Dear Brothers and Sisters in the Diocese of Harrisburg,

As we awoke to the tragic news this morning that Russia has invaded Ukraine, I ask you to join me in praying for a restoration of peace in Ukraine and for the Ukrainian peoples in the homeland, as well as our brothers and sisters in the Ukrainian Churches here.

The following prayer dates from the 10th or 11th century and is very dear to the Ukrainian people. I ask you to seek our blessed Mother’s intercession to end this brutal aggression.

“We fly to Your patronage, O Virgin Mother of God.
Despise not our prayers in our needs,
but deliver us from all dangers,
since you alone are pure and blessed.
O most glorious Ever-Virgin Mary,
the Mother of Christ our God, accept our prayers
and present them to Your Son and our God,
that for the sake of You, He enlighten and save our souls.”

Thank you and may the Prince of Peace reign over our hearts and our world.

Most Reverend Ronald W. Gainer
Bishop of Harrisburg