Night 452-458 – Br. Błażej letters

Come Holy Spirit

May 22, 2023 – Monday. 452 war night.

War, alarms, explosions, fires, fear, and anguish consume us. Lives are lost, both soldiers and civilians. This is our reality, though not every region of Ukraine experiences it. Our country maintains relative peace compared to others. May God grant us peace!

The Word asks us a specific question: “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you came to faith?” They replied, “We haven’t even heard of the Holy Spirit. What kind of baptism did you receive then?” – they asked. In response to this Word, there is only one answer: COME, HOLY SPIRIT!

The fruits of this COMING are evident below. “I have told you these things so that you may have peace in Me. In the world, you will face tribulation, but take courage! I have conquered the world.” Peace eludes us; instead, we endure war. COME, HOLY SPIRIT!


Belarus. Minsk. The consecration of the Capuchin church. The miracle of divine love. DEO GRATIAS https://www.youtube.com/live/QgDlKJ80kB8?feature

Br. Maciej Styburski concludes another session of the “School of Mary” in Krasiliv. Br. Leonid Kushniruk celebrates the First Communion in Slobidka, an important event for the children. Br. Vladislav Gmyrko informs that Bishop Pavel Goncharuk administered Confirmation to 14 parishioners in Kamensky.


Last night, Dnipro faced the aftermath of an explosion. Let us pray for our enemies and occupiers.
Once again, rockets from our occupiers targeted Dnipro, as in previous nights. Vinnitsa, Khmelnytskyi, Zhytomyr, and Kyiv regions also experienced night alarms and explosions. Fortunately, all rockets were intercepted by defense systems. May God grant us peace!

Following the Holy Spirit also entails the ability to accept suffering, even when it goes against our nature. “Now, compelled by the Spirit, I am going to Jerusalem. I don’t know what awaits me there, except that the Holy Spirit confirms to me in every city that imprisonment and trials await me. But I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace.” COME, HOLY SPIRIT!

To truly know God, the Father, and experience His love, we need the Holy Spirit’s presence. “And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.” COME, HOLY SPIRIT!

May 24, 2023, Wednesday. 454 war night.

Kherson region, suffered the most during another night of war. Two residents were killed, and three were wounded. Intense battles continue on various fronts.

Jesus prays for us.

“Sanctify them in the truth; Thy word is truth. As Thou hast sent Me into the world, so have I sent them into the world. And for their sakes I sanctify Myself, that they also may be sanctified in truth.” COME, HOLY SPIRIT! God is love!

Heroes of Ukraine. A young family embracing life. God has blessed them with eight children. One of the boys received his First Holy Communion this year.

Yesterday, a sniper’s bullet killed our former postulant, Anatoly Kowal near Avdiyivka. Eternal rest grant him, O Lord.

Vinnitsa. Nineteen individuals from our parish received the sacrament of Confirmation. Bishop Leon Dubravsky presided over the service.

Brother Alexander Mogilny guided the young people in preparation to receive the Holy Spirit. Thank God for everything and everyone.

Br. Jerzy Zielinski, Dnipro.

Today, at the invitation of the director of the Charitable Foundation “Free Belarus,” I participated in a memorial exhibition dedicated to the Belarusian heroes who sacrificed their lives in Ukraine for the European choice, European values, and democratic principles in the fight against the Russian Empire since the beginning of the Russian-Ukrainian war. The gathering took place at the Historical Museum in the city of Dnipro. Together with Fr. Marian, the Orthodox pastor from the Ukrainian Patriarchate in Krasnopilja near Dnipro, I offered prayers for the fallen soldiers and those continuing the struggle for the freedom of Ukraine and Belarus.

Br. Zbigniew Sawczuk, Lviv.

Boris Johnson nearly donated a MITSUBISHI SHOGUN SPORT car to the Armed Forces of Ukraine (ЗСУ). Everything is fine… Japanese precision and English friendship. But there is one “but” – the steering wheel is on the right instead of the left, and the turn signals operate from the right, while normally, they are on the left. You look in the mirror normally to the right, but here you need to look to the left.

May 25, 2023, Thursday. The 455th night of war.

Yesterday’s evening was more peaceful, but the daylight hours rang with the sounds of warnings and air raid sirens. The PPO – Missile defense systems, were hard at work. Overnight, missiles were launched across Ukraine, totaling 36 in number. Each one of them was successfully intercepted and destroyed. Explosions could even be heard as far off as Uzhhorod. We are grateful for our survival. Our thanks to the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

Paul receives guidance from the Holy Spirit and a directive: “Courage”. As recounted in the scriptures, “The Lord appeared to him the next night. ‘Courage!’ – He said – ‘As you bore witness for Me in Jerusalem, you must also do the same in Rome.’”

Kharkiv Oblast. Yesterday, a school and a cultural center were set ablaze due to rocket fire.

Vinnytsia. As reported by the Vinnytsia Telegram channel, “Nearly 40 Roman Catholic pilgrims from Vinnytsia have begun their journey on foot to Sharogrudok. Their prayers are for victory and peace in Ukraine.”

Kyiv. Under the motto “No War!”, the Capuchin friars are progressing with their project, developing a parking lot in front of the church and monastery. Let’s keep our Benefactors in our prayers.

Br. Kazimierz Guzik, Lviv – Zbyszek has delivered another vehicle for the military forces, generously donated by volunteers from Poland.

May 26, 2023 – Friday. Celebrating St. Philip Neri. The 456th night of war.

