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)


Protection of the Mother of God

Protected by your coming, O Mother of God, * the faithful people celebrate today with splendor, * and, gazing at your most pure image, * we say with compunction: * "Shield us with your precious veil * and deliver us from all evil * imploring your Son, Christ our God, to save our souls.” (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 Virgin stands forth in the Church, * and with the choirs of saints she invisibly prays to God for us. * The Angels worship with the hierarchs, * and the apostles exult with the prophets, * because, in our behalf, the Mother of God entreats the pre-eternal God. (Kontakion - Tone 3)

The Church celebrates the Feast of the Protection of the Mother of God on October 1st.