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Prayer on a Ukrainian soldier’s backpack: “God, if I die young …”


Illia Ponomarenko | @IAPonomarenko | Twitter | Fair Use

Magnús Sannleikur - published on 05/13/22

A reporter posted this powerful photo of the prayer written on a Ukrainian soldier's backpack.

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At the end of April, Ukrainian reporter Illia Ponomarenko posted this powerful photo on his Twitter profile. It shows the backpack of a Ukrainian soldier with the text of a simple prayer:

“God, if I die young, let me into Heaven, as I’ve already been to Hell.”

Lord, protect those who are fighting for their freedom. They are dying in the defense of their country. They are losing their loved ones. They are suffering.

In the context of this conflict, Pope Francis recently wrote:

When we allow ourselves to be devoured by this monster represented by war, when we allow this monster to raise its head and guide our actions, everyone loses, we destroy God’s creatures, we commit sacrilege and prepare a future of death for our children and grandchildren. 

Greed, intolerance, ambition for power, violence, are motives that advance the decision for war, and these motives are often justified by a war ideology that forgets the immeasurable dignity of human life, of every human life, and the respect and care we owe it.

Pope FrancisPrayerUkraine
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