Another night echoed with warnings and drone activities. Around 3 a.m., all of Ukraine was on “red” alert. Kyiv and Dnipro came under attack. (Photo) Damage and fires broke out due to the debris from downed rockets and drones.

“The Holy Spirit will instruct you in everything; He will bring to your memory all that I have spoken to you.” WE CALL UPON THE HOLY SPIRIT!

We exist amidst war, but we are not defined by war.

Yesterday marked the birthday of St. Padre Pio of Pietrelcina, our patron saint in Ukraine, our guardian. Our operations in Vinnytsia, in Kyiv, and in Dnipro stand as simple and tangible miracles of God’s love, with the intercession of our holy brother, Fr. Pio. St. Fr. Pio, we pray for your blessings and for peace in our Ukraine.

Brother Joseph Chromy, our Superior, has planned and prepared a nature expedition for us, the Brothers. We extend our gratitude to God, our Brothers, and our Benefactors.

Karasiliw. Sister Margaret, a Capuchin, posts today on Facebook:

“456 glasses of water, another day of war marked with sorrow and grief. Amidst the turmoil, there is some good news as 23 drones that threatened Khmelnytskyi were shot down. Life in the town continues seemingly calm. The much-prayed-for rain brought some relief to the parched land. Yet, the grief was profound as another soldier returned home for the final farewell with his family. The anguish of parents losing a child is indescribable; a photograph speaks volumes more than words ever can. I know he is still with us, but there comes a moment in our lives when we begin to live differently. However, this is not the time for such reflections. What is needed now is time to mourn the precious life that has been lost.”

May 27, 2023 – Saturday. The 457th night of war illuminates the sky.

The night mirrored the previous one, teeming with drones, with Kyiv being the prime target. We endured the nighttime alarms. We give thanks for surviving another day.

Dnipro. Yesterday, this city where our brothers live, was targeted with as many as seven S- 300, S- 400, and Iskander missiles. Powerful, large-caliber rockets wreaked havoc, destroying residential buildings and a hospital. Thirty-two individuals were injured, including two young children, boys aged 3 and 6. Of these, 15 required hospitalization, and three people remain unaccounted for. Rescue operations have concluded. Two lives were lost due to the Russian terrorist rocket attacks.

“Russian terrorists have once again proven their war against all that is human and just. A rocket assault on a clinic in the city of Dnipro resulted in one casualty and 15 injured. Efforts to handle the aftermath of the shelling and rescue the victims are underway, with all necessary services engaged. We must decisively and swiftly overcome these inhuman forces. Time is of the essence for our people, and our people are the most precious asset of Ukraine.”

Br. Jerzy Zielinski, Dnipro:

“Images documenting the devastation from the explosions have begun to circulate online. These pictures represent just a fragment of the human lives and infrastructure lost overnight and on Mother’s Day, May 26, in Dnipro. The rocket’s whistling flight woke me up, and the powerful blasts at 3:30 a.m. exacerbated my stress and worry. During the alert, I spent an hour and a half sheltering in the basement. It was difficult to find sleep afterward. With the night cut short, I had to continue parish duties.

The Ukrainian SERVICE warns that this is only the beginning of Putin and his terrorists’ rampage. Such treacherous nocturnal attacks, catching people in their sleep, will likely increase. POOR PEOPLE, ENDURING SO MUCH PAIN!!!

I believe in Poland and other countries, you rarely see these horrific scenes on display. I am aware that Poles are weary, and many have grown numb to the reality of genocide and a systematic, cruel dismantling of the state at their eastern border. The plight of these people has sadly become normalized for many. To truly empathize with Ukrainians, one must imagine being in our shoes. THE WAR RAGES ON! WE ARE DESPAIRING!!!

I share this to awaken hearts and to ask for continued prayers and support for those in Ukraine.”

May 28, 2023 – Sunday. Solemnity of Pentecost. The 458th war-torn night.

The night was filled with alarms and kamikaze drones swarming into Ukraine from all sides. Airstrikes persisted from 1 a.m. to 6 a.m. Almost all of Ukraine was on alert, with Kiev being the prime target. Fire control systems were operational. Of 54 kamikaze drones, termed Shahids, launched by Russian terrorists, 52 were shot down. Regrettably, there were casualties.



Br. Sergey Voronyuk, Lviv/Krasilow:

The Franciscan Youth’s spring chapter commenced at Padre Pio’s retreat house in Krasilow. Approximately 55 individuals from Kyiv, Vinnitsa, Starokonstantinov, and Krasilov convened here. May the Holy Spirit guide us on His paths!

From Br. Błażej letters nights 452-458
Edited by br. Igor De Bliquy
for the Capuchin Communication Office
Province of St. Joseph

Night 445-451 – Br. Błażej letters

Stories of Resilience and Faith: Ukrainians Endure the War

A Chronicle of Daily Struggles and Unyielding Hope in Ukraine, May 15-21, 2023

Amid the ongoing war in Ukraine, the Ukrainian people exemplify remarkable resilience and unwavering faith. From the relentless nights of war to the unwavering dedication of the Capuchin brothers providing essential ministry and support, these stories shed light on the transformative power of faith and the indomitable spirit of the Ukrainian people. As we explore their journeys, we witness their determination to rise above adversity, their unwavering hope for a just peace, and the profound influence of their faith in guiding them through the darkest times.

Night 445: A war-torn Mother’s Day and 30 first communions.
The Word confirms that faith is grace, and that faith is born of listening. “The Lord opened her heart, so that she listened attentively to Paul’s words.” The Lord opened her heart! Come, Holy Spirit!

