Today on Morning Air, John Morales welcomed Father Mykhailo Kuzma onto the show to discuss the tensions between Russia and Ukraine, and how we can offer this day so that the conflict doesn’t escalate any further.
Father Mykhailo is a Ukrainian himself, and the pastor of Immaculate Conception Ukrainian Byzantine Catholic Church, the location of the shrine to the New Martyrs of the Ukrainian Greco-Catholic Church. He thanked John for all that he was doing to spread the word about praying for peace because of how volatile the situation was. Father warned that just one spark between Russia and Ukraine could erupt into an all-out war between the nations of Eastern Europe, not just the two in the headlines.
Father Mikhailo also expressed his gratitude to the Holy Father on behalf of the Ukrainian people for his help on the humanitarian front over the years. He has shown his awareness of the hardships and conflicts all over the world during his papacy, including the pro-life movement, the wave of tornadoes in the Midwest, the tsunamis in Tonga, and more. This is simply another example of his prayerful outreach to people in danger.
“The Holy Father is a great friend of peace. This is the great message that our Holy Father John Paul II was expressing throughout the world. The message, basically, of the Mother of God at Međugorje asked him to spread throughout the world, ‘Peace, peace, peace. Nothing but peace.’” Our Lady has always looked after Ukraine in the past and parishes across the country are remaining open 24/7 so that people can flock to Our Lady and her special intercession. Father Mikhailo said that today is not just a prayer for Ukraine. It is, as the Holy Father said, a prayer for peace for the entire world.
While the prospect of invasion from a superpower like Russia is certainly a frightening one, the people of Ukraine have been dealing with this issue since 2014 when Russia invaded the Crimean Peninsula. There isn’t much one can do in that situation except ask for help, both through prayers and through foreign aid. But Father Mikhailo said that he is full of hope. He has entrusted his intentions to Our Lady because Ukraine was the first country in the world that was consecrated to Mary. She is their patron and the most powerful intercessor as the Mother of God.
“My great hope is that this day of prayer and fasting will find, somehow – heaven will find a way of preventing this tremendous war that will begin.” There is a myriad of issues at stake for the nation of Ukraine. Although they live next door to arguably one of the most autocratic countries, they have been able to maintain their autonomy for a long time. Facing an invasion from Russia could mean the end to many of their liberties.
At the request of the Holy Father, we implore everyone to offer prayers, fasting, and mortifications for the intention of peace throughout the world, but especially between Russia and Ukraine at this very moment.
Queen of Peace, pray for us!
Listen to the full interview below:
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