Ukraine: Our support and prayers for the freedom of Father Ivan Levytskyi and Father Bohdan Heleta continue tirelessly


Fr. Andriy Rak CSsR has confirmed that humanitarian aid sent by Acoger y Compartir and the parish of the Most Holy Redeemer in Madrid has arrived. Instead, we have received the testimony of Ukrainian children and young people who continue to pray for the freedom of Ivan Levytskyi and Father Bohdan Heleta.


The good news was that more than 24,000 kg of humanitarian aid sent by Acoger y Compartir, the parish of the Most Holy Redeemer—Madrid, and Ayuda Contenedores, via Poland, had arrived in Novoyavorisvsk (Ukraine).

Ukrainian Redemptorist Fr. Andriy Rak responded to this shipment with photos showing where the food was distributed. His beneficiaries were residents of the city of Járkov in Eastern Ukraine and an orphanage in Western Ukraine, among other places. He ended his communication with a photo of the Icon of Perpetual Help with artillery shell casings beneath. It was moving to see how those elements of projectiles carrying destruction and death have been transformed by young painters into particular vases for flowers. They tend to express the deep anxiety of people who are demanding their dignity and respect for their rights denied by the Russian invasion.

The Icon is in Lviv (Ukraine), in a chapel of the Redemptorist house in that city. Andriy told me that since the beginning of the war with the Russian invasion, there have been many voluntary initiatives to help the victims of the war. Among them is an artistic initiative to paint fallen shells in combat zones. Most of them are from the Soviet era. Ukrainian children and young people symbolise hope and life, despite the war that brings death, by decorating the missile casings with floral themes and placing them before the Icon of the Mother of God as a continuous prayer. Before her, our prayer for dialogue, agreements, an end to the war, listening to the deep desires of this people wounded in its identity and in the murder of its citizens. We place our prayer for freedom and the appearance of Ivan Levytskyi and Father Bohdan Heleta beneath the Icon of our Mother of Perpetual Help.

José Miguel de Haro C.SS.R.