Last night was warlike, but reasonably peaceful; God, give us a just peace! Yesterday was Mother’s Day in Ukraine. As we wished our mothers a happy Mother’s Day, we also prayed for those mothers who are fighting on the front lines for our freedom.

In Vinnitsa, more than 30 children had their first holy communion, and we thank God for the gift of life received. Meanwhile, recovery is continuing in Ternopil after a recent airstrike on a city in western Ukraine.

Night 446: Rockets, fire and pilgrimage.
There was a moment when all of Ukraine was “red” — that is, there were alarms all over the country. The night was full of alarms. The worst of the restlessness was in Kiev, where anti-rocket systems labored against rocket raids as shrapnel fell on parts of a city on fire. And in Avdiyivka, in the Donetsk region, rocket shelling killed four people. In the west, meanwhile, military men and the families of deceased soldiers — heroes and defenders of our freedom — made a pilgrimage to the Mother of God of Berdyczów.

“I admonish you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you live in harmony and that there be no schism among you; that you be of one spirit and one thought.” War speaks otherwise.

“For it has been reported to me about you, my brothers, through the people of Chloe, that there are disputes among you. I think of what each of you is saying: ‘I am from Paul, and I am from Apollos; I am from Kephas, and I am from Christ.’ Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Was it in Paul’s name that you were baptized? Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel, and not in the wisdom of the word, lest the cross of Christ be nullified.” We pray for an end to the war — we pray for peace!

“For the doctrine of the cross is foolishness to those who go to perdition, but the power of God to us who access salvation.” Come Holy Spirit!

Night 447: Missile barrages.
Today there were fired at Kiev from Russian territory, in a very short period of time, as many as 18 missiles of various types. The Ukrainian anti-missile system — what we call the “PPO” — shot them all down. Still, falling debris left damage and sparked fires. Nighttime shelling, meanwhile, fell over the city of Nikolaev and the region around it and the city itself; one of the missile targets was a grocery store. No comments — just a prayer: God, give us a just peace!

The Word calls us to consider our ignorance of God and of his love — even in spite of our religiosity: “Paul spoke: ‘Men of Athens, I see that you are in every way very religious. For as I passed by and looked at your shrines one by one, I also found an altar with the inscription: “To the Unknown God.” I proclaim to you that which you worship without knowing. God, who created the world and everything in it …’” Ultimately, God is love — come, Holy Spirit!

On our way to Krasilov for Brother Maciej’s name day, we stopped by the old estate of the Sieniawski family with Brother Patryk. We visited the castle, the museum of the Famine of the Ukrainian people. The grave of the Baal Shem-Tov, one of the founders of Hasidism and its first disciples, is also in the village.

The friars in Krasilow/Slobidka, meanwhile, reported that a lineup of helpers and children from school made a stockpile of food slated to go toward the east. In Lviv, however, the friars are seeking help for Mr. Wadym, a 62-year-old from Bachmut who lost his house in bombings. He miraculously survived, but lost both of his legs. He is expected to leave the hospital in as little as two weeks.

Night 448: “Defenders of the sky” on the Ascension.
We fell asleep yesterday to the sound of alarms. We woke up thanking God we were still alive. Tonight has been similar: full of alarms, rockets and explosions. Our anti-rocket systems have been busy. There have been explosions in Kharkov, Khmelnitsky, Vinnitsa and Zhytomyr. in Odessa, one person died.

Brother Sergey Kippa in Kiev reports that “Tonight is the night of the vigil [before the Ascension] … but not in Berdychev. Too much sleep was not possible. Loud alarms and explosions, PPO work. Thank God for the defenders of the sky. If it were not for them, it would have been louder and much more terrible consequences.”

“Lord,” the Word seems to ask, “when will the war end?”

“It is not your business to know the time and the moment …”

“… But when the Holy Spirit comes upon you, you will receive His power.”

Come, Holy Spirit!

In Vinnitsa, friars hosted the “angels” — the volunteers we know — and our benefactors, Marcin Izyk, Jack and Thomas. After an overnight stay and a meal, they continued on their way to Dnieper to the Capuchins and on their way to Eastern Ukraine. We thank God for them and pray for our benefactors.

Night 449: More missiles by night, dumplings and bread by day.
Another very difficult night, with many missile attacks on individual regions — really, all of Ukraine. Most of the missiles and drones were destroyed by anti-missile systems. God, give us peace!

The Word reminds us of its power: Just because God speaks, I am to stop being afraid. “Stop fearing, and speak, and do not be silent, for I am with you, and no one will bargain with you to harm you, for the reason that I have many people in this city.” Follow the Word, not fear …

“All nations, clap your hands with a joyful voice shout to God, for the Lord Most High and terrible is the great King over all the earth,” (Psalm 47). The Lord is King over Ukraine …

“You will grieve,” we remind ourselves, “but your sorrow will be transformed into joy.” Come, Holy Spirit!

In Krasilow/Slobidka, senior students working with the friars in the kitchen helped to make dumplings, scions and various breads. Our young people understand the sensitivity and the urgency of the matter at hand.

Night 450: Our growing restlessness.
War nights have been very, very restless lately. These are the consequences of the missile attacks launched from the territory of the occupying country. In Kiev, shrapnel from falling rockets caused a fire on the roof of a skyscraper. Services are working, but night alarms are ongoing in various regions of central Ukraine. Ukraine’s reality, for now, are nights full of rocket attacks and children sleeping in bathtubs.

