Nearing the tragic one-year anniversary of the unprecedented and unprovoked invasion of Ukraine by the Russian Federation, the hierarchs of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church participated in an Ecumenical Prayer Service on Saturday afternoon, February 19, 2023, to join their voices to those praying for peace in Ukraine.
His Eminence Metropolitan Antony, Prime Hierarch of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA and Diaspora, along with His Eminence Archbishop Daniel, Ruling Hierarch of the Western Eparchy of the UOC of the USA and Consistory President, were joined by the Metropolitan Borys Gudziak of the Ukrainian Catholic Archeparchy of Philadelphia as well as Bishop Paul Chomnycky of the Ukrainian Catholic Eparchy of Stamford at St. Patrick’s Roman Catholic Cathedral in New York City, hosted by His Eminence Cardinal Timothy Dolan.
His Eminence Metropolitan Antony gave a riveting sermon- describing the long history of Russian aggression against the sovereign nation of Ukraine. The numerous attempts at genocide. The numerous Holodomors. The death and destruction reaped at the hands of a greedy neighbor. His Eminence continued by asking that all things can be put straight by God Almighty, and that we need to remain hopeful in His mercy to our struggling ancestral homeland and people. It is evident in countless situations of horror, that the Hand of God is present in protecting and strengthening Ukraine. Countless witnesses have told of miraculous occurrences. Therefore, His Eminence asked that everyone keep strong in faith and know that the truth is with Ukraine, and therefore God is also there. Ukraine might be damaged, the people might be sitting in the darkness due to the destruction of civilian infrastructure, but, even though the country is powerless, they are powerful. Ukraine is powerful through the bravery of her people, the integrity of her nation, the strength of her faith in the Almighty Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
Present at the service were Ukrainian Consul General Oleksii Golubov and four members of the Ukrainian Defense Forces who were wounded in battle and have been receiving treatment in the United States, as well as hundreds of individuals who packed the cathedral to pray for peace in Ukraine.
With continued prayers, faith and hope in Christ, the world awaits Ukraine’s victory – a victory of truth over lies, light over darkness, good over evil. Ukraine – powerless, yet powerful.
Photos by Subdeacon Maksym Zhuravchyk