Your pain is my pain: Pope pens letter to Ukrainians

Your pain is my pain: Pope pens letter to Ukrainians

Nine months from the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Pope Francis writes a letter, in which he expresses his sorrow and closeness to “the noble and martyred” Ukrainian people.

That's according to Vatican News, Ukrinform reports.

Pope Francis’ letter paints a starkly realistic picture. It begins with a list of the horrors that have become daily bread in the eastern-European nation since 24 February 2022, the first day of the Russian aggression.

“In your skies, the sinister roar of explosions and the ominous sound of sirens rumble ceaselessly. Your cities are hammered by bombs as showers of missiles cause death, destruction and pain, hunger, thirst and cold. Many have had to flee your streets, leaving homes and loved ones behind. Alongside your great rivers flow rivers of blood and tears every day,” he wrote.

Read also: Pope honors victims of Holodomor, aggression against Ukraine

"There is no day when I am not close to you and do not carry you in my heart and in my prayers. Your pain is my pain". Today I see you "in Jesus’ cross of Jesus," he writes, "Today I see you, you who suffer the terror unleashed by this aggression. Yes, the cross that tortured the Lord lives again in the tortures found on the bodies, in the mass graves uncovered in various cities, in those and so many other bloody images that have entered our souls, that make us cry out: why? How can men treat other men this way?" Pope Francis inquires.

Today's tragedies reawaken in the Pope's memory the dramas that have been unfolding in the world for years. First of all those of the littlest ones, he says, citing the two cases of a baby girl and a 4-year-old girl torn from the world by a missile attack: “How many children have been killed, injured or orphaned, torn from their mothers! I weep with you for every little one who, because of this war, has lost his or her life, like Kira in Odessa, like Lisa in Vinnytsia, and like hundreds of other children: in each one of them the whole of humanity is defeated. Now they are with God, they see your sorrows and pray for an end to them.”

"How can one not feel anguish for them and for those, young and old, who have been deported? The pain of Ukrainian mothers is incalculable," adds Pope Francis. He then speaks to the young people who "to be able to courageously defend their homeland" have had to embrace arms “instead of dreams". And he speaks to the wives of those who have fallen in the war: "Biting your lips you go forward in silence, with dignity and determination, to make every sacrifice for your children". The Pope speaks to adults, 'who try in every way to protect your loved ones. And to the elderly, "who instead of a serene sunset have been thrown into the dark night of war". To women he writes: 'You have suffered violence and carry great burdens in your hearts.

“I think of you and am close to you with affection and admiration for how you face such hard trials.”

There is also an appeal to the authorities for whom the Pope raises a prayer: “On them rests the duty to govern the country in tragic times and to make far-sighted decisions for peace and to develop the economy during the destruction of so much vital infrastructure, in the city as well as in the countryside.”

In this sea of evil and pain, Francis recalls another great tragedy suffered by the Ukrainian people, the Holodomor genocide, whose 90th anniversary falls tomorrow, 26 November. A "terrible" event, to which he had already referred at the last general audience, which the Pope recalls in order to express his admiration for the "good ardour" of the Ukrainians.

“Despite the immense tragedy they are suffering, the Ukrainian people have never been discouraged or given over to pity. The world has recognised a bold and strong people, a people that suffers and prays, cries and struggles, resists and hopes: a noble and martyred people.”

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