Home Church & Religion A Prayer Service for Peace in Ukraine at St. Nicholas National Shrine

A Prayer Service for Peace in Ukraine at St. Nicholas National Shrine

NEW YORK, NY – Greek News USA

Junior Sergeant of the UA Armed Forces and Head of the ULAF (Ukrainian League of American Football) Yuri Hundych and Junior Sergeant Roman Bohuslavskyi, a former ULAF player were welcomed by H.E. Archbishop Elpidophoros of America at St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church and National Shrine in NYC to attend a special prayer service on February 7th calling for peace in Ukraine.

The Archbishop was joined by His Eminence Metropolitan Antony of Hierapolis of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA and the Honorable Consul General of Ukraine in New York Oleksii Holubov. Former Governor of New York George Pataki was also in attendance.

Presiding priest Fr. Andreas Vithoulkas and Fr. Nektarios Papazafiropoulos, Chancellor of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, also participated in the service.

“We offer these prayers for the people of Ukraine that they may retain their courage, …their hope ….  their desire to move forward… and be prepared upon… driving out the invaders, and then with a renewed commitment and with the help of the entire world to rebuild the Ukrainian nation. It will be a long process but Ukraine has many times risen from the ashes”, said Metropolitan Anthony, thanking God that He has blessed the Ukrainian nation throughout the centuries of Ukraine’s independent existence.

Addressing the soldiers present, Metropolitan Antony noted: “We pray that the Lord will strengthen you my brothers, and you will carry our prayers, our love back to your fellow soldiers and you can be certain that in every single one of our churches, every single time the Divine Liturgy is served, we pray specifically for you the soldiers of Ukraine, for those who give their all for the glory of Ukraine and for the survival of their nation and their people, God bless you”.

Archbishop Elpidophoros in his remarks, addressed Governor Pataki saying that “in the darkest times after 9/11, you stood with our church and continued to be our strongest supporter for the rebuilding of this Shrine of St. Nicholas, as you stand today within this Shrine, please know how deeply you are and always will be appreciated for your sense of what was just and what was right”.

His Eminence thanked Metropolitan Antony for his presence and his prayer, expressing his gratitude for his service both to Ukraine and to the Mother Church of Constantinople.

“What can I say of these soldiers and all those who are risking their lives to keep Ukraine free”, Archbishop Elpidophoros continued. “We are truly humbled to be joined by the delegation of Ukrainian soldiers who have not only experienced the injustice of this aggression firsthand, but who continue to resist it, to fight it.  Their courage, your courage, my dear friends, has inspired support from around the world, including Governor George Pataki, the center you have created, which has raised funds to support displaced families and refugees since the very beginning”.

Following the Prayer Service, the Archbishop presented the two soldiers with an icon of Saint Nicholas the Wonderworker.  

The delegation was heading to Arizona to be honored by the Governor George Pataki Center and the NFL at this year’s Super Bowl LVII.