The Word reminds me that I can be learned and know the Scriptures very well, but know only the baptism of John — that is, of water — but not of the Holy Spirit! “A certain Jew, named Apollos, a native of Alexandria, a learned man and one who knew the Scriptures well, came to Ephesus. He already knew the way of the Lord, spoke with great zeal and taught exactly what pertained to Jesus, knowing only John’s baptism. He began to speak boldly in the synagogue. When Priscilla and Aquila heard him, they took him with them and laid out for him exactly the way of God.”

God, grant us a just peace. Come, Holy Spirit!

Night 451: Ascensions and pilgrimages in days of war.
Wartime continues with difficult days and nights and air-raid sirens. We thank God and our anti-missile systems, which have been keeping most of the missiles from reaching their targets.

In Poland, this Sunday marked the Ascension. Here in Ukraine, our children who received their first Holy Communions a week ago have gone on a bus pilgrimage to Our Lady of Berdyczów, where they celebrated eucharist again at the shrine and got to visiting a monastery of the Discalced Carmelites. There was a group meal together, games and horse-drawn wagon rides. We thank God for our being together.

The Word says: “The Lord my light and my salvation; whom should I fear? The Lord my protector of my life; from whom should I feel trepidation?” And, again: “One thing only I ask of the Lord, and for this I strive, that I may always abide in His house after all the days of my life, that I may taste the sweetness of the Lord, constantly rejoicing in His temple.

Hear, Lord, when I cry aloud; have mercy on me and hear me. About You my heart says: “Seek His face!”

Come, Holy Spirit!

From Br. Błażej letters nights 445-451
Edited by br. McLean Bennett
for the Capuchin Communication Office
Province of St. Joseph

Night 438-444 – Br. Błażej letters

Stories of Resilience and Faith: Ukrainians Endure the War

A Chronicle of Daily Struggles and Unyielding Hope in Ukraine, May 8-14, 2023

Amid the ongoing war in Ukraine, the Ukrainian people exemplify remarkable resilience and unwavering faith. From the relentless nights of war to the unwavering dedication of the Capuchin brothers providing essential ministry and support, these stories shed light on the transformative power of faith and the indomitable spirit of the Ukrainian people. As we explore their journeys, we witness their determination to rise above adversity, their unwavering hope for a just peace, and the profound influence of their faith in guiding them through the darkest times.

Night 438: Restless Days and Nights in the Shadow of Conflict

As the war in Ukraine reaches its 438th night, communities continue to endure restless days and nights. Despite the potential danger, Ukraine’s advanced anti-missile systems provide a measure of safety. The previous night we witnessed the successful interception of 35 kamikazes (Shahid) drones launched by Russian forces. However, debris from these destroyed drones caused damage in cities like Kyiv’s Sviatoshyn area and Vinnytsia, where alarms awakened residents. In Odesa, an air raid resulted in the tragic burning down of a recreation center. These incidents highlight the constant threat that Ukrainians face and the conflict’s disruptive nature.

Amidst the affliction and uncertainty, the people of Ukraine find solace in their unwavering faith and the power of the Word. They believe, “If God is with us, who can be against us?” This steadfast faith empowers them to persevere through the war’s hardships, oppression, and persecution. They unite in prayer, seeking a just peace and trusting that nothing can separate them from the love of Christ.

Night 439: Alarms, Destruction, and the Unyielding Spirit of Ukraine

On the 439th night of the war, the Ukrainian people experienced widespread unrest. Red alarms sounded throughout the country, indicating imminent danger. Ukrainian anti-missile systems successfully intercepted 23 of the 25 drones launched at night. However, the debris from these destroyed rockets caused further damage and fires, prompting Kyiv residents to seek shelter in metro stations. This relentless barrage of attacks highlights the ongoing challenges Ukrainians face as they strive for peace in their homeland.

Drawing inspiration from the biblical story of the Apostle Paul’s resilience amidst persecution, Ukrainians understand that God’s love allows suffering to strengthen their spirits. Therefore, they firmly believe that as long as they listen to God’s guidance and hold onto the message of peace imparted by Christ, they can endure the trials of war. As a result, the Ukrainian people refuse to be defined by the conflict; instead, they rise above it, embodying the spirit of their resilient nation.

Night 440: Hope Amidst Remembrance and Reconciliation

May 9th, a day of remembrance and reconciliation, holds a special significance for Ukrainians. However, it is not widely celebrated as a holiday in the country. Instead, the Ukrainian people use this occasion to reflect on the past and look toward a future free from the ravages of war.

In Clara Studio, Vinnytsia, people gathered to commemorate the day, paying homage to the sacrifices made to pursue freedom and peace. Despite their hardships, the Ukrainian people find strength in unity and strive to support one another. In Kyiv, the Fr. Pio House offers art therapy programs to help children, mothers, and women cope with the emotional toll of the conflict. Another day of evangelization in front of the Capuchin church in Vinnytsia, where the community came together to share their faith and spread hope.

The Capuchin brothers, continue to provide invaluable support throughout Ukraine. Brother Yaroslav Fedirchuk, Dnipro’s superior and parish priest, celebrated his name day, an occasion marked with joy and gratitude. Brother Kazimierz Guzik from Lviv shared a heartfelt video message, uplifting and inspiring the Ukrainian people in their struggle. Their tireless efforts and unwavering faith serve as a beacon of hope and resilience in adversity.

