Head of the Catholic Church in Ukraine says "We are going through tragic, painful times, but those times give birth to heroes who, out of love..."

Glory to Jesus Christ!

Dear Christ, brothers and sisters, today, March 23, 2022, and Ukraine, the Ukrainian people are already experiencing the 28th day of the procession, their Golgotha, this war that Russia started against the peaceful Ukrainian people. We are going through tragic, painful times, but those times give birth to heroes who, out of love for their people and homeland, are ready to make any sacrifices, even sacrifices of their own lives.

These days, communicating with various people - volunteers, clergy, military, government agencies at various levels, including the central government - it feels that our Ukrainian people are truly united to survive in that battle.

We talked so much together about unity - ecclesiastical, national, even political, about unity as a dream - and today this dream has become a reality.

We see the people uniting to defeat the enemy who is trampling on Ukrainian soil. We see that everyone feels the mandate of their own conscience to persevere and win.

We feel that this war is not a war in which only the Ukrainian army is fighting, it is not a war waged by the enemy against the President or the state authorities of Ukraine for various ideological contrived motives. The Russian aggressor is waging war against the Ukrainian people. And this war has all the hallmarks of genocide, extermination, our cultural heritage and spiritual tradition.

In this patriotic war, all the Ukrainian people came to the defense of their homeland. When we say "people", we mean all the inhabitants of Ukraine, regardless of national, ethnic origin, church, religious affiliation, even regardless of place of residence - in Ukraine or abroad. We feel that victory is a common cause. And in this national unity we feel its aftertaste.

It is very important that each of us, each of those who hear me, join in this holy and great cause. The "miracle on the Dnieper" that is unfolding before our eyes is a God-blessed work. We fight and fight for victory, but this victory is given to us by our Lord God.

Today I would like to express my special thanks for a very unique event that took place on Monday, just the day before yesterday, in Jerusalem. At the initiative of the Elijah Interreligious and International Institute, an international, interreligious, inter-church prayer for peace and Ukraine's victory in this war took place in front of the Cathedral of the Russian Orthodox Church in Jerusalem. The Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, His Beatitude Pitsaballa, personally took part in this prayer. Representatives of the Melchizedek, Greek Catholic, various Protestant, including Anglican, and other communities, intellectuals, leading religious figures of the Jewish community, Islamic thinkers, and religious leaders took part. I would like to thank you very much for the fact that this prayer took place and a corresponding declaration was signed for ending the war in Ukraine.

Jerusalem and Kyiv are spiritually related. Kyiv was built like a new Jerusalem. May this prayer, this movement against war, spread to other centers of religious and spiritual life throughout the world.

Let's pray together! We pray before the councils of the Russian Orthodox Church around the world for peace in Ukraine. We will see that the Lord God will hear our prayers, and this war will be won.

May the Lord God bless us all!