From the Head of the UGCC on the 78th day of the war: We pray for prisoners of war who experience bullying and violence because the enemy has come to their house

Friday, 13 May 2022, 22:51
We especially pray for our prisoners of war, particularly for those about who we have no information. An example of this is our guards, who defended the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in the first days of the war, during the russian invasion of this area. Together with their wives and children, we pray for their salvation. His Beatitude Sviatoslav, the Father and Head of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church assured of this in his daily address on the 78th day of russia's war against Ukraine.

“But in the east and south of Ukraine, in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions, in the east of the Kharkiv region, in Zaporizhzhia, in the Kherson region there is high-intensity fighting”, states the Head of the UGCC.

The Head of the Church assumes that perhaps it is difficult for us, who live in relatively quiet cities and villages of Ukraine or peaceful countries abroad, to imagine what it means when tens of thousands of tons of bombs, explosives, missiles and shells fall incessantly on the heads of our military and civilians, who, being in these territories, are unable to save their lives.

“But Ukraine is standing. Ukraine is struggling because she believes in God and feels the support of her brothers and sisters. We understand that we are defending our land and therefore have the moral right to protect our loved ones from this cruel enemy who is destroying everything in its path”, mentions the Head of the UGCC.

Hence, His Beatitude Sviatoslav then offered to reflect on the work of charity - to visit the imprisoned. Christ speaks of Himself in the description of the Last Judgment, telling everyone, “I was in prison and you visited me.” (Matt. 25, 36)

According to him, this act of mercy in wartime is becoming important. Being in prison is a great drama, both personal and public.

“Today we are trying to embrace those who are in places of imprisonment in Ukraine with pastoral care. But especially today we pray and think about those who are unjustly held captive by russia, those who have been taken hostage in the context of hostilities, those who are experiencing bullying and violence, even in their own homes because the enemy came to their house”, the Archbishop emphasized.

Especially today, His Beatitude Sviatoslav emphasizes, we think of the defenders of Mariupol, who also surrounded. We are asking for miracles from the Lord and the intervention of the international community to rescue them.

He reminded that yesterday the wives of the defenders of Mariupol had the opportunity to meet the Holy Father Francis in person and pass on to him all the pain of their families.

“The care of prisoners has long been a special service of Christian communities since the early Church. And in this difficult time of war in Ukraine, let usbe able to serve Christ himself, who tells us: “I was a prisoner, and you come to Me.” the Head of the UGCC mentions.

In particular, His Beatitude Sviatoslav thanked all those who are helping to release innocent prisoners from captivity. He especially thanked the prison chaplains who are trying to help prisoners find their way to freedom through their ministry.

“Oh, God bless Ukraine! God, save our prisoners of war! God bless our army! God, grant peace to Ukraine and the world”, asks the spiritual leader of Ukrainians.

The UGCC Department for Information


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