From the Head of the UGCC on Day 86: Let us pray together for an end to this war, and for peace in our homeland

Saturday, 21 May 2022, 22:53
I invite everyone who is listening today, to join in the daily common church-wide prayer for Ukraine at 9:00 pm Kyiv time (8:00 pm Roman time). Together, let us pray for the living, and for those who have died in Ukraine. Let us pray together for an end to this war and for peace in our homeland. His Beatitude Sviatoslav, the Father and Head of the UGCC, made this appeal in his daily video address on the 86th day of Russia's full-scale war against Ukraine.

“Fierce battles are raging in eastern Ukraine. The enemy is attacking, trying to storm our cities, particularly in Luhansk region. Fierce fighting is taking place in the east of Kharkiv and Donetsk regions. On the one hand, the south of Ukraine is defending itself, and on the other, it is under heavy shelling from the occupiers, who are trying to maintain their positions on the shores of the Black and Azov Seas,” stated the Head of the UGCC.

The Head of the Church emphasized that the enemy is again shelling our cities and villages on the Russian border with Chernihiv and Sumy regions, as well as in the Kharkiv region. One can only imagine the trauma of those people who were forced to flee their homes, then returned to find their homes intact and were happy to return to a peaceful life, he said.  Then, once again, they encounter missiles, shot from Russian territory, striking their homes, bombs falling, people dying. But Ukraine is standing. Ukraine is defending itself. Ukraine is defeating the enemy. Ukraine is showing the world the heroism of ordinary people.

“We know that our people are going through tragic times… But it is the strength of spirit of our sons and daughters and of our army that turns these tragic times into heroic times. In fact, the war is giving birth to new heroes of Ukraine, heroes of love for our country, for God and neighbor,” the Father and Head of the UGCC maintained.

Today His Beatitude Sviatoslav reflected on the last of the spiritual works of mercy – to pray for the living and the dead. According to him, this work of mercy is actually one of the most important, since without it all other human works lose their Christian meaning.

In today's world, stated the Head of the Church, we may not fully feel the power and value of prayer… We better understand immediate action that addresses a person’s psycho-social needs. However, without God’s spirit, the soul and the body weaken and cannot do any good.

“Prayer is one of the main works of mercy, which not only helps but also saves a person, gives meaning to his earthly life, and opens him to the embrace of the Heavenly Father. Intercessory prayer serves as work of mercy. When we, as the Church, the Body of our Lord, intercede in prayer before the Heavenly Father for our needy living or dead brothers and sisters, we pray with Jesus Christ, the Head of that Body. And He prays with us in the Holy Spirit, prays in us and for us to His Heavenly Father, as St. Augustine taught,” the Head of the Church emphasized.

His Beatitude Sviatoslav also mentioned two important international visits to Ukraine: the Vatican Secretary for Relations with States and the delegation of Polish bishops.

“I thank Archbishop Paul Gallagher, the Vatican’s foreign minister, for his visit to Ukraine.  His presence among us is a special expression of the Holy Father's attention to Ukraine’s needs, and a moment of listening and prayer. We are grateful to the Holy See for everything that is being done today, particularly in the area of diplomacy, to stop the unjust Russian aggressor,” stated the Major Archbishop of the UGCC.

He added: “We thank our brothers and sisters from Catholic Poland who are praying and helping Ukraine. We saw those shots of Poles kneeling in prayer in the center of Warsaw, on the sidewalks, with a rosary in their hands. Our sincere thanks to all those who are supporting Ukraine today and showing solidarity with our people.”

“God bless Ukraine! O God, bless the Ukrainian army! O God, embrace the innocent victims of this war who have already departed from this earthly life! O God, bless all those who are victims of this war and grant victory to Ukraine!” prayed the Ukrainian spiritual leader.

The UGCC Department of Information



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