Kiev, March 28, 2023
Since the Ukrainian state announced its intention to drive the monks of the Kiev Caves Lavra out of their homes that they built with their own hands, the Orthodox faithful of Ukraine have been flocking to their beloved monastery by the thousands in a show of faith.
The state informed the brotherhood of the coming eviction on March 10. As OrthoChristian has reported, so many Orthodox Christians came to the Lavra on the following two Sundays that they filled the few churches still available to the UOC and the expansive territory of the monastery, braving the elements to worship God and show their fidelity to His Orthodox Church.
And the same thing happened again this past Sunday, when the Church commemorates St. John of the Ladder.
The main Divine Liturgy was led by His Beatitude Metropolitan Onuphry of Kiev and All Ukraine, the beloved primate of the Ukrainian people, on the square outside the Holy Cross Church in the Lower Lavra, reports the Information-Education Department of the UOC.
Met. Onuphry was joined by seven other hierarchs, including His Eminence Metropolitan Pavel of Vyshgorod, the abbot of the Lavra, and the monastery clergy. Thousands of parishioners and pilgrims joined them in prayer.
After the reading of the Holy Gospel, the Ukrainian primate addressed his flock with a homily, encouraging the faithful to continue praying for and with the brethren of the Lavra.
“I ask your holy prayers that we ask God to allow us to continue to stay in this holy monastery, so that the brethren who raised the Lavra from the ruins and made it as beautiful as we see today can stay here and pray to God,” His Beatitude exhorted.
And the monks always pray for Ukraine and for the whole world, he stressed:
There are many philosophers, politicians, and speakers in the world who talk a lot but pray little. But the world lives not by verbosity, but by prayer. The world needs not verbosity, but prayer, so that man might return his mind to God, remember his high destiny, that God created us, placed us on this earth not to destroy this earth, destroy each other, not to kill each other, insult each other, but to live in peace, harmony, and love both for God and for each other. And they pray for this in the holy monastery day and night.
Special prayers were offered for peace in Ukraine and deliverance from the enemy, and that God would have mercy on all those who are suffering.
Met. Onuphry ordained a priest and a deacon during the Liturgy.