Glory to Jesus Christ!
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ!
Today is Monday, February 28, and I am sending you words of blessing from our first-throned city, from the capital of Ukraine, our dear Ukrainian Kyiv.
Today we are experiencing the fifth day of a crooked, inhumane, vicious war. In these days we saw the heroism of our soldiers. We saw the courage of our people. We saw how even elderly people laid down before tanks to prevent them from entering their village and city. As people by the village came out to close the roads to tanks advancing upon Ukraine with their very own bodies. We saw the beastliness and cruelty of those who are killing us. Those who are putting children and women on tanks and are using them as human shields in order to bring death and devastation to the heart of Ukraine.
But we are standing. We are standing in prayer for our military, for our homeland, for our long-suffering Ukrainian people, among whom already today, according to the information of the United Nations, we see 400,000 refugees after fewer than five whole days. But we are standing. We are standing in prayer.
Today, in many of our communities that follow the Gregorian calendar, it is the first day of Great Lent. I can promise you that this Lent will be very special for you. Because we are walking together to Pascha – Easter. There will be a Pascha, for our Pascha is our Lord, the Risen Jesus Christ.
I am thankful to the Holy Father who spoke once more yesterday, from the window of the Apostolic Palace, and sharply condemned the war against Ukraine. He condemned those who, starting a war against other nations, are fighting against their own nation.
I am thankful to the Holy Father that he supports us, prays for us, and desires to do everything to stop this war.
Today I would like to especially thank all those who expressed their desire to help Ukraine, who are organizing various forms of help. I would like to especially ask: let us do everything to stop this aggression, to stop the war. Even when this seems impossible, even when diplomats, lawyers, leaders of nations say this is very difficult, let’s pray that the Lord God, the Lord of Peace, grant wisdom so that the aggression may be stopped through dialogue.
We know that the alternative to war is diplomacy and dialogue. And always, at the end of war, it is necessary to sit down at the negotiating table. May dialogue and diplomacy conquer war.
I would like to support an initiative that our volunteers initiated, called “Return Alive from Ukraine.” This hotline for relatives of Russian soldiers who have today, as our enemies, entered Ukrainian land. But if someone from Russia has lots contact with their children or husbands who were sent to kill in Ukraine, call that number. We want to help you find either the bodies of your dead or your sons who might still be alive and return them to you from Ukraine.
May the Lord God send peace into the hearts of the nations. May He stop the war. May He help us to see peace in Ukraine. I send to you from here in Kyiv, our first-throned city: May the blessing of the Lord be upon you, through His grace and love for humankind, always, now and ever, and for ages of ages. Amen.
Glory to Jesus Christ!