Cardinal Konrad Krajewski is on his fourth mission to Ukraine on behalf of the Pope — this time around, he had to run for cover under fire.
At the end of the general audience of September 21, Pope Francis said he’d spoken with the cardinal and thus wanted to “mention the terrible situation in tormented Ukraine.“
The Pope said:
Cardinal Krajewski went there for the fourth time. Yesterday he telephoned me, he is spending time there, helping in the area of Odessa and bringing closeness. He told me about the pain of this people, the savagery, the monstrosities, the tortured corpses they find.
Let us unite ourselves to this people who are so noble and martyred.
The Holy Father has made an appeal for Ukraine more than 80 times.
Neither words nor tears
The cardinal spoke with Vatican Radio about some 400 “unmarked graves” found outside Izium, in the east of the country.
“There are neither words, nor tears,” he said.
The area was previously occupied by Russian forces and the remains of some 500 people have been found.
The cardinal explained:
“There we witnessed a ‘celebration’ – we can say – during which some 50 young men, mostly policemen, firemen, soldiers dressed in white overalls, were digging and carrying away from the graves – many of them common graves – the bodies of Ukrainians who were killed some 3-4 months ago, some of them just recently buried.”
The Pope’s representative said he was struck by how the young Ukrainians stayed in silence, carrying the bodies so carefully, as if they were carrying their own family members. The cardinal and the bishop accompanying him walked among them, praying over and over the Chaplet of Divine Mercy.
“All of them in silence, with an incredible appreciation for the mystery of death. Truly there was so much to learn from them.”