Relatives of Ukrainian prisoners handed the Pope an embroidered towel featuring a prayer
"This towel represents the strength and hope of Ukrainian women." That's how Iryna Skab, an employee of the Embassy of Ukraine to the Holy See, presented to the journalists of the Vatican magazine "L'osservatore Romano" a gift that was prepared for Pope Francis by mothers, wives, daughters and sisters of Ukrainian prisoners of war from the Mariupol Garrison.
On Wednesday, December 28, 2022, eight of them participated in a general audience, during which they presented the fruit of their hands to the Holy Father. The initiative is intended to draw attention to the problems of prisoners of war.
Women embroidered this towel on an unbleached canvas of more than a century with red and black threads, depicting human figures holding hands, calling it a prayer towel. The canvas is not bleached to convey the state of the spirit. "They do not give up, despite the fact that their husbands and sons are in Russian captivity," Iryna adds.
Together with a towel, representatives of the NGO "Soldier Liberation" presented the Pope with a list of the names and photos of prisoners. Among the gifts was also a doctor's robe decorated with barbed wire, which symbolizes captured doctors from the Military Hospital of Mariupol.
No less eloquent is another gift that the Holy Father received this morning. We are talking about the picture "Ukraine Will Win" written by 11-year-old Maksym Brovchenko, who has autism. He comes from occupied Berdyansk, which he was forced to flee with his mother. The boy, who is called "Little Ukrainian Picasso", depicted a man and a woman hugging on a yellow-blue background.