Ukraine: Sant’Egidio’s Prayer Vigil with Monsignor Paul Gallagher

The Vatican Secretary for Relations with States Prays at Saint Sophia’s in Trastevere to Express the Closeness of the Diocese of Rome to the Ukrainian Community

Prayer Vigil
Mons. Gallagher (C) Vatican Media

In response to Pope Francis’ invitation,  who last Sunday at the Angelus expressed his concern over the worsening situation in Ukraine and proclaimed Wednesday, January 26, a Day of Prayer for Peace, Sant’Egidio Community proposed a special Prayer Vigil for Ukraine this evening at 7:15 pm in the Basilica of Santa Maria in Trastevere. The prayer, which can be followed via streaming on the site, will be presided over by Monsignor Paul Gallagher, the Holy See’s Secretary for Relations with States.

Vespers at Saint Sophia

 The Diocese of Rome also responded promptly to the Pope’s appeal launched on Sunday. This evening the Prayer of Vespers will be held in the church of Saint Sophia (via Boccea, 478) at 6:00 pm. Intervening will be Bishop Benoni Ambarus, Diocesan Delegate for Charity, for the Pastoral Care of the Roma, Sinti, and Migrants; Monsignor Pierpaolo Felicolo, Director of the Diocesan Migrants Office; Father Marco Jaroslav Semehen, Rector of the Saint Sophia Basilica. Promoted by the Diocesan Migrants Office, taking part in the Vigil will be chaplains and referents of different ethnic communities. It will be followed by a moment of Eucharistic Adoration.

The Ukrainian Greek-Catholic community in Rome usually meets in two main places of worship: the Saints Sergio and Bacco premises of the Mission for the Care of Souls and the minor Basilica of Saint Sophia” We chose the latter because it’s larger,” said Bishop Ambarus. It is a community made up especially of women that work as caregivers, who have their families, husbands, and children in Ukraine, and they are all terrified about what’s happening at their borders, without considering the war situation of the Donbas region, which has been ongoing now for several years.

We are thus carrying out a gesture of spiritual closeness to the Ukrainian community present in Rome, a sign of closeness to all the Ukrainian people. Our cry to God and to all is for peace. Every war is a defeat for all,” he said. The Bishop also launched an invitation to all the Christian communities of Rome, “to pray in their different celebrations on Wednesday the 26th for Ukraine.”

A Lively Community That Lives in Anxiety

For his part, Monsignor Felicolo said: “We wish to be close to the people. One hears the Ukrainian community in Rome. It is alive and lively. We can feel their anxiety and their concern for this situation that has been going on for some time. This request of the Pope invites us once again to come together in prayer.”

Translation by Virginia M. Forrester