Ukrainian Catholic Clergy at White HouseBy Gina Christian • CatholicPhilly.com

With as many as 190,000 Russian troops now amassed at the Ukraine border, Ukrainian Catholics in the Philadelphia area and beyond are redoubling their prayers to deescalate tensions and prevent an invasion.

“The thought of more lives being lost is devastating,” said Father Ihor Royik, pastor of SS. Peter and Paul Ukrainian Catholic Church in Phoenixville. “But God is with us. He does intervene in human history; if he didn’t, it would be a disaster. He’s in charge, even of our neighbor (Russian president Vladimir) Putin.”

The Ukrainian Catholic bishops of the U.S. called for a three-day prayer vigil Feb. 13-15 “for peace and the conversion of the hearts of those who preach violence and escalate war.”

“May our churches be open throughout the day, may the prayer of the church interchange with personal contemplation,” the bishops wrote in a Feb. 12 statement. “Conduct and participate in services, pray the Jesus Prayer, the Marian Rosary, the Paraclesis (a prayer service of supplication), sit with the Scriptures. Fast in order to focus on the hope that only God gives.”

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Photo: Ukrainian Catholic clergy led some 175 participants in a prayer vigil before the White House Feb. 8 to intercede for peace and security in Ukraine, now under threat of Russian invasion. (Facebook/Archeparchy of Philadelphia)


Joachim and Anna Rejoice

Today the bonds of childlessness are loosed, * for God has heard Joachim and Anna * and He promises manifestly that they, against all hope, would give birth to the Maiden of God * from whom the Uncircumscribed One Himself would be born, becoming man, * and he commanded the Angels to cry out to her: * “Rejoice, O Full of Grace, the Lord is with you!” (Troparion - Tone 4)

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

Today the whole world celebrates * the conception of Anne which was brought about by God, * for she gave birth to the one who, beyond understanding, * gave birth to the Word. (Kontakion - Tone 4)

Saint Nicholas of Myra

The truth of your deeds has revealed you to your flock, * as a rule of faith, an image of meekness, and a teacher of abstinence. * Therefore, you attained the heights through humility, * and riches through poverty. * O Father and Hierarch Nicholas, * pray to Christ God that our souls may be saved. (Troparion, Tone 4)

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

In Myra, You were shown to be a servant of the sacred things, O Holy Nicholas, * for, fulfilling the Gospel of Christ, you, O Venerable, laid down your life for your people, * and saved the innocent from death. * Therefore, you were sanctified as a great initiate of the grace of God. (Kontakion, Tone 3)