In the midst of horror stories of the suffering of women and children emerging from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, a group of women from Miao Diocese in northeast India’s Arunachal Pradesh chose to express their prayerful solidarity with their counterparts and their children in the besieged nation.
Adoration and prayer
“Heartbreaking images of children and women are everywhere. Ukraine is reeling under pain and there is blood path with no hope to the end of this mindless war”, said Likro Mossang, the President of Women Commission of Miao Diocese in east Arunachal Pradesh. “We stand in solidarity with them and pray for them this Women’s Day that there will soon be an end to their agony”.
A group of 70 women came together in adoration and prayer before the Eucharist at the Sacred Heart Church in Neotan village on Monday, the eve of International Women’s Day, 8 March.
Group prayer is answered
Bishop George Pallipparambil of Miao Diocese led the prayer and reminded the women of their special duty to pray especially for the women in Ukraine. “Prayer is the most powerful weapon we have. History teaches us whenever we have prayed with one heart and mind, our prayer always has been answered. This Women’s Day let us stand in solidarity with all the women in Ukraine who are separated from their families and children and have taken shelter in underground passages”, the Salesian bishop said.
Mothers and children
Echoing the words of Pope Francis last Sunday, Bishop George said “There is blood and tears flowing in Ukraine and the number of victims is increasing, especially mother and children.” “From this corner of this world, we pray for them and for the end of this war. May peace and normalcy return to Ukraine and Russia and in the whole world”.
Sister Mary Sarkar, the Secretary of Women Commission of Miao Diocese recalled that the theme of the celebration of this year’s International Women’s Day is, “Gender equality today for a sustainable tomorrow”. He said this would be relevant to women in Ukraine if they are out of the tragedy caused by this gruesome war. “We hope that tomorrow will be better for the women in Ukraine”, Sister Sarkar said.
“We pray that there will soon be an end to all this,” said Sister Sunita Parmar, a Carmelite Nun, at the end of the prayer meeting.
Europe’s fastest-growing refugee crisis after WW2
The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi, said on Sunday that 1.5 million refugees have fled to neighbouring countries in the 10 days of the war that Russia declared on February 24. Refugees are spilling over into Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Hungary and Moldova. Grandi commended Poland that has taken in some 1.02 million alone.
The office of the High Commissioner estimates more than 1 million people could be displaced within the country, but it is hard to verify the true number.
“Every minute the number is growing,” Grandi said, adding, it is the “fastest-growing refugee crisis in Europe since World War II”. “This conflict must end now. Peace is the only way to halt this tragedy,” he urged. (Source: Miao Diocese)