Pope Francis recently penned a letter to the Ukrainian people nine months after Russia launched an all-out invasion of their country. In it, Francis told Ukrainians that ‘their pain is his pain’ amid “the absurd madness of war.”
‘Your Pain Is My Pain’
According to the report by the Vatican News, Pope Francis empathically relayed his solidarity with what the people of Ukraine are feeling.
“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,” he wrote.
The pontiff added, “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?”
The letter likewise mentioned the young girls who have died from Russian attacks.
“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.”
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‘Like A Father Grieving With His Children’
The news outlet added that the pope’s letter sounded ‘like a father’s love expressing grief with his children.’
Vatican News said Pope Francis’s letter of consolation to the Ukrainian people hints at ‘a pastor’s pain seeing a people wounded by destruction and pain, hunger, thirst and cold.’
Ukraine, which Francis calls a “martyred” country, has significantly suffered due to Russia’s armed offensive. And it is Ukraine’s citizens for whom the pontiff specifically penned the letter: the women, children, elderly, and young men who had to go to war to defend their country.
The pope lauded Ukrainians’ resolve since the war started.
Francis said Ukraine’s citizens are “a strong people, a people that suffers and prays, cries and struggles, resists and hopes: a noble and martyred people.”
‘A Picture Painting Reality’
The Vatican News article called the pope’s letter ‘painting a stark reality’ about Ukraine’s current situation.
“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,” Vatican News quoted the pope saying in his letter.
The pontiff’s description encapsulates life for Ukraine’s citizens since Feb. 24, 2022, when Russian armed forces fired the first shots, eventually leading to an all-out war.
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