Nights 467-473 – Br. Błażej letters

June 12, 2023
Capuchin Communications

Stories of Resilience and Faith: Ukrainians Endure the War

June 4, 2023, Sunday. On the Solemnity of the Blessed Trinity, Ukraine endured its 465th night of war.

Around 2 a.m., alarm systems echoed across the country. The area near the Dnipro River was heavily targeted with rockets. Tragically, a two-story building collapsed, injuring 13 people, including three children.

In these challenging times, the words of Jesus offer comfort and hope:

“God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through Him.”

This message inspires Christian living, encouraging us to rejoice, strive for perfection, maintain humility, and foster unity and peace so that “the God of love and peace will be with us.”

Despite the war, life continues.

In Vinnytsia, the Clara Studio, alongside Caritas – Spes Vinnytsia, organized a Children’s Day under the spiritual guidance of the Capuchin Brothers. The day was attended by local children, displaced children, and special guests from Crooked Corner with Sr. Margaret S. Franciscan (FMM). A special guest was Msgr. Leon Dubrawski, who stayed at the Capuchin monastery.

In Lviv, people are invited to participate in night and day prayers of adoration.

Also in Vinnytsia, Brother Patrick, an experienced chaplain of nuns, together with the Capuchin Brothers and the Mother General, was visited by the servant nuns of Vinnytsia Chutors

Brother Janusz Mędygrał and Brother Henry visited a special school for handicapped children in Lubien Veliky in the Lviv region. During their trip, they also visited monasteries in Olesko and Kutkorz, praying for their brothers and for peace in Ukraine.

Brother Viktor Deszuk attended a youth meeting in Zhytomyr, which had about 205 participants from the diocese, including 12 people from their parish in Kyiv.

June 6, 2023 – Tuesday marks the 467th night of war in Ukraine.

The night was troubled with alerts from midnight to 4 a.m. as rockets spanned Ukraine. The morning report indicates that 36 rockets fired from Russian territory toward Ukraine and Kyiv were intercepted and neutralized by the Ukrainian anti-missile systems (PPO). Despite the bombardment, Ukraine stands firm. Russians blasted a dam on the Dnipro River in Kakhovka, Kherson region. The dam, part of a hydropower plant, has caused widespread flooding. Eight villages on the left bank of the Dnipro are now underwater. Evacuation of the civilian population is underway.

The city of Kharkiv, too, had a difficult night, with four powerful S-300 missiles causing significant damage.

Amidst all the disturbing news, the heartrending images of dying individuals, children, and ruined homes, Psalm 111 provides solace: “Blessed is the man who serves the Lord… He will not fear when he hears bad news; his heart is steadfast, trusting in the Lord.”

Regardless of the war, life goes on in Ukraine.

Brother Igor Mularski announces that work has begun in front of the monastery and church in Vinnytsia. The city services are funding the project, which will ultimately see the erection of a monument to St. James, the Apostle, marking the beginning of the Vinnytsia-Kamianets-Podilskyi pilgrimage route.

June 7, 2023, Wednesday. Ukraine’s battle against Russian aggression continues into its 468th night.

More than 17,000 people have been displaced, triggering another wave of refugees. Authorities are taking emergency measures to evacuate people and animals. The flooding is sweeping away homes, some only visible by their rooftops.

In addition to this devastation, Russian shelling resulted in three civilian deaths and 21 injuries.

In times like these, we turn to the prayers of the faithful to seek solace and strength. The prayer of Tobias, found in the book of Tobit, resonates deeply with the current realities of war:

“Righteous are You, O Lord, and all Your works are righteous. All Your ways are mercy and truth; You judge the world…”

Nova Kakhovka’s city office is at the forefront of addressing the crisis, and evacuation efforts are ongoing. The city of Vinnytsia has agreed to provide shelter to 4,000 people displaced by the flooding.

June 8, 2023, Thursday. As Ukraine prepares for Corpus Christi Sunday, we live through the 469th night of war.

Yesterday, alerts sounded across the country around 11 o’clock, painting the country “red”. The night might have seemed calmer in comparison, but it’s only an illusion. The East continues to endure the harrowing realities of war while many grapple with massive floods – another grim dimension of the conflict.

A source of strength in these trying times, we find solace in the divine words: “Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God is the only Lord. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.” The second one is: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Embodying these commandments brings us closer to the kingdom of God and happiness. For God is love.

