Appeal of the Synod of Bishops to the defenders of the Motherland

Tuesday, 08 September 2015, 15:40
Dear defenders! Today you, overcoming the anguish of separation with nearest, the difficulties of military life, a constant threat to your lives, suppressing memories of irreparable loss, unbreakably, with filial love to the native land, stand in defense of freedom and the lives of your children, wives and every citizen of Ukraine.

In the front trenches, in military hospitals, in the shooting ranges and the places of combat coordination you embody and defend our dignity and freedom that  the Lord gave us. Your courage - despite the bitter taste of disappointment storms of doubt and anxiety - inspire millions of Ukrainian and admire the whole world. Our Lord Jesus Christ teaches His children: "No greater love than when someone puts his life for his friends (John 15, 13)." Today you, Ukrainian soldiers,  embody these words with your lives and sacrifice.

You, the defenders of the Ukrainian people, we, the Bishops of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, gathered at the Synod in Ivano-Frankivsk, express great recognition for heroism, sacrifice and patriotism. We thank you on behalf of our faithful from all over the Ukrainian settlement and the international community of friends of Ukraine.

Today every indifferent man asks himself: When will the peace come to Ukraine? It is justly that the Ukrainian society, seeking peace and tranquility in our country, trust in the army. But we cannot put just onto your shoulders protection of the peace in our country and no one dares to hide behind your backs. We should all feel responsibility for the welfare of our country, each of us should have a checkpoint, where we are - in our own way - advance expected peace in our homeland.

Dear soldiers, we assure you that we are with you and will continue to support you!

During the Divine Liturgy every day we pray for peace on different continents, "for all the army", "for the sick, the suffering, the captives and their salvation". In addition, our faithful daily at 9pm privately present their requests to the Lord for peace and those who stand on its guard. In our dioceses and exarchates there is fasting for the intention of God's blessing for the Ukrainian people. We also pray for the conversion of attackers and our enemies.

The prayer is combined with works of mercy. Chaplains, volunteers, people of good will all around the world are united with you to help you to endure the difficulties of ministry with their good works and sacrifices. Through their hands and sacrificial hearts you get the evidence that you are not alone, that we are with you and your mission is the work of all the Ukrainian people and the international community.

What leads you, our fighters, doctors, volunteers, chaplains, so devotedly defending Ukraine, despite all the internal disasters? Certainly, love for the motherland and faith in victory that comes through the cross! How many patriots have shed their blood in the field of truth with the belief that their sacrifice will not be wasted. "Verily, verily, I say unto you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it abides alone. It remains just a single grain. But if it dies, it bears much fruit"- says our Divine Master (John 12, 24). We bow our heads in prayer for your dead brothers and for all the victims of this brutal war. At the same time we urge all- to the support and solidarity with the families of the fallen.

Dearly Beloved in Christ! In these difficult times you are going through with your priests and chaplains. Thank you, for erecting chapels and  altars for worship. Moving common prayer, sincere confession, participation in the Eucharist, recollection of the fallen brothers - this is a source of great spiritual strength and inspiration to fight. In the places of dislocations you are trying to set the cross - a visible sign of God's crucified love, a visible sign of victory. When contemplating the cross, we want to say with the words of St. Paul: "Where is your, death, victory? Where, O death, is your sting? "(1 Corinthians, 15, 55).

Dear defenders! We understand that the tragic event of the armed aggression against our homeland and unabated wounds on the body and soul of our people. However, as people of faith, we trust in the Lord and His power and His grace, begging them for you. Today we are one, we are not indifferent, because in God we are strong! Whoever trampling death by death, can do everything! Lord - is our joy, our healing, our victory.

Dear soldiers of God's truth and justice, Lord is with you! Hold Him firmly and do not let evil overcome you. However, all Ukraine ask you: come back home alive and do not leave your soul in the war! Let your faith in our common victory be strong - the final victory of God's truth and love!

We give all of you under the maternal cover of the Holy Virgin and pray for you for grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit are always with you!

 

On behalf of the Synod of Bishops

+ SVIATOSLAV

Major Archbishop of Kyiv-Galician

Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church

 

 

 

 

 

TAGS: Synod, Appeal
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