To the All-Honorable Clergy, to the Diaconate in Christ, and to all the faithful of the UOCC:
February 24, 2022 became a day that all Ukrainians in Ukraine and around the world will forever remember in our lives.
This is the day when the Russian Federation launched an unprovoked and brutal war against independent Ukraine and the freedom-loving Ukrainian people hoping to occupy and achieve victory over the Ukrainian state in a short time.
Many of us felt deep pain, shock, and a sense of unreality that such a thing is possible in the 21st century in the center of Europe. But Ukraine did not panic before the Russian monster. The Ukrainian people and their army heroically stood up to protect their native land and their families from enemy enslavement.
The enemy brought suffering, tears, pain, brutal violence, terror and death to the Ukrainian land. But this did not break the will of Ukrainians to protect and defend themselves. On February 24, 2023, it will be one year since the start of this diabolical and godless war against Ukraine.
Perhaps many people in the world did not believe that Ukraine was able to resist a powerful aggressor for so long, but our pious Ukrainian people not only put their hope in weapons, but first of all, in God.
And with God nothing is impossible.
For a whole year now, the Ukrainian people have been carrying an extremely heavy cross. Let us help our suffering brothers and sisters in Ukraine as much as we can. Let us support them in carrying this heavy cross.
Unity is the strength of our people. Unity is expressed by the many individuals, parishes, and organizations, who have provided spiritual and material help to the suffering victims of the war in Ukraine. We thank all of you for uniting in your efforts, as Holy Apostle Paul said: “if one member suffers, all the members suffer (1 Cor 12:26). This is not the time for divisions and enmity between us. Let us not contribute to division. Instead, let us try to support each other in word and deed, and especially, let us increase our prayers for each other.
On these days, let us remember in our prayers, all the innocent victims of the war in Ukraine, especially children, as well as soldiers who gave their lives for the Motherland. Eternal memory and may God grant them the Kingdom of Heaven!
Let us constantly pray for Ukraine, for our brothers and sisters, and the Armed Forces of Ukraine. May the All-Merciful Lord, through the prayers of the Holy Mother and the intercession of all the saints of the Ukrainian land, grant victory over the enemies and peace to the long-suffering Ukrainian people.
Almighty God, safeguard our Ukraine!
With fervent prayers for all of you,
Archbishop of Winnipeg and Central Eparchy
Metropolitan of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Canada
Bishop of Toronto and the Eastern Eparchy
Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Canada