Nights 557-564 – Br. Błażej letters
The Silent Echoes of Ukraine’s War Nights
In the quiet embrace of September 2023, Ukraine sang a mournful lullaby, harmonized by the stark contrast of peace and war. A hymn of hope, faith, and resilience was woven into the daily lives of its people, each note bearing testimony to the human spirit’s invincibility.
September 5, 2023, Tuesday – The 558th War Night
The stillness of this night was unlike previous ones. As the gentle dusk settled, the border regions with Russia remained restless. In the midst of such uncertainty, a divine voice whispered, “But you, brothers, are not in darkness, so that that day should surprise you like a thief. For you are all sons of light and sons of the day.”
In the shadow of war, Odesa’s port buildings bore witness to destruction. The grain, the lifeblood of many, fell victim to acts that could only be termed as Russian terrorism. Even Kyiv’s schools, centers of learning and hope, were shrouded in the shadow of mines.
Yet, even in these times, the spirit of solidarity shone through. The Polish Embassy’s donation of power generators to Vinnitsa illuminated the intertwined destinies of neighboring nations. This thread of unity was further reflected in Brother Adam Wróbel’s tireless efforts to provide humanitarian aid to Kherson and its surrounding regions.
“God is love! We live in war, but we do not live by war.”
September 6, 2023, Wednesday – The 559th War Night
This night was tumultuous, a dance of dread and anticipation. As the anti-missile systems roared over Kyiv, they sang a duet of defense and hope. As dawn approached, Ukraine was bathed in red alerts, a stark contrast to the message from Colossae, “Grace to you and peace from God our Father!”
In the heart of this chaos, the “Nazareth” school in Kyiv opened its doors, a beacon of normalcy for children and parents alike. In Vinnitsa, the Franciscan youth remembered and celebrated Brother Igor Mularski’s two decades of religious life.
The day ended with a solemn remembrance of Cardinal Marian Jaworski, a friend of the Capuchins, whose spirit resonated with the message, “The Lord sent me to bring good news to the poor, to the prisoners to preach freedom.”
September 9, 2023, Saturday – The 562nd War Night
This evening carried a hint of calm, but alarms in the border regions echoed like distant drums of an approaching storm. “You who were once strangers to God and His enemies by your way of thinking and your evil deeds, now God has reconciled you again,” a scripture whispered, seeking to heal the hearts of many.
In Krzywy Róg, a rocket’s cruel embrace claimed the life of one and injured many. Vinnitsa city, however, celebrated its day, the pulse of life continuing amidst the cacophony of conflict.
September 10, 2023, Sunday – The 563rd War Night
Kiev experienced the wrath of night drone attacks, its echoes disrupting the quiet. Yet, with dawn, a scripture reverberated, urging love above all, “For he who loves another has fulfilled the Law. Love does no evil to one’s neighbor.”
As a symbolic gesture, Vinnitsa’s youngest ones placed plasters on a map of Ukraine during their catechetical lesson. Each patch embodied a prayer, a hope, a testament that every little act matters.
In Rome, there was a moment of connection as Br. Piotr Stasinski, the General Councilor, reached out, reminding Ukraine of its universal fraternity.
September 11, 2023, Monday – The 564th War Night
The border district and Dnipropetrovsk region echoed with the chilling hymns of conflict. As missiles soared and anti-aircraft systems retaliated, the faithful held onto a powerful scripture, “Only in God seek peace, my soul, for from Him comes my hope. Only He is my rock and salvation.”
The echoes of war, however, didn’t diminish the celebration of the Ulma family from Markowa, beatified for their unmatched sacrifice during WWII.
The world watched, prayed, and hoped, remembering always, “God is Love! We live in war, but we do not live by war.”
Edited by br. Igor De Bliquy
for the Capuchin Communication Office
Province of St. Joseph