Svyatogorsk (Sviatohirsk, the Donetsk region of the Ukraine), July 14, 2014
470 refugees have taken shelter at the Dormition Svyatogorsk Lavra. The youngest of them is a 1-week-old boy, the oldest, a 95-year-old woman.
“The Holy Orthodox Church has always been like a loving mother for its people: reconciling the conflicting groups, giving consolation to those in sorrow, praying for peace and prosperity of our motherland, giving a helping hand to those in need, providing the naked with clothes, giving shelter to the homeless and those without means of subsistence, supporting by prayer and strengthening the weak-spirited and those who have given themselves up to despair, inspiring its spiritual children with hope in the all-powerful help of God,” reads the statement of Abbot of the Dormition Svyatogorsk Lavra Archbishop Arseny with the brethren, refugees and pilgrims.
“It is the same in our days: the Dormition Svyatogorsk Lavra and, following its example, the whole town of Svyatogorsk have sheltered many refugees with a sincere desire to help their neighbors in trouble and sorrow.
“With the town’s population of 4,000 residents, Svyatogorsk has already received about 25,000 refugees. Some families have lost all their possessions and do not even have daily necessities. 470 people are currently accommodated on the territory of the Svyatogorsk Lavra, with 201 children among them. The youngest refugee is 1 week old and the oldest one is 95. The people have gathered here in great number, hoping for the help of God and the Protection of the Mother of God—the Abbess of this holy place”.
“Very many people have responded to their neighbous’ trouble and appeal for aid. The Lavra’s brethren, thanking God and the people, pray and hope that the good that benefactors have done their neighbors might be returned a hundredfold to their families, that the example of their lives should become seeds of goodness sown in the souls of their children and grandchildren, and that the Lord will cultivate these seed and bring forth good fruit for the consolation of their parents.
“In these difficult times, when God is testing our Christianity and our right to be called a son or a daughter of the Holy Orthodox Church, we thank everybody and are calling upon everybody not to be indifferent, but to show examples of mercy and love towards their neighbors. We ask for your holy prayers for us sinners.”