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Ecumenical Patriarch: We come bearing a message of consolation and hope to Ukrainian refugees in Poland

The Ecumenical Patriarch presided over the Great Vespers of the Annunciation of the Theotokos at the Church of St. Mary of Blachernae, during which the Third Stasis of Salutations was chanted by the Patriarch himself, according to tradition.

In his speech, immediately afterwards, the Patriarch made special reference to the Akathist Hymn, which is sung during the Holy and Great Lent in all of the churches of the Orthodox world and warms the heart of Christians.

Then, the Patriarch pointed out that the Virgin Mary shares better than anyone the grief of mothers, who already mourn the loss of their children in the fratricidal warfare in Ukraine.

Referring to his upcoming visit to Poland, where millions of refugees found shelter from the hard-pressed Ukraine, he mentioned that he would meet with them to convey a message of consolation and hope.

“The Virgin Mary knows about suffering, hardship, rejection, as she”bore her firstborn son ” in a manger of horses. The Mother of God has also experienced the uprooting together with her child, in order to save it from those who wanted to take their souls.

She was forced to emigrate from Bethlehem to the faraway and unknown Egypt, which proved to be a real place of hospitality for a persecuted mother and her infant, a place that hosted and welcomed the stranger, the neighbor. Just like Poland, which has opened its arms wide to welcome millions of Ukrainians, who have been driven to leave home, because of the terrible war that is raging in their country.

We are travelling to this welcoming country on Sunday afternoon, as you will have been already informed, at the gracious invitation of the President of Poland, His Excellency Andrzej Duda, but also of His Beatitude the Primate of the Orthodox Church there, Metropolitan Sawa of Warsaw.

That is why we came here tonight, to ask for the mediation of the Holy Theotokos of Blachernae, in order to convey from the Holy Church of Christ to our emotionally charged brothers, who arrived from Ukraine, seeking and finding refuge in Poland, a message of consolation and hope.

We go there to see them face to face and tell them: “Stay strong, our children! We know that the cross you are bearing is heavy and we come to your aid. Don’t grow weary! Put your trust in the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will find refreshment! The Resurrection is coming! ‘Christ is resurrected’ will be heard again as a victorious cry! ”


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