"Let’s be ready to defend our Homeland," - hierarchs of the RCC appeal to the faithful
The hierarchs urge us to remain calm, pray, make peace with our neighbors and take care of the most defenseless and needy.
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Dear brothers and sisters, dear compatriots!
Unfortunately, this morning has started a new page in our history. In this situation, when Russia has launched a full-scale war against Ukraine, the responsibility of each of us is important.
Foremost, let’s not let insurance take over us. Christians are people of faith and hope because our Savior Jesus Christ proved by his resurrection that the last word is not for death, but for life! Elsewhere in the Scriptures, we read: "If the Lord does not keep the city, the watchman is in vain." (Psalms 127.1 B). Therefore, our hope is in God.
The present time is the need to unite in prayer: in our families, with our neighbors, in prayer communities and in every parish. We encourage priests today, after each Holy Mass, in addition to singing the supplication, to pray for the act of dedicating Ukraine to the Immaculate Heart of the Mother of God.
May this time of trial also be an opportunity for reconciliation with our relatives and friends, neighbors and colleagues, and with God Himself. Realizing our own sinfulness and limitations, we apologize to the Lord, proceed to the sacrament of reconciliation, fulfilling the 5 conditions of a good confession. Let us try to participate in the Eucharist more often and receive Holy Communion, to take care of the purity of our hearts, so that God’s grace fills us.
Let us pray together a rosary or other prayers in the intention of peace, for the rulers of our state, for our army and all those who defend our homeland, for the wounded and dead, as well as a reminder for those who started the war and were blinded by aggression. Let us protect our hearts from hatred and rage against our enemies. Christ clearly instructs us to pray for them and bless them.
The Church is a community. Let parishes and prayer groups become a place of unity and a center from which prayers for peace and God’s protection are sent. We don’t know what the future holds for us, but let the parish community not leave the most defenseless and needy to their fate, regardless of their religious affiliation. We will provide special care for the elderly and sick.
The prince of this world wins individual battles, forcing us to succumb to manipulations, believe lies and spread them. May our help in the search for truth be God’s word, as well as the highest truth, which is Christ. In addition, do not give in to the panic that the aggressor can sow.
We will be ready to defend our homeland in accordance with our capabilities and responsibilities – in the army or at our workplace, in hospitals or by providing first aid, material support or a word of comfort, prayer or sacrifice of suffering. Let us respond courageously to the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, who will give his light at the right moment.
For the time of trial and fervent prayer, we give our pastoral blessing: in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit!
Conference of Bishops of the Roman Catholic Church in Ukraine
February 24, 2022
ACT OF DEDICATION OF UKRAINE TO THE IMMACULATE HEART OF MARY BY PASTORS OF THE ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH IN UKRAINE
Our beloved Queen and Mother, Queen of the Holy Rosary, help Christians, the salvation of the human race, victorious Virgin, here we humbly fall before your throne.
We come in full confidence that we will ask for mercy, receive grace and the necessary help and protection in our misfortunes. We ask for this not for the sake of our merits, which we do not count on, but because of the infinite kindness of your mother’s heart. To you, Maria, to your Immaculate Heart, we give and dedicate ourselves in this dramatic hour of the history of mankind and the history of Ukraine.
We are united with the entire Holy Church, the Mystical Body of your Divine Son, which suffers and bleeds in so many places around the world. We unite with all the people who suffer in many corners of the world because of wars, hatred and injustice, and with all those who suffer because they have not known the love of God. We are especially united with the people of God, who are entrusted to our care on the Ukrainian land, and all those who live on this land.
May the suffering of so many people touch you. We realize that it is caused by sin. The people of the Ukrainian land suffered indescribably because of the numerous sins of other people and because of their own. Also today, evil and sin seem to reign in the hearts of so many contemporaries, and on our earth as well. The sins of abortion, drunkenness, corruption, divorce, hatred, lies, violence, thirst, debauchery, injustice, frivolity of the weak and poor — they are so numerous! Many people have rejected God or live as if he does not exist, as if he is not love. We are also guilty and sinful.
O Mother of Mercy, beseech us in God the grace of mercy and forgiveness! Ask for the grace of conversion and Christian life. Beg for the gift of Christian reconciliation in the Ukrainian land. Beseech us first of all those graces that can change the hearts of men in an instant, and that will prepare and strengthen such a longed-for peace! Queen of peace, pray for us and grant peace and our Ukraine the peace built on truth, justice and the love of Christ! Above all, bring us spiritual peace as a gift, so that the Kingdom of God can grow in peace and harmony.
Do not deny your protection to the unbelievers and to all who are in the shadow of death. Let the sun of truth rises for them, too. Let them together with us repeat these words before the only Savior: Glory to God in the highest, and peace on earth to people of good will! Ask us to have the courage to proclaim to all the Gospel of your Divine Son.
We humbly ask you for the grace of unity among all who recognize your son as their Savior, so that one shepherd and one shepherd may come. We also humbly dedicate to you, beloved mother and Queen, Russia, which occupies a special place in your Immaculate Heart. Surround her with your maternal care.
Grant the Holy Church of God peace and freedom; restrain the waves of new paganism and materialism; strengthen in the hearts of believers the love of purity, the practice of Christian life and apostolic zeal, so that the number of servants of God can grow and their merits will increase.
In the difficult time of the pandemic, protect us and help all those who, sparing no effort, are in a hurry to help the sick. Be healing for the sick, strengthening for the dying, and comforting for their loved ones.
Just as the church and all mankind were dedicated to the heart of your Divine Son, which in him places its hope that he may become an inexhaustible source of victory and salvation for all, so we dedicate ourselves forever to you and your Immaculate Heart, O Mother and Queen of ours, so that your love and care may ensure the victory of the Kingdom of God, and that our Ukraine and all nations, reconciled with each other and with God, may bless and glorify you. Amen to that!