Cardinal Joao Braz de Aviz, prefect of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life in the Vatican; and the secretary of the dicastery, Archbishop José Rodríguez Carballo, called on consecrated persons from all over the world not to tire of praying for peace in Ukraine and to join in a special way this March 2, Ash Wednesday, the day of fasting and prayer called by Pope Francis.
“What we feared has happened: war has returned, once again, through the streets and among the people, it has returned in a continent that seemed to have learned from the atrocities of the past, it has returned bringing with it the danger of a new world conflict. . It has returned and has re-presented before our eyes the drama that millions of people are experiencing in other parts of the world,” said the letter published on February 28.
“Let us join the men, women and children who live in Ukraine and in all countries deeply wounded by wars, or by internal clashes and violence. Let us entrust to the Mother of God the suffering, life and death of so many of our brothers and sisters who are affected by the horror and senselessness of war,” said the letter published on the website of the Colombian Episcopate.
The authorities of the dicastery encouraged the consecrated to make “ours the call of Pope Francis to make next March 2, Ash Wednesday, a day of fasting for peace.”
“We know it well: there will never be winners or losers, but only men, women and children devastated by the conflict. Our prayer is for the salvation of all, following the example of Christ, who on the cross has embraced the just and the sinner.
Since the start of the Russian invasion of Ukraine on February 24, Pope Francis and various Vatican officials have offered their prayers and their willingness to mediate.
Likewise, the Catholic Church in Poland, a country bordering Ukraine, already welcomes more than 300,000 refugees fleeing the war, while the pontifical foundation Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) has sent one million euros to help the Church in Ukraine in its pastoral and solidarity work.
The Vatican authorities asked the contemplative sisters to continue praying, since “surely at this time they are offering their lives for peace. May incessant prayer be the burning heart of each one, of each one, and of all”.
Religious are reminded of the words of the Holy Father: “We must always pray, even when everything seems in vain, when God seems deaf and dumb and it seems to us that we are wasting time, even if the sky darkens”.
“Let us pray for the war to end, for an economy that kills not to triumph, for love to replace hate, solidarity to indifference, for dialogue to be stronger than weapons,” they encouraged.
“Let us not tire of praying. With that same passion, let us carry out gestures of peace wherever we are, together with all men and women of good will, let us allow ourselves to be converted by the Holy Spirit to carry out works of peace, so that our lives speak and be, with meekness and truth, a testimony of the mercy that the Father gives us”.
At the end of the letter, both asked to entrust Europe and the entire world “to Mary, Queen of Peace”.