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)


Teachings of Christ

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God." (John 3:16-18 ESV)

Ascension

You ascended in glory, O Christ our God, * granting joy to Your disciples by the promise of the Holy Spirit; * through this blessing they were assured * that You are the Son of God * the Redeemer of the world! (Troparion)

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

When You fulfilled the divine plan for us * and united things on earth with things in heaven, * You ascended in glory, O Christ our God, * in no way departing from us but remaining inseparable, * and crying out to those who love You: “I am with you, and no one is against you.” (Kontakion)

Random Proverb

"The woman Folly is loud; she is seductive and knows nothing." (Proverbs 9:13 ESV)

Pray Without Ceasing

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

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

Do all in your power not to fall, for the strong athlete should not fall. But if you do fall, get up again at once and continue the contest. Even if you fall a thousand times because of the withdrawal of God's grace, rise up again each time, and keep on doing this until the day of your death. For it is written, 'If a righteous man falls down seven times' - that is, repeatedly throughout his life - 'seven times shall he rise again' [Prov. 24:16].

John of Karpathos