Vatican Secretary of State leads Liturgy and prayer for peace in Ukraine on Europe Day at the UGCC Church in Rome
This is reported by Vatican Radio.
"We celebrate this Eucharist in the church dedicated to St Sophia, the Wisdom of God. We fulfill it by begging for the gift of peace for Ukraine, spiritual and material comfort for war victims and especially for refugees, children, those who have lost everything, for the lonely. May the Lord enlighten the hearts of rulers to make efforts to restore peace and harmony. During this month of May, we especially appeal to Mary, the Queen of Peace: may she always protect our Europe with her veil," Cardinal Pietro Parolin concluded his sermon with these wishes.
Ukrainian ambassador to the Vatican Andriy Yurash expressed gratitude for the prayer in the Ukrainian church on Europe Day.
"All the embassies of the EU countries to the Holy See, as well as twenty other embassies of friendly countries, celebrated and prayerfully celebrated this day in the largest Ukrainian shrine in Rome.
In all aspects, this was a unique and unprecedented event that emphasized and consciously meant basic approaches in the perception of Ukraine on the eve of the expected June decisions of the European Union on Ukraine's integration into the EU under an accelerated procedure: the essence of the position of all EU missions to the Holy See, and the Apostolic capital itself - unequivocal support for Ukraine in its rapid inclusion in European structures," the ambassador wrote on his Facebook page.
In his speech after the mass, Andriy Yurash thanked for supporting Ukraine in this incredibly difficult time and confirming Ukraine's belonging to a cultural and spiritual space that shares the same values and principles based on respect for human dignity, free choice and unquestionable recognition of the right of each state to build and feel its own identity.
"Unfortunately, due to the unjustified, incredibly cruel, "barbaric" (as His Holiness Pope Francis has repeatedly defined) aggression against Ukraine by Putin's imperialist Russia, all these aforementioned pan-European values are under threat. Not only for Ukraine but also for the entire European continent.
But an event like ours now guarantees everyone here in Rome and everyone in Ukraine that together – with the support of Europe and the Ukrainian struggle for state integrity and common values – we will be able to stop the war and regain full control over all Ukrainian territories," said Andriy Yurash.
According to him, the Mass for Ukraine, which was headed by Cardinal Parolin, is also a great sign of the Apostolic capital's support for Ukraine.
"My desire is to end the war. But at the same time, this is the desire of my President Volodymyr Zelensky and millions of Ukrainians. I firmly believe that today's prayer of representatives of all European nations will help to realize this desire, as well as another desire of millions of Ukrainians, is to see the Holy Father praying in the holiest place in Ukraine, the ancient St Sophia of Kyiv.
Therefore, let's build a bridge together: between today's prayer in St Sophia in Rome and the next prayer in St Sophia of Kyiv, which will be led by the Holy Father and which will mean the end of the war," Ambassador Andrey Yurash concluded his speech.