At the initiative and organization of the coordinators, on April 2, 2017 the members off “Mothers in Prayer” (Rome regional) had an opportunity to pray together in the Pontifical Chapel of the Holy Stairs (Santa Scala) located across the street from the Basilica of St. John Lateran.
At 3:00 p.m. they gathered in the uppermost section of the church near the Pontifical “Chapel of the Holy of Holies”, where they began the Stations of the Cross led by Rev. Roman Melnyk, OSBM. The prayers and meditations on the Passions of Christ, focused on the most common sins and failings of humankind today. These meditations became spiritual nourishment for the women-mothers who find themselves in Italy, far from their families. Standing before God in a spirit of humility and prayer, asking for forgiveness for themselves, their families and all Ukrainians, as well as, for the neighboring Russian people – these were the intentions of this prayer gathering. The entire Ukrainian society, as well as others, feel a personal responsibility and need to grow in faith and ask God to end the aggression of the army and all other evil provocations that Ukraine is experiencing due to the Russian politics.
Deep wounds inflicted through the deaths of thousands of brave Ukrainian heroes lost to their families, continue to be carried by Ukrainian society, as an eternal reminder of living self-sacrifice and love. These wounds can be healed only through self-sacrifice, but they are often spread and inflamed through pride, selfishness, apathy, envy and willfulness, often through our actions and thoughts. The greatest struggles or battles are found in our hearts – which can only be conquered through prayer and meditation on the passion of Christ, where through Jesus we can find the strength to carry our life crosses with the dignity of being the children of God and then help others to carry their crosses. Our sufferings are valuable and meaningful only through the light of the sufferings of the Son of God.
After the conclusion of the Stations of the Cross and having prayed for the intentions of the Holy Father, all returned to the lower level intending to return home. Nevertheless, a large number stayed and climbed the Holy Stairs on their knees. These stairs are believed to be those stained with the blood of Christ as He went to Pontius Pilate. In deep prayer and meditation, some dealing with physical challenges, the pilgrims patiently ascended the 28 stairs, entrusting their pains, fears and problems to God, thanking Christ for the sufferings He endured.
United in spirit with participants praying the Stations of the Cross in various cities in Ukraine and other countries as planned for April 3, 2017, the pilgrims thanked God for all graces received and asked that our hearts and those of all people be cleansed allowing all to live in love, dignity and harmony.
Sr. Nazariya Mykhaylyuk, OSBM,