Amid the struggle, we remember: we live in war; we do not live by war.

In Uzhhorod, Brother Marek Lisowski shares the first art therapy classes held in the still unfinished pastoral room. Conducted by a professionally trained psychotherapist, the classes included children from war-affected areas and Uzhhorod.

In Kamiańske, Brother Leonid Majewski displays a fire brigade helmet gifted to them by firefighters from Severodonetsk as a token of gratitude for their assistance.

June 10, 2023 – Saturday, 471st night of war.

Last night Odessa and the Odessa region suffered greatly, with casualties reported. As we observe the National Day of Prayer for Ukraine today, we ardently pray for peace.

In times of struggle, we turn to the Word of Life: “Glorify God and praise Him before all the living… Spread God’s words before all people… It is a beautiful thing to keep the king’s secret, but worthy of all praise to reveal the works of God…” The angel Raphael’s declaration is a beacon of hope: “I am Raphael, one of the seven angels who stand ready and enter before the majesty of the Lord.” God is love.

From Krosno/Krakow, we receive news of an ongoing workshop titled “Nowosielski’s Alphabet”, led by Brother Martin Świądr, OFMCap. In this community, we remember Brother Justyn, a pioneer of our new Capuchin presence in Ukraine, currently residing in the Capuchin “Community of Reconciliation” in Krosno.

Four days after Russian occupiers blew up the Novy Kachovka dam, the tragic repercussions continued. Thousands of buildings and villages are flooded, and countless lives are uprooted. In Nikolaev Region and Kherson Oblast, thousands have been evacuated and casualties are climbing.

In Gylajpole, Zaporizhzhya Oblast, a hospital has been shelled by the Russians, causing the death of two hospital employees and wounding two others.

Unidentified kamikaze drones have also struck Voronezh, a city close to our hearts where our brothers reside. We pray for an end to this war and the advent of just peace.

In Kyiv, Brother Sergey Kippa, our custos, once again appeared on the Catholic TV channel EWTN. He celebrated the Eucharist and preached a homily. Brother Sergey is scheduled to lead a retreat for priests of the Kiev-Zytomyr diocese from June 12-16. We ask for prayers for him and the participants of the retreat.

June 11, 2023 – Sunday. Today, we commemorate the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ – Corpus Christi, marking the 472nd war night.

The plight of those affected by the blowing up of the Novaya Kakhovka dam by the Russians continues. In the occupied territories, these same terrorists withhold help, worsening the tragedy. International aid makes its way to the flooded areas as we pray for just peace.

The Word of God that the Mother Church imparts in war sounds different than in peacetime. We hold fast to the promise: “You shall live forever, you shall not die… You shall live! I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever.” The promise of eternal life resonates strongly amidst the turmoil: “Whoever eats this bread will live forever.” God is love!

Yesterday, Russians attacked Odessa and the Oblast, causing the death of three people and injuring 26 others).

In Kherson and Oblast, the water reveals grim evidence of the ongoing conflict, washing up the bodies of dead soldiers on the shores.

In a show of solidarity with Ukraine, Iga Swiatek, the champion of the Roland Garros tennis tournament in Paris, has been sporting a ribbon with the colors of the Ukrainian flag since the onset of the full-scale invasion by Russia. Her act of solidarity is a beacon of support in our struggle for freedom.

June 12, 2023. Monday. Bl. Anicet Kopliński and confreres, martyrs. 473rd night of war.

Yesterday, alerts sounded across Ukraine during the afternoon. The night was quieter, but alarms rang out in the East, including Dnipro.

The word God provides for the next day of war is “POETRY.” “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.”

“For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ. If we are distressed, it is for your comfort and salvation; if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which produces in you patient endurance of the same sufferings we suffer. Our hope for you is firm, because we know that just as you share in our sufferings, so also you share in our comfort.” God is love!


Br. Marek Lisowski Uzhhorod In Uzhhorod, the Solemn Communion was held yesterday, and ballots were handed out requesting the switch to the Gregorian calendar. Voting continues until next Sunday.

Brothers of the Custody of Ukraine Br. Blazej Suska Vinnytsia

From Br. Błażej letters nights 467-473
Edited by br. Igor De Bliquy
for the Capuchin Communication Office
Province of St. Joseph