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“Russia has already lost, though we have not won it yet”: UGCC begins 12-hour prayer vigil at Patriarchal Cathedral

February 24, 2023, 12:45 97

On February 24, the anniversary of the enemy’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church began a 12-hour prayer vigil in the Patriarchal Cathedral of the Resurrection of Christ in Kyiv, which will last until midnight. The prayer service was led by the Father and Head of the UGCC, His Beatitude Sviatoslav.

“Russia has already lost, though we have not won it yet”: UGCC begins 12-hour prayer vigil at Patriarchal Cathedral

The war did not begin a year ago, the Head of the UGCC emphasizes.

“We remember the sad and tragic beginning of 2014,” he stated, “We remember Sloviansk and Kramatorsk. These cities are the onset of the martyrdom of our nation’s way of the cross. We remember the illegal annexation of Crimea, the perils and tragedies of our brothers and sisters there, on this unique piece of Ukrainian land, and the tragedy of the entire Crimean Tatar people. We remember Savur-Mohyla, we remember Ilovaisk, we remember Debaltseve. On February 24 last year, the history of the capital, our golden-domed Kyiv, which our princes built as a new Jerusalem, a city where God dwells with his people, was added to this rosary marked with the blood of the sons and daughters of Ukraine.”

His Beatitude Sviatoslav explained the importance of prayer, fasting, and almsgiving, especially on this day of tragic anniversaries.

“Prayer, fasting, and almsgiving are one spiritual reality. Fasting is the soul of prayer, and good deeds are the life of true fasting. Therefore, what we ask in prayer as knocking at heaven’s door, we can beg for in fasting, and through works of mercy and love we can obtain what we ask for, pray for,” said the Primate, quoting St. Peter Chrysologus.

Today, according to him, the Church prays for the defenders of Ukraine and all the innocent people killed in Ukraine during this atrocious year.

The Church is also fasting. The Head of the UGCC explained that by fasting, we stand in solidarity with all those who have nothing to eat and drink today, those who remain in the occupied territories, and those in Russian captivity. “When someone today trades Ukrainian territories, we say: No! We cannot trade the bodies and souls of our Ukrainian brothers in the occupied territories,” said His Beatitude Sviatoslav.

The Head of the Church added that today Christians also perform works of mercy. He thanked all those who stood in solidarity with Ukraine over the past year.

“We feel that the Lord grants us victory, a victory for which we knock on heaven’s door in prayer. The Lord gives us the victory that we receive by fasting. The Lord gives us victory, which we can obtain by performing works of mercy, which we bring closer daily with our work and prayer. Today, Russia has already lost, though we have not yet won,” added the Patriarch.

The UGCC Department for Information

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