Night 441: Calm in Some Regions, Turmoil in Others

As the war enters its 441st night, the situation in Ukraine remains precarious. While some regions experience a relatively calmer night, others are plagued by continuous alarms and devastating attacks. In the Dnipropetrovsk Region, last night was relatively calm, providing a brief respite for its residents. However, the threat of shelling and missile raids loomed in Kyiv and the surrounding areas.

Despite the challenges, the Ukrainian people maintain their unwavering faith in the power of love and the importance of spiritual nourishment. They draw strength from the teachings of Jesus, who reminded his disciples to abide in his love and keep his commandments. This profound message resonates deeply with all people, guiding their actions and inspiring them to persevere through the darkest times.

Night 442: Celebrating Life and Seeking Inspiration

Amid the ongoing conflict, Ukrainians find solace in moments of celebration and inspiration. On this particular day, Br. Sergiy Vorniuk in Lviv celebrated his birthday, surrounded by well-wishes and heartfelt messages. The joyous occasion serves as a reminder of the importance of cherishing life’s blessings and finding moments of happiness amidst the turmoil.

The day also commemorates the life of St. Leopold Mandic, a Croatian Capuchin saint whose legacy resonates deeply with the Ukrainian people. The Ukrainians express their gratitude for the support and solidarity of the Capuchin brothers from Croatia, who themselves have experienced the ravages of war. Their enduring presence and shared experiences provide a source of inspiration and hope for the Ukrainian people.

Night 443: Nightmarish Reality of War and the Quest for Peace

Intense battles and destruction in Ukraine marked the previous night. Four Shahid drones were shot down in the Khmelnytskyi region, but unfortunately, four others hit strategic infrastructure, causing significant damage. This constant threat to critical resources highlights the ongoing challenges Ukrainians face as they strive for safety and stability.

These devastating incidents do not deter the Ukrainian people. They pray for a peaceful resolution to the conflict, yearning for a future where their land is liberated from Russian occupation. In the face of such adversity, they cling to their deep-rooted belief that justice and peace will prevail.

Night 444: Relentless Attacks and the Spirit of Ukraine

Yet another night of relentless attacks, with missiles raining down on multiple regions. The city of Ternopil and Nikolaev bear the brunt of the destruction as residential houses, schools, hospitals, and strategic facilities become targets. The scale of devastation is a painful reminder of the harsh realities of war that Ukrainians confront daily.

In the face of such adversity, the spirit of Ukraine remains unbroken. The Ukrainian people draw strength from their unwavering faith and resilience, refusing to be defined by the conflict that engulfs their land. Their enduring hope for a just peace drives them to endure and persevere despite their ongoing challenges.


Throughout these last seven nights, it is evident that the Ukrainian people live in war, but they refuse to live by war. Instead, they embrace faith, hope, and love as guiding principles in their lives. Their unwavering spirit, rooted in their deep connection to their faith and community, illuminates the path toward a better future for Ukraine.

As Ukraine continues its journey towards a just and lasting peace, the Ukrainian people draw strength from their faith, unity, and the unwavering support of their communities. Their stories testify to the human spirit’s ability to endure and find hope even in the most challenging circumstances. May their unwavering faith and resilience inspire the world and remind them that, even amidst conflict, love and hope can prevail.

Amidst the chaos, the Capuchin brothers serve as beacons of light and support, offering vital ministry and inspiring the Ukrainian people to persevere. Their unwavering dedication reflects the essence of their calling and strengthens the faith and resolve of those they serve.

From Br. Błażej letters nights 438-444
Edited by br. Igor De Bliquy
for the Capuchin Communication Office
Province of St. Joseph

Br. Błażej letters – Night 440

Reflections on War, Faith, and the European Union

May 10, 2023 Wednesday. 5th week of Easter.

The night in our region calmer. Worse in Dnipropetrovsk Region and the city itself. Anti-missile systems shot down Shahida drones. God give us peace, a just peace!

A short but specific word: “If you abide in Me, and My words in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be fulfilled for you.” Holy Spirit come!

Germany. Munich.
The prospect of Ukraine joining the European Union, but, as John Paul II said when Poland was about to join the Union, “yes” to the Union, but based on Christian values. God grant that Ukraine will be in the European Union on Christian values.

The war through the eyes of eight-year-old Mark.
To paraphrase the child’s words: I’m not afraid to die, because I listen to my mother. I’m going to heaven… And what is heaven…? I think heaven is like Ukraine, where there is no war. Where there is no Russia….

Increasingly, the question is, what can we learn from Croatia, which has also experienced war? An open question…..


Br. Błażej letters – Night 439

As War Rages On, Ukrainians Find Strength in Faith and Solidarity

Date: May 10, 2023

On the 439th night of war, Tuesday, May 9th, the people of Ukraine experienced widespread unrest. Red alarms sounded throughout the country, and 23 of 25 drones were destroyed by Ukrainian anti-missile systems during the night of May 8-9. The debris from these destroyed rockets caused further damage and fires, prompting Kyiv residents to seek shelter in metro stations. Despite these challenging circumstances, all Capuchin brothers remain safe, praying for a just peace to be granted.

As the Apostle Paul was stoned yet survived, Ukrainians understand that God’s love allows for suffering to strengthen their spirit. They hold onto the message of peace given by Christ, acknowledging that they live in war but do not live by war.

Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko visited a site damaged by a Shahid drone, reporting that the previous night, Russians had launched over 60 drones at Ukraine, with 35 targeting Kyiv. Thanks to anti-rocket systems, all rockets were downed, though damage from shrapnel remains an issue.

