Ukrainian Archbishop: Our Soldiers Are ‘Special Witnesses’ of God’s Presence

ROME, ITALY - JANUARY 28: Pope Francis and Major Archbishop of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church Sviatoslav Shevchuk (L) deliver a blessing at the Santa Sofia Basilica on January 28, 2018 in Rome, Italy. Santa Sofia is a 20th century Eastern Catholic titular church and minor basilica. The church is …
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ROME — The formidable Ukrainian Major Archbishop Sviatoslav Shevchuk asked for special prayers for his nation’s soldiers this weekend in their task of defending the country.

“I ask you for a special prayer for our soldiers,” Archbishop Shevchuk said in Friday’s video message. “They are special witnesses for us today, witnesses of God’s presence, because there are no atheists on the front line.”

For each day of this resistance, “the Ukrainian people pay the highest price,” the archbishop said, noting that “at least 100 Ukrainian soldiers die every day, and 400 to 500 of our soldiers are wounded.”

“Blood flows throughout the Ukrainian land,” he said.

In his message, Shevchuk pointed out that Ukraine has already experienced 100 days of this “great war” that Russia has brought to the “long-suffering Ukrainian land.”

“Ukrainians have been defending their land for a hundred days. For a hundred days, Ukrainians have been holding back the Russian invasion, which exceeds all the resources which we have to oppose it,” he said.

Despite the ongoing suffering of the Ukrainian people, there is also “good news from the front,” the archbishop declared. “Our troops repulsed the enemy in four directions. In the south of our homeland in the Kherson region, more than 20 settlements were liberated.”

“In this way, Ukraine shows its strength and will to be free and independent,” he said. “And the Ukrainian people show their steadfastness in this struggle and amaze the world with it.”

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