This was the headline of the April 7, 2017 issue of The Ukrainian Weekly, the oldest English-language newspaper of the Ukrainian diaspora in the United States, and North America. Five years before the horrific invasion by Russia February 24th.
The letter begins with these words: “Today the entire Christian world in one unified and joyful choir praises the event which is without analog in any time or age. The entire essence of Christianity rests upon the most glorious Resurrection of Christ, which contains the answer to the mystery of our life and faith. “If Christ is not Risen,” says the Apostle Paul, “then our preaching is empty and your faith is also empty” (1Cor.15:14). Our faith would not exist without the Resurrection of Christ, and without faith there would be no true life, because faith is the point of our life and our spiritual essence.”
The letter ended with these words: May the Risen Christ bring long-awaited peace and unity to every Ukrainian family, strengthen our faith, fill our hearts with spiritual joy and increase our love, so that we will be able to fully delight in the joy of these bright, Paschal days!
We pray and believe that the Lord God will bless our Ukrainian nation, and that our Motherland Ukraine will become a strong European country. May the blessing of the Risen Christ be with all of you”
This year’s letter had these words: “Please, please, dearly beloved, offer additional prayer and fasting for the safety, protection and healing of our brothers and sisters under attack and those who have been forced to flee from the aggression.
In addition, we will pray in gratitude for the world-wide reaction in support of the Ukrainian people and the nation. We are not speaking of and expression of “thoughts and prayers”. Rather, the world is reaching out diligently in offering physical, financial and most of all medical support to Ukraine, beyond all expectation. European nations are welcoming refugees from all over Ukraine without any restrictions and providing for their every need. This is the will of God, and we thank all who have stepped forth.
As we have prayed fervently for weeks now in all our parishes, we beseech our Heavenly Father to send forth his legions of angels, commanded by the Patron of the City of Kyiv, Archangel Michael, to crush the aggression of those who would destroy Ukraine and her people.
May the Grace of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, the Love of God the Father and the Communion of the Holy Spirit be with us all.”
May peace come, may faith remain strong, and may joy return and may the love of God expand.