Volunteers and angels like Marcin Izyk and his team prepare for their next visit to Ukraine, seeking both prayers and financial support. The conflict has not only affected Ukraine but also spilled over into neighboring areas, with Russian forces using banned phosphorus bombs on Bakhmut, leaving scorched Ukrainian soil in their wake. The region between Ukraine and Moldova, Transnistria, suffers as well.

On May 9, a day of remembrance and reconciliation, Ukrainians like those at Clara Studio in Vinnytsia commemorated the occasion. However, this date is not considered a holiday in Ukraine, as many hope for a future free from such conflicts.

In Medjugorje, Brother Zbyszek Sawczuk embarked on a pilgrimage, praying to the Mother of God and Mother of Peace for her intercession. The Capuchin brothers continue to provide support and information throughout Ukraine. Brother Leonid Kushniruk in Krasyliv and Slobidka reported that parishioners, despite working in the fields, continue to support their defenders by providing food.

Brother Kazimierz Guzik in Lviv shared a video. https://youtu.be/21H23eJIYe4

As the war continues, the people of Ukraine find solace and strength in their faith, united in their hope for peace and reconciliation.

Christ is risen! Христос Воскрес!

Br. Błażej letters – Night 438

Amidst Conflict, Faith and Resilience Shine Through in Ukraine

Date: May 9, 2023

As the war in Ukraine reaches its 438th night, communities across the country continue to experience restless days and nights. Despite the potential danger, Ukraine’s sophisticated anti-missile systems have provided a measure of safety. Last night, 35 kamikaze (Shahid) drones launched by Russian forces were shot down, though debris from the drones caused damage in cities like Kyiv’s Sviatoshyn area and Vinnytsia, where residents were awakened by night alarms. In Odesa, a recreation center burned down following an air raid.

In these challenging times, the people of Ukraine are reminded of the importance of spiritual guidance and the power of the Word. They hold onto the belief that “If God is with us, who can be against us?” and trust that nothing can separate them from the love of Christ. Amidst the affliction, oppression, and persecution brought on by war, the people of Ukraine strive to unite and listen to God’s voice, praying for a just peace.

The people of Ukraine live in war, but they do not live by war. Instead, they choose to focus on faith, love, and the power of the Word to guide them through these dark times.

Communities across the country are finding ways to heal and support one another. In Kyiv, the Fr. Pio House offers art therapy for children, mothers, and women. In Vinnytsia, another day of evangelization took place in front of the Capuchin church. Men in Kyiv, known as the Knights of John Paul II, gathered for a rosary prayer.

The Capuchin brothers continue to support and spread hope throughout Ukraine. Brother Yaroslav Fedirchuk, superior and parish priest in Dnipro, celebrated his name day, while Brother Kazimierz Guzik from Lviv shared a video message: https://youtu.be/2_AWf3aWnQQ

Brother Anton Pogornyj from Starokonstantiniv contributed to Vatican Radio’s Ukrainian language section, https://www.vaticannews.va/uk/church/news/2023-05/italijskyj-misioner-vidpoviddyu-na-tragediyu-vijni-ye-lyudyanist.html

Lastly, in Uzhhorod, Brother Marek Lisowski and his team distributed 63 sets of bedding to expatriates living in dormitories, thanks to the generous contributions of benefactors.

Through these stories, it is evident that the light of faith, hope, and love endures in the hearts of the Ukrainian people.

Christ is risen! Христос Воскрес!

Br. Błażej letters – Night 437

Amidst Conflict, Hope and Faith Persist in Ukraine

Date: May 8, 2023

As the conflict in Ukraine enters its 437th night, communities across the country continue to endure restless days and nights. Cities such as Vinnytsia, Kyiv, and Dnipro have experienced alarms and disturbances, with citizens praying for peace.


In these trying times, it is essential to emphasize the importance of spiritual guidance and the power of the Word. Focusing solely on material matters, such as “table service,” is insufficient. The twelve disciples recognized this, stating, “It is not right that we should neglect the Word of God, and serve tables.” This devotion to the Word led to its proliferation, as the number of disciples in Jerusalem grew significantly, and even a great number of the priests came to faith.

Recently, a particular passage has returned to the forefront of our minds, highlighting the importance of understanding the Word: “Philip said to Him, ‘Lord, show us the Father, and this is enough for us.’ Jesus answered him, ‘Philip, I have been with you so long, and you have not yet come to know Me? He who sees Me also sees the Father.’” This passage serves as a powerful reminder that God the Father is love, and it is through love that we can find solace and hope. By seeking love and embodying it in our lives, we find that it is enough to sustain us.

In the midst of this ongoing conflict, the people of Ukraine refuse to let the war define them. They live in war, but they do not live by war. Instead, they choose to focus on their faith, love, and the power of the Word to guide them through these dark times.

Despite the ongoing war, the people of Ukraine refuse to let it define their lives. In Vinnytsia, children recently underwent a serious examination as they prepared for their first confession and Holy Communion. In Horodok Podilskyi, the chaplaincy school attended by Capuchin brothers held its fourth meeting. Zhytomyr witnessed its first Diocesan Children’s Day, with joyful laughter from children filling the air.

A year ago, tragedy struck a newlywed couple in Mariupol. Andriy, a soldier of the ZSU border service, was killed by Russian forces only three days after his wedding, and his wife Valeria was taken captive for over ten months. The story of their love will be passed down through generations.

Ukrainian soldiers pray not for the power to kill, but for the strength to defend their freedom and homeland. Young men like Vinnytsia resident and judo world cup champion Marat Kryzanskiy, 22, courageously serve in the national guard.

