Lavra parishioners: We rebuilt these churches with our own hands
Clerics and parishioners of the Academic Church of the Kyiv Caves Lavra recorded an appeal to the authorities and public regarding the situation around the monastery.
Parishioners and clergymen of the Academic Church of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary in the Far Caves of the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra addressed the President and the Ukrainian community in connection with the eviction of monks and faithful of the UOC from the monastery.
Among the parishioners of the Academic Church, there are those who took an active part in the restoration of the monastery after its transfer to the Church in 1989.
"I walked into this temple more than 30 years ago, there was not even a floor here. The walls were whitewashed before the revolution, water was leaking from the roof and there were muddy drips all over the walls. We were few but, together with the priesthood, many of whom became bishops, but back then they were called by their first names (Petia, Vasia, etc), we put here all the warmth of our souls, all our love. We come here as to our dearest home, and there is a constant prayer here," says one of the parishioners with tears in her eyes.
Another parishioner recalled how her tears of joy at the opening of the monastery were replaced with tears of sadness at the abomination of desolation that the faithful saw in the monastery.
"We saw utter ruin, mud, potholes. It was frightening to look at, our eyes were filled with tears. Who started to restore the Lavra? Monks, of course. And who are monks? They are the people God called to Himself <...> There is no reason to close the Lavra, no reason to kick the monks out because they pray and work day and night," says the UOC believer.
As reported, the Ukrainian authorities have closed access for UOC worshippers to the Near and Far Caves, as well as to three more churches of the Lavra.