Glory to Jesus Christ!
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ!
Today is Wednesday 16 March 2022 and Ukraine is experiencing already the twenty-first day of war. We are entering into the third week of this great tragedy of our people and our state.
But I would like to pass on to you words of hope from Ukraine. Hope that can truly be felt among our people, among our army. It is truly felt that Ukraine is beginning to overcome. Many experts and analysts are saying that the war in Ukraine is passing into a new moment. Some are speaking of a tipping point. Not only has the Ukrainian army stopped the enemy, but it is also beginning a counter-attack. We have begun to liberate our cities and villages, we are freeing our Ukrainian land. On the other hand, they speak of a very dangerous moment in this war, because the enemy is engaging in the tactic of total war, that is, they are thoughtlessly destroying our cities and villages, bombing everything that can be destroyed.
This night once more our Ukrainian Kyiv experienced an attack by Russian rockets. Once more Kharkiv and Chernihiv are burning. Even Odesa, which had been peaceful until now, has been hit. Ukrainian Mariupol is suffering. But Ukraine is fighting. Ukraine believes in its victory.
Recently I was telling you about one of our young priests from Slavutych, which is a city in Chernihiv Oblast near the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone near the Russian border that was completely besieged. This young priest together with his pregnant wife decided to stay there, under siege with his people. He told me recently with great anguish of heart how women who were breast-feeding their children have lost their milk due to the stress. Due to loss of electricity, they can’t even prepare food for their newborn children. Last night, this priest received a gift from the Lord God. Fr. Yuriy Lohaza experienced the birth of his son. His wife, his spouse, in a cold maternity ward, by candlelight, without electricity, gave birth to a kozak for Ukraine. And this young priestly marriage is a symbol for our Church, a Church that gives hope, that grants life to its people. I want to greet Fr. Yuriy today, who finds himself completely besieged, but he is in our prayers.
Beholding the children of Ukraine who are suffering from the war, the human heart cannot but be in anguish from pain and sorrow. According to the statistic of the international organization UNICEF, every second, a child in Ukraine becomes a refugee. Just according to official information, almost 100 children have died as a result of bombing. An even greater number has been wounded. The blood of innocent children is on the hands of the criminals who began this war.
For this reason today we would like to pray for the children of Ukraine. We want to fight for their future. We want to defend peace and peaceful skies precisely for them.
Yesterday we received with great joy the decision of the Holy Father to dedication Russia and Ukraine to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. This act will take place on 25 March of this year, simultaneously in Rome and Fatima.
With great hope we place the Ukrainian nation, our state, under the protection of the Immaculate Virgin Mary. And we pray: All-holy Lady, bless the children of Ukraine, rescue our people, free us from the attacks of the unjust aggressor, grant us peace and blessing.
May the blessing of the Lord be upon you through His grace and love for humankind, always, now and ever, and unto the ages of ages. Amen.
Glory to Jesus Christ!