In Kherson, six firefighters lost their lives while carrying out relief work under Russian rocket fire. Their sacrifice, along with countless others, will not be forgotten.

The people of Ukraine remain steadfast in their faith and community. In Krasyliv, Brother Maciej Styburski leads a rosary prayer, bringing together people from around the world through the power of the internet. A week ago, Krasyliv’s School of Mary conducted “Oazis” in Wiener Neustadt, and just yesterday, the “Little Oasis” began at the Fr. Pio Retreat House, welcoming 95 children from across Ukraine.

In Lviv, the Capuchin brothers celebrated their first sacrament of marriage in their chapel, joining together two of their earliest benefactors.

Through these stories, it is evident that amidst the darkness of war, the light of faith, hope, and love endures in the hearts of the Ukrainian people.

Christ is risen! Христос Воскрес!

Br. Błażej letters – Night 436

Saturday, May 6, 2023

Great politicians, but also simple people are talking and waiting for the counter-attack of the Ukrainian army and the beginning of the liberation of Ukrainian lands from Russian occupation.
The Russians are also aware of the ZSU’s goals and are increasing the strength of their attacks.
Yesterday in Vinnytsia around 5 pm warning sirens wailed. God just grant us peace!

Bahmut had a very heavy night of shelling by drones with banned phosphorus weapons.
God give us peace!

Listen to the Word of God, with your heart:
“On the next Sabbath, after Paul’s sermon in the synagogue in Antioch of Pysidia, almost the whole city gathered to listen to the word of God. When the Jews saw the crowds, jealousy seized them, and blaspheming, they opposed what Paul was saying.”

How did the pagans react, and how did the religious people react:
“The Gentiles, hearing this, rejoiced and glorified the word of the Lord, and all, destined for eternal life, believed. The word of the Lord spread throughout the country.”

Fruits in the preaching of the Word:
“And the disciples were full of joy and the Holy Spirit.”

And again:
“Lord, show us the Father, and that is enough for us.”


Invitation: Sunday. May 7. 1 p.m. Fr. Pio House. Workshop for children 6-12 years about baking bread “Narni”.

Mr. Arkadiusz, who receives our letters every day:
“Good morning.
Such sad images of beautiful children and young people affected by the war in Ukraine.
It’s a shame that normal people around the world elect politicians who later send their families to die in war.
The whole world of politics is tainted with corruption, war and death of people for money.
And all you have to do is listen to the Holy Scriptures…. – I am not talking about faith in the Lord God …. Only about the teaching of the Church….
The teaching of Scripture has already opened the door to Peace, but it is so hard for these crazy, rule-obsessed politicians to listen to the Word of Scripture ….
Ach…. I find it so hard that innocent people are suffering and in Ukraine, and Russia, and Poland, and Africa, all over the World….
With my warmest greetings

Kramatorsk – Slavyansk.
Russian missile attacks yesterday.

Mr. Roman Zamriy, our parishioner, as a doctor, fights for the lives of his fellow soldiers. Let’s surround him with our prayers.

Information from the brothers

Bro. Kazimierz Guzik


Brothers of the Custody of Ukraine
Br. Błażej Suska

Br. Błażej – letters – Night 435

Friday, May 5, 2023

Increasingly restless – Russian terrorists launched as many as 25 drones on Kyiv last night.
All were shot down by PPO (ППО) anti-aircraft systems. Only debris from the downed drones fell on the city, causing fires.
During the night, explosions in Dnipro, Kramatorsk, Mariupol.

Once again we receive the Good News:
“We are just proclaiming to you the Good News of the promise given to the fathers: that God has fulfilled it to us as their children, having raised up Jesus. It is also written in the second psalm: “You are my Son; I have brought you forth this day.”
You are not a stranger to God. You are His Son. God knows you by name. God loves you.


The St. Nicholas Church has still not been returned to its owners – the Roman Catholic parish in Kyiv.

Prayer of worship on the streets of the city of Lviv. Brother Zbigniew Savchuk pray together with members of the School of Mary.

– Another group of young tourists headed to our Capuchin church and monastery.
– A new form of opposition to war, NOT WAR – through a life of flowers and colors of joy and hope. People are painting stones, even stones can speak. (Our Capuchin background.)

Last night two Russian S-300 missiles fell on the town near the school.
Fortunately, there were no casualties. No one was killed.

Our Capuchin women keep helping others.

Information from the brothers

Br. Kazimierz Guzik


Brothers of the Custody of Ukraine.
Br. Błażej Suska

Letters from Br. Błażej: Night 434

Thursday, May 4, 2023

St. Florian, the martyr.

Russia launched as many as 24 kamikaze drones into Ukraine yesterday evening. 18 of them were shot down.
Tension varies around the Ukrainian armed forces’ counterattack. Let us pray….

God is the God of history, of nations, and ofeach of us:
“Listen, Israelites, and you who fear God!
The God of this people of Israel chose our fathers, and exalted the people in the foreign land of Egypt, and brought them out of it with strong arm.”
God give us, give Ukraine, peace.


Brothers in Lviv visit wounded soldiers in hospitals, sanatoriums. They often witness miracles of Divine love.

Another tour, the children learn about the history of our monastery and the Capuchins.

Help from the USA.

A Russian rocket hit a construction hypermarket. As a result of the rocket attack, 3 people died and 5 were injured.


