Pope Francis thanked the Polish people for welcoming refugees from Ukraine. His Ash Wednesday sermon also asked God for peace.
On Wednesday, Pope Francis thanked the Polish people for welcoming refugees from Ukraine after Russia invaded the country last week.
“You were the first to support Ukraine, opening your borders, your hearts and the doors to your homes to Ukrainians fleeing the war,” the pope said during his weekly general audience. “You are generously giving them all that is necessary for them to live with dignity, despite the dramatic nature of the moment. I am deeply grateful and I bless you from the heart”.
Ash Wednesday sermon
In his sermon, read out at an Ash Wednesday Mass in the Basilica of Santa Sabina, the Pope said, “In this day of prayer and fasting for Ukraine, we implore from God that peace which men alone are not able to build.”
Cardinal and Secretary of State Pietro Parolin led the service and read the sermon. “Oh Lord, You who see inside secret selves and recompense us beyond all of our expectations. Heed the prayer of those who trust in You, above all the most humble, the most tried, of those who suffer and flee under the din of arms”.
Vatican sends aid and health supplies
Today, the Vatican sent the first batch of aid and health supplies to assist Ukraine civilians.
Papal Almoner Cardinal Konrad Krajewski took supplies to the Basilica di Santa Sofia in Rome, where the Ukrainian community gathers.
“It is a first intervention that will be followed by another, with drugs,” the Vatican website said.
Piedmont to receive child cancer patients
Seven Ukrainian child cancer patients are to come to the northern Italian region of Piedmont for treatment. Governor Alberto Cirio said the children would be welcomed at Turin’s Regina Margherita children’s hospital. They need oncological and haematological care.
Cirio organised their rescue with the Ukrainian Ambassador to Italy, Yaroslav Melnyk. “We will go and get them and their families between Saturday and Sunday on the border between Ukraine and Moldova with a special aircraft with a medical team on board,” he said.