Metropolitan of Donetsk calls for fervent prayer for peace in Donbass
The bishop reminded the faithful that by changing ourselves for the better and correcting sins, we will be able to change the sorrowful reality around us.
On February 19, 2022, Metropolitan Hilarion of Donetsk and Mariupol of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church called on the clergy and believers of the Donbass to pray for peace in the region, reports the official website of the Donetsk Eparchy.
Vladyka wrote that "over the years of this terrible merciless war, the Donbass has fully felt its hammer, all its inherent troubles, grief, hardship and sorrow."
“The wounds of the bloody war clashes, which severely affected the ordinary civilian population, are still open. The destroyed homes of our countrymen have not yet been rebuilt, the sacred places of our eparchy have not yet been restored. The graves of those whose lives were tragically cut short by this fratricidal unrest are still fresh," the Archbishop said.
Metropolitan Hilarion noted that the people of the region, “who fled from constant shelling in bomb shelters and basements, who tried to restore, at least partially, after another wave of military conflict, a simple, peaceful working life”, have experienced a lot of grief.
“However, our region, known to the whole world for its labour glory, in these years of hard times and turmoil has shown that we are not in vain called Orthodox Donbass. As it was once said: ‘The Donbass knows how to work, the Donbass knows how to pray!’” the bishop emphasized.
He recalled that during the entire period of the military conflict in the region, people have unselfishly helped each other, monasteries hosted forced refugees and victims, and the clergy and laity prayed to the Lord for the speedy onset of peace, for overcoming enmity and for the reign of mutual understanding.
However, Vladyka wrote, “the threat of renewed full-scale hostilities came again to our home. Again, rivers of refugees flowed, fleeing from possible clashes. And again, tears of grief and uncertainty torment our weary hearts”.
“In this regard, I as the Ruling Bishop of our Donetsk Eparchy appeal to the clergy, monastics and laity with a request to enhance the prayer for peace in our region. Today our prayerful standing before the Face of God is extremely necessary! We are unable to change reality, it is beyond our power. But the Almighty Lord God can! Our Creator and Maker, unceasingly caring for His people, can change everything in the twinkling of an eye," stressed Metropolitan Hilarion.
In addition, for the “the common good and on the eve of Great Lent,” the bishop called everyone “to sincere repentance” because “by changing ourselves for the better and correcting our sins, we will be able to change the sorrowful reality around us”.
Vladyka also turned to the abbots of the monasteries with a request to open the doors of the shrines for those in need who are looking for shelter, food and consolation.
He also asked everyone who hears or reads this appeal “not to be indifferent to others, to lend a helping hand if necessary, to actively show your belonging to Christ, keeping His commandment of Love!”
“Our faith is strong, and our hope is unshakable! We do not want war, we, children of the Church of Christ, in such circumstances act as peacemakers, appealing to the mind of on whom decisions leading to peace, prosperity and mutual understanding depend!" wrote Metropolitan Hilarion.