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Brazilian priest in Ukraine shelters refugees in his parish

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Pe. Lucas Perozzi Jorge, padre brasileiro na Ucrânia

Ana Oliveira | Facebook | Fair Use

Francisco Veneto - published on 03/22/22

28 people, including 5 children, were being housed in the small Roman Rite parish’s basement.

A Brazilian priest in Ukraine is sheltering refugees in the parish of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Kyiv, of which he is pastor. At the time the news was shared, 28 people were being housed in the small Roman Rite parish’s basement, including 5 children. These are people who have been unable to leave the Ukrainian capital, which is under attack by invading Russian forces.

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A post shared by Lucas Perozzi Jorge (@lucasperozzijorge)

Fr. Lucas Perozzi Jorge, 36, was born in Álvares Machado, a municipality in the interior of São Paulo, and has been in Ukraine since 2004. He has spent a good part of his life in that country, where he also received priestly ordination. In statements to the Brazilian press, he said that he does not intend to leave Ukraine, despite the war.

“I was always sure I would stay here. I’ve been told to go back, but my place is here, the place I chose to share, whether in joy or in war.”

When Russia began its invasion of Ukraine in the east of the country, the Brazilian priest was in the opposite part, in the west, taking a course, but unlike the many civilians heading west in an attempt to leave Ukraine, the priest took the opposite route and returned as soon as possible to Kyiv. From the start, he wanted to provide relief and welcome to the faithful entrusted to him, as well as to continue to guarantee their access to the sacraments.

“It’s a great responsibility. I have to carry the word of God not only because I am a priest, but also because I am a Christian,” he told Globo.com.

Speaking to this Brazilian media outlet, he put his situation in perspective. “Now is the time to hope, to pray hard until the war passes. One thing that consoles me is that one day I will die, and one day you, who are in Brazil, will die too. One way or another, we are all going to die. I don’t know what will happen, if I will die here. But what gives me hope is the promise of eternal life.”

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