’m happy. The fact we are here both, is a symbol that a man alone cannot do anything. And I would not do anything if there were not so many people with a big heart and an open mind. There is a legend: Saint Christopher carries Jesus on his back and he is surprised that he is so heavy. Jesus says to him:  You are carrying the whole world, because I carry on myself the whole world. The Hospice also carries a piece of the world, a piece of human suffering, to take it from someone who is suffering, so that it was weaker “- said sister Michaela Rak as she was receiving her award. At the same time she wished the mayor and all the people gathered that they have strength to carry problems of others, make their suffering weaker, and then the world will be more beautiful.

Statuette of St. Christopher “for your concern about the future of pupils” was awarded the Vilnius School of Tourism and Trade and the director of the facility Birutė Stasiūnienė. Photographer Mečislovas Sakalauskas, who has 50 years of experience photographing Vilnius, was awarded “for the history of Vilnius saved in the pictures.” The winner of the most important award of Vilnius was a fireman Rimas Girdzijauskas. The Vilnius Help Center Foundation of Knights of Malta was awarded for spreading the idea of voluntary work. An architect, Audrius Ambrasas, received a statuette of St. Christopher for contemporary architecture of Vilnius. The statuette was also given to the Center for Hematology, Oncology and Transfusion of the Vilnius University Hospital in Santaryszki. The Foundation of Charity and Help of Saulius Karosas was awarded for the support of cultural actions in Vilnius. Vitas Mačiulis, a scientist, an inventor of a very popular student festival held for many years – Days of Physics, was awarded for actions for youth and science. The Public Benefit Institution “Investuok Lietuvoje” was awarded for efforts to attract investors to Vilnius.

I guess you agree that Vilnius is a unique city, that is best described by the word ‘space’. It has two meanings: room and outer space. The confirmation of this statement is the title of the common book by the honored citizens of Vilnius, Czeslaw Milosz and Tomas Venclova: ‘Vilnius as a form of a spiritual life’ *. Vilnius is a city of dialogue. Vilnius has always been and will remain a city of dialogue. Various nationalities are able to communicate, there coexist various religions, there is a spirit of cooperation. This is particularly important in the current geopolitical situation in our region. Perhaps someone doesn’t want this cooperation to exist, but the dialogue is essential today. Not only to us, but in many cities around the world, and Vilnius can serve as an example. Vilnius is a unique town because they still build churches, while elsewhere in the world they are closed. Guests note that  here if you go to the opera, people dress in their Sunday best. At the same time it all fits beautifully with modernity and the world’s fastest internet. (…) Statuette of St. Christopher is not only a symbol. This is an acknowledgment to the winners for telling the story about the history of the city, for the present, from which a future emerges “- said the mayor of Vilnius, Artūras Zuokas.

*the title translated by the translator

Based on: Vilnius.it, personal information

Source: http://www.wilnoteka.lt/pl/artykul/statuetka-sw-krzysztofa-dla-s-michaeli-rak

Tłumaczenie by Alicja Kępińska w ramach praktyk w Europejskiej Fundacji Praw Człowieka, www.efhr.eu. Translated by Alicja Kępińska within the framework of a traineeship programme of the European Foundation of Human Rights, www.efhr.eu.

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