Cardinal Konrad Krajewski called it a "great privilege" to deliver the lifesaving vehicle to the war-torn nation.
After presiding at the Act of Consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary in Fatima, Cardinal Konrad Krajewski has made his way to Ukraine. The prelate, who is the head of the Papal Office of Charities, accompanied a fully-equipped ambulance that the Vatican has donated to aid Ukrainian refugees.
Aleteia previously reported on March 26 that Pope Francis had blessed the ambulance at the Vatican before Cardinal Krajewski took it on the road. On the occasion, Cardinal Krajewski said he would make the trip “with all his faith” to “see the concrete consequences” of the act of consecration that united the Church worldwide.
According to Vatican News, there are at least 250,000 Ukrainians internally displaced. These are Ukrainians who have remained in the country, but have been forced out of their homes. Cardinal Krajewski called the donation “symbolic” since an ambulance is meant to save lives and the Vatican is praying for an end to the war. He said:
“The Pontiff is always the one who builds bridges, who brings peace, and this ambulance is specifically for the people who suffer but also represents the Holy Father embracing them. It is a way of saying: ‘I am close to you, I suffer with you and I ask and beg for peace for this country which is in great difficulty.’”
The donated ambulance will be assigned to the regional Center for Mother and Child Health. An unnamed Ukrainian official noted that the ambulance comes at a time of dire need, when numbers of refugees have significantly increased. They said:
“Thank you, Cardinal Krajewski! We thank Pope Francis for his prayers, for remembering Ukraine: it gives us strength! We want our next generation not to see war and to be healthy.”
Catholic World Report notes that this is Cardinal Krajewski’s second trip to Ukraine since the war began on February 24. In his first trip, he spent a week in Lviv, a Ukrainian city that lies less than an hour from the Polish border. The Papal Almoner donated fuel and helped load trucks with supplies destined for the most war-torn areas of the country.
BBC reports that an estimated 10 million Ukrainians have fled their homes since the war began. According to their estimates, there could be as many as 6.5 million internally displaced Ukrainians, with an additional 4 million taking refuge in neighboring countries. These figures are based on research by the UN’s International Organization for Migration.