Please Remember 12-Year-Old Marichka from Kharkiv, a Parishioner of Our St. Nicholas Cathedral: UGCC Head in the 120th Week of the War

June 3, 2024, 10:25 78

This Saturday, the whole world celebrated Children’s Day. A child in Ukraine during the war is the person who is most vulnerable to the brutal military reality. Once again, I invite everyone to turn their attention to children, whom Pope Francis describes as those who cannot smile, whose childhood was stolen by war. His Beatitude Sviatoslav, the Father and Head of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, highlighted this on the 120th week of Russia’s full-scale invasion of the peaceful Ukrainian state.

Please Remember 12-Year-Old Marichka from Kharkiv, a Parishioner of Our St. Nicholas Cathedral: UGCC Head in the 120th Week of the War
Maria Myronenko and her mother Iryna died on May 25, 2024 in Kharkiv as a result of the Russian shelling of the Epicenter hypermarket.

According to the Primate, this week will also be remembered in world history as a period marked by war crimes committed by Russians against the civilian population of Ukraine.

Head of the Church stated that according to official state statistics and reports, 550 children have been officially registered as killed during this war, 2,000 are missing, and about 1,400 are injured. Approximately 20,000 children have been officially abducted and deported by Russia from the occupied territories.

“Regrettably,” said the spiritual leader, “we hear that the process of ruthless abduction and deportation of Ukrainian children continues. This summer, according to official statements of the Russian side, the occupier plans to take about 40,000 children from Ukraine. Tragically, the majority of these children will never return to their families. Despite the great efforts of the international community, including a special mission of the Holy See led by Cardinal Zuppi to bring the children home, their abduction on a large scale at the Russian state level continues daily.

“Children in Ukraine are abducted, killed, wounded, and deprived of their future. Their only hope is for a free and independent Ukrainian state that fights for its children, for their future, protects them, and envelops them in its love,” the Primate said with regret.

The spiritual leader asked for prayers in memory of the late girl: “This is 12-year-old Marichka Myronenko from Kharkiv, a parishioner of our St. Nicholas Cathedral. She and her mother Irina had not fled this city since the beginning of the full-scale invasion. They were active volunteers in our church: the mother distributed clothes to the needy, and the girl, together with our nuns, distributed baby food to children. Marichka, who was less than 12 years old, was killed by the Russians, along with other children and residents of the city, in the Epicenter supermarket with guided bombs launched from Russian territory. Today, this girl is probably helping the needy people of heroic Kharkiv from heaven as a volunteer.”

The Head of the Church noted that heavy fighting is taking place along the entire front line. Every day, the Russians are heavily shelling the long-suffering Kharkiv. This is carried out from the territory of the Russian Federation, as the city is located just a few kilometers from the Russian border.

According to His Beatitude Sviatoslav, the story of the UGCC parish in Pokrovsk in Donbas, where the Russian front line is moving after the capture of Avdiivka, is touching. The UGCC priest remained almost alone with a handful of the last residents of this heroic city. The Church is with its people…

“Today we affirm once again that although Ukraine lacks electricity, lacks workers, particularly in the wake of the new wave of mobilization, it does not lack willpower, hope for victory, and the desire to defend its freedom. Therefore, we again thank the Lord God and the Armed Forces of Ukraine for being alive and able to continue to stand in prayer. And once again, with hope for victory, we speak to the whole world: Ukraine stands, Ukraine fights, Ukraine prays!” the Head of the Church emphasized.

The UGCC Department for Information

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