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Cardinal Konrad Krajewski, prefect of the dicastery for the Service of Charity, will spend Christmas in the Holy Land, according to a dicastery press release issued on December 22. Last year, the Pope’s “charity cardinal” celebrated Christmas in Kiev, Ukraine.
“As a concrete sign of his participation in the suffering of those who personally suffer the consequences of war and in this Christmas season, the Pope has sent his chaplain, Cardinal Konrad Krajewski, to the Holy Land,” explains the dicastery for the Service of Charity, which was created by Pope Francis in 2022.
The 60-year-old Polish cardinal will meet up with the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, Cardinal Pierbattista Pizzaballa, to celebrate Christmas and the coming of the “Prince of Peace and the only hope of the world.”
Since the Hamas terrorist attack on October 7 and the response from Israel, Pope Francis has repeatedly called for a ceasefire in the Holy Land.
He also regularly telephones the Catholic parish in Gaza, where an Argentinean missionary priest is the pastor, to express his closeness to the population. Now, this mission by Cardinal Krajewski is a further sign of his attention.
The young prefect, who is known in Rome for his many actions to help the poor – he is often seen beside the homeless in St. Peter’s Square – has often represented Pope Francis in regions of great suffering.
He has visited Ukraine on at least seven occasions, bringing medical supplies and visiting war-torn populations. Witness to the mass graves left by the Russian army, he also came under fire when his convoy was caught in a battleground near the town of Zaporija in September 2022.
Last year, he celebrated Christmas in the Kiev region. “We were in the church with generators, there was no light,” he told Vatican News. Pope Francis thanked him personally. “The Holy Father sent me a message via WhatsApp. He was happy to ‘be here,’ to be close to the Ukrainian people through his chaplain,” explained the Polish prelate.