|Christ Church, Kyiv|
Ukraine has seen invasions over the centuries, with invaders seeking to control the land, its rich resources and its political system. But in 2022 such an act of aggression upon a democratic nation by Russia not only threatens the people of Ukraine, but dangerously destabilizes the coexistence between nations.
Let us unite in prayer for the avoidance of death and suffering, for the protection of the people of Ukraine, and for the strengthening of all who now face danger. We pray for the leaders of our nations that they may urgently seek every way to return to dialogue, for the immediate withdrawal of Russian military, and a reduction of dangerous international tensions.
In our diocese we hold in special loving prayer our congregation of Christ Church Kyiv, that the Lord may grant them protection at this time. We remember also the peoples of Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and even Finland, who are fearful and uncertain for the future of their own countries, given the history of Russian aggression in the region.
May we all respond to Pope Francis’s call for Ash Wednesday, 2 March, to be an international day of fasting and prayer for peace in Ukraine.
I am on pastoral and ecumenical duties in Rome and Florence these days. Tomorrow morning, in All Saints, Rome at 9 am, I will offer a votive mass for peace in Ukraine.
Father of all, your Risen Son gave new hope to his apostles with words of peace and the assurance of his presence: send your Holy Spirit upon the peoples of Ukraine. Bless them with Christ’s gift of peace, and strengthen the resolve of all who labour for an end to this conflict; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who is alive and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.
St Michael the Archangel has been the patron saint of Kyiv since ancient times. May the Archangel be a guardian and companion to the people of Ukraine, bringing strength and consolation and restoring hope.
May peace once again prevail.
|Statue of St Michael, Maidan, Kyiv|