Video-message of His Beatitude Sviatoslav. August 10th. 168th day of the war

Glory to Jesus Christ!

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ!

Today is Wednesday 10 August 2022 and the Ukrainian people have been standing in this unequal battle for 168 days and is deterring the full-scale aggression, the onslaught of the Russian army of occupation on the territory of our Motherland.

During the last day and night, the Ukrainian land shuddered again. The enemy relentlessly attacks Ukrainian positions, especially in Donbas. The enemy is shelling our cities and villages, which he can reach with his deadly weapons.

Today we received sad news from Dnipropetrovsk region, where 11 civilians were killed and 13 were wounded last night due to Russian rocket fire. Kharkiv trembles again under Russian missiles, our Mykolayiv trembles. Heavy shelling, which had not happened in the last few months, once again fell on Sumy Oblast and the regions bordering Russia.

Ukraine is still standing. Ukraine is fighting. Ukraine is praying.

I call all of you to pray for the victory of Ukraine, to say a prayer of thanks to the Lord God and our Ukrainian army for the fact that we are alive with you this morning, and can stand in prayer before the face of God and serve our people and our homeland.

Yesterday, we started the journey of our dream about the future of our homeland with you, because we really see that no one doubts that Ukraine will overcome. But how do we want to see Ukraine tomorrow? Because we have all changed, what homeland, what state do we want to build together?

Yesterday we mentioned that the wisdom of Christian state-building rests upon four conditions for successful state-building. And today I would like to think more deeply with you about the first, most important condition, the basis of any social and state construction. This principle is respect for the dignity of the human person and the sanctity of human life. The Lord God created the human person in His own image and likeness. And thus, bearing the image of the Creator, the human person is endowed with a special dignity among all the creatures of the visible and invisible world. We read in the book of Psalms how the psalmist marvels at the greatness of man before God. And he says: “What is man, that You art mindful of him? Or the son of man, that You visit him? You have made him a little lower than the angels; with glory and honour You have crowned him…” (Psalm 8:4–5).

No one and nothing has the right to take away from a person these dignities given by the Creator. And all social and state institutions must respect this dignity and guarantee the rights that follow from this dignity. Man is not for the state, but the state is for man. The state, society—these are the spaces where a person should have the opportunity to develop and realize all those God-given gifts and talents. It is then that this society, the state, will be fair in relation to the dignity of the human person.

The sanctity of human life from natural conception to natural death is the basis for analyzing whether the legislation of a particular country is a just act. Is this a country, state, where the society is worthy of the person who lives in that society?

Sometimes, during the war, we feel such a devaluation of human life. Sometimes our conscience is dulled when we hear about dozens killed, hundreds wounded. But every killed person is a tragedy. This is the failure of humanity. This is the problem of all those who today talk about law, justice, international relations.

Therefore, to be able to respect human life, to respect human rights, to respect the dignity of every person, regardless of their ethnic or national origin, regardless of her religious or political conviction—this is the cornerstone of the construction of any just, worthy person or state. May the Lord God help us to build such a country that we will feel as a state that is worthy of us. And each of us will be able to develop our talents worthily and live our lives worthily in this God-given country.

Today I would like to especially address mothers, in particular, the mothers of our heroes, girls and boys who died in the war, our dead soldiers.

Dear Mothers! Today I want to express to you words of deep sympathy on behalf of our entire Church, the entire Ukrainian people, words of assurance in prayer. We are with you in this painful moment. We honour the high price your child paid for the freedom and independence of our homeland. And we thank you, Mother, for understanding the value of your son’s or your daughter’s sacrifice. We want to wrap you in the warmth of love and pastoral care in order to help you survive the pain of the terrible and irreparable loss of a mother. Our heroes gather in different communities in order to mutually support each other. And our Church creates appropriate spaces for such mutual assistance.

Be sure that Ukraine remembers you. Ukraine loves you. She prays for the eternal rest of your sons and daughters. But she prays for you, too, for your motherhood, for that gift you received from the Lord God, which the occupying enemy came to steal, harm, or deny. Thank you, Mother, for the hero sons who gave their lives for the freedom and independence of our homeland.

O God, bless the crying mothers of Ukraine, support them, heal their wounds! O God, bless Ukraine! O God, bless the Ukrainian army! Give Ukraine victory over the enemy and a just peace. Bless Your children!

May the blessing of the Lord be upon you through His grace and love of mankind, always, now and ever, and for ages of ages. Amen. Glory to Jesus Christ!