risu.org.ua - On October 6-9, Monaco hosted the Plenary Assembly of the Council of Episcopal Conferences of Europe. On Saturday, October 8, the regular working meeting of the heads of Catholic Dioceses across Europe heard reports on pastoral challenges the Church faces in their communities.

In his speech, His Beatitude Sviatoslav told his brothers-bishops about the third year of sufferingafflicted to the Ukrainians by war. The patriarch stressed that despite diplomatic efforts and other activities of the international community, no lasting cease-fire has been achieved in Ukraine.

“Apart from the annexed Crimea, seven percent of the Ukrainian territory was occupied in Donbas. Today our country has more than two million internally displaced persons. Millions of people have been directly affected by the fighting, with hundreds of dead and missing, thousands of injured, are in need of long-term treatment. Hundreds of people remain in captivity in the occupied territories and now the international community and the churches and religious organizations are trying to facilitate their release,” thePatriarch of the UGCC said.

His Beatitude Sviatoslav described in detail the signs of humanitarian and economic crisis, which Ukraine is experiencing as a result of military aggression. He said that a quarter of Ukraine's economy was destroyed. Due to the economic power of the war against Ukraine, depreciation of the national currency, prices forstaples have increased by almost half and continue to grow rapidly on. “According to official UN data, 78 percent of Ukraine's population lives below the poverty line. All this causes a powerful new wave of emigration to Europe, in particular, the young people go looking for opportunities to help their families survive in these extreme conditions,” said the spokesman.

The patriarch spoke about the pastoral ministry of the Church in today's circumstances, including the proclamation of the Gospel and social service to the needy. His Beatitude Sviatoslav warmly thanked the Episcopal Conferences of Europe and all the brothers and sisters in Christ for the generous response to the call of Pope Francis to all the Catholic communities of the continent on April 24 this year to raise funds for the needs of victims of war in Ukraine. The Head of the UGCC reported on the priorities set by the Apostolic capital and the way of holding the humanitarian action launched by the Holy Father entitled“Pope for Ukraine.” He thanked the Holy Father that Successor of the Apostle Peter broke by his appeal the European silence and indifference on this international crisis and once again drew attention to Ukraine’s pain. 

The Primate of the Church said that the international solidarity and revealing the truth about the war in our country is very important for the suffering people of Ukraine.

“The first victim of this war is truth. A broad campaign of disinformation and ignoring the truth about the war in Europe harms not only the victim but also all those who by silence or inaction encourages the aggressor,” the patriarch said.


Teachings of Christ

“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly." (John 10:10 ESV)

Exaltation of the Cross

Save Your people, O Lord, and bless Your inheritance; * grant victory to Your Church over her enemies * and protect Your commonwealth by Your Cross. (Troparion - Tone 1)

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and to the ages of ages. Amen.

Willingly lifted up on the Cross, O Christ God, * bestow Your compassions upon the new commonwealth that bears Your name. * By your power grant joy to Your Church, * granting her victory over her enemies. * May she have your Cross as the weapon of peace * and the invincible ensign of victory. (Kontakion - Tone 4)

The Church celebrates the Feast of the Exaltation of the Cross on September 14th.

Random Proverb

"My son, do not despise the Lord's discipline or be weary of his reproof, for the Lord reproves him whom he loves, as a father the son in whom he delights." (Proverbs 3:11,12 ESV)

Pray Without Ceasing

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

Do not pray that things may be according to your desires, for your desires are not always in keeping with the will of God. It is better to pray as you were taught, saying: "Thy will be done" (Matthew 6:10). Pray in this way about all things, for He always desires what is good and profitable for your soul, whereas you do not always seek it.

Saint Nilus of Mount Sinai: "153 Texts on Prayer"