At the invitation of Poland, children whose parents, usually fathers, took or are taking part in the war went on vacation.
Let us pray for Poland and the Poles, for our Benefactors.

Information from the brothers

Br. Roman Pop – Uzhgorod
Uzhgorod yesterday also said goodbye to another HERO …. Eternal rest…!!!!

Br. Kazimierz Guzik – Lviv

_ _
Brothers of the Custody of Ukraine
Br. Błażej Suska

Letters from Br. Błażej: Night 433

Wednesday, May 3, 2023

Outside Poland: St. Philip and St. James.
In Poland, the Solemnity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Queen of Poland, the main patroness of Poland.

The Zaporizhia region suffered the most on this night. In Kyiv, alarms are sounding. Fire protection systems are working.
May God give us peace.

With best wishes to the Polish nation for Constitution Day.


How important it is to see the Father, to know who I am.
“I am the way and the truth and the life. Philip, whoever sees Me, sees also the Father.”
“I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. If you knew Me, you would also know My Father. But now you have known Him and have seen Him.
Philip said to Him, Lord, show us the Father, and that is enough for us.”
God, the Father is love!


Germany ♦ Mrs. Magda Kaczmarek.

“Hello Blazej, huge thanks for your daily reports.
It moves us how tragic it all looks. The funeral of these two siblings, the little boy who is already consciously experiencing it, that his brother and sister will never be with him again, because they were just killed, so senselessly…. oh my God and what terrible pain for parents, grandparents…. Good Jesus and our Lord give them eternal rest!

Warm greetings!
Magda Kaczmarek
Head of Section Eastern Europe I”


Farewell to another hero of the armed forces of the Ukrainian army, (ZSU – ЗСУ), who gave their lives for our freedom and yours.
Yuri Myroniuk, may he rest in peace!


Yesterday we hosted more “angels” who help us, defenders of our and your freedom, our borders.
Brother Joseph, our superior, royally hosted our Benefactors.
After a short rest, they headed east to bring all sorts of help, including two cars.

May God protect and bless you. Let us pray for our Benefactors.
Long live Poland!
Слава Україні! (Glory to Ukraine).



Information from the brothers

Br. Yaroslav Fedirchuk – Dnipro

“Vatican Radio” Ukrainian language session.

Fr. Luca Bovio, Fr. Leszek Kryza and Rika Itozawa visited us.

Br. Sergey Voronyuk – Lviv.

Brother Vladislav receives aid from Lviv destined for our defenders and people in the areas liberated from Russian occupation.
The aid was organized and delivered to Lviv by our Benefactors from Austria – Mrs. Heidi Filzmoser and her sons Peter and Johannes and our brother Mark King. Deo gratias for every open heart!

Br. Kazimierz Guzik – Lviv



_ _
Brothers of the Custody of Ukraine
Br. Błażej Suska

Letters from Br. Błażej: Night 432

May 2, 2023 – St. Athanasius

In the Pavlograd region, an industrial plant, 24 high-rise buildings, 80 private residential buildings, 9 educational buildings, 5 stores were damaged due to Russian missile attacks, 34 people, among them three children, were affected. This is the Russian world.
God, give us peace!

God is faithful and truthful.
“And the hand of the Lord was with them, for a great number believed and converted to the Lord.”

“My sheep listen to My voice, and I know them. They follow Me, and I give them eternal life. They shall not perish forever, and no one shall snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who gave them to Me, is greater than all. And no one can snatch them out of My Father’s hand. I and the Father are one.”

God is faithful and truthful!
God is love!



Bro. Kazimierz Guzik


Brothers of the Custody of Ukraine
Br. Błażej Suska

Letters from Br. Błażej: Night 431

May 1, 2023 – Monday

Tonight was a very uneventful night. A lot of alarms, and rocket attacks. Pavlograd, Dnipro region suffered. Explosions in Kyiv, some people spent the night in metro stations, just like at the beginning of the war.

Good news for us: the Gentiles accepted; they heard the Word.
“The apostles and brethren, residing in Judea, learned that also the Gentiles had received the word of God.”
God loves and cleanses everyone:
“I also heard a voice that spoke to me….. I answered: “Oh no, Lord, for I have never taken anything tainted or unclean into my mouth.” But the voice from heaven spoke up a second time: ‘Do not call unclean that which God has cleansed.’
“They glorified God and said, So also to the Gentiles God has granted the grace of conversion, that they may live.”
“I am the good shepherd and I know My sheep, and My sheep know Me.”
I invite you to listen to Psalm 23.


In Ukraine, the “Day of the Border Service Troops.”
One of our Capuchin brothers before the Order served in the Ukrainian army in this very formation. We wish him our best.

Despite the war, alarms, in the square, on the steps in front of the Capuchin church, evangelization is taking place.
Our Good Shepherd, Br. Joseph Chromy in the Holy Spirit proclaimed that God is love.

Donetsk region (province).
The Russian world in all its glory. Destroy, burn, kill; this is the Russian world.
God grants us a just peace.

Clara Studio

Br. Kazimierz Guzik

Br. Maciej Styburski
Meeting of leaders and participants of the School of Mary – Koinonia.

Br. Adam Wróbel
Today  in Kyiv, children and youth prepared a fair. The income collected will be used to buy a car for the First Brigade named after I. Bohun.
Also today there was a concert dedicated to St. Theresa of the Child Jesus, , “Heaven on Earth”. Songs were performed by a group from Vinnytsia.

Br. Kazimierz Guzik

— Brothers of the Custody of Ukraine
Br. Błażej Suska