The Ukraine as a country has suffered very much and yet has been blessed by apparitions of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
Kievan Rus – the land of Rus (862-1242 CE), a federation of peoples located in the region of modern-day Belarus, Ukraine and part of Russia, was the first European state to be dedicated to the Mother of God. This was done by Prince Yaroslav the Wise in 1037.
It is believed that in about 1505 the Blessed Virgin appeared in Hrushiv and that the local people had planted a willow tree at the site. Sometime later a spring of water appeared beneath the tree.
During a severe cholera epidemic in that area in 1855 a local person dreamed that the Virgin had instructed the residents to clear and reclaim the ancient spring and celebrate Mass. This was done and not one cholera death was reported thereafter.
The first apparition in modern times occurred two weeks before World War I, on May 12, 1914, in the village of Hrushiv. Twenty-two people, who were mowing fields near the local church of the Holy Trinity, all witnessed an apparition of the Virgin Mary. She said to them,
“There will be a war. Russia will become a godless country. The Ukraine, as a nation, will suffer terribly for eighty years – and will have to live through the world wars, but it will be free afterwards.”
People gathered from the whole area to see the apparition which lasted into the next day.
Then, on April 26, 1987, seventy-three years later and exactly one year after the Chernobyl nuclear reactor disaster, a bright light covered the church of the Holy Trinity and the surrounding area. From within this the Virgin Mary appeared and floating above the cupola of the church. Marina Kizyn, a twelve year old girl was the first to see this apparition. She immediately called her mother and some neighbours; all came and witnessed the apparition. Soon, hundreds and then thousands came from all over Russia to see the apparition which continued daily until August 15, 1987. It is estimated that a total of 500,000 people had seen her by the time these apparitions ended. The Virgin Mary was even seen by the KGB agents! Many priests (from underground Catholic churches) came and provided as many as ten Holy Masses each day in front of the church. Many messages were documented:
“I have come on purpose to thank the Ukrainian people because you have suffered most for the church of Christ in the last 70 years. I have come to comfort you and to tell you that your suffering will soon come to an end. Ukraine will become an independent state.”
“Teach the children to pray. Teach them to live in truth and live yourselves in truth. Say the Rosary. It is the weapon against Satan. He fears the Rosary. Recite the Rosary at any gathering of people.”
“I have come to comfort you and to tell you that your suffering will end soon. I shall protect you for the glory and the future of God’s kingdom on earth, which will last for a thousand years. The Kingdom of Heaven and Earth is close at hand. It will come only through penance and the repentance of sins.”
“The Eternal God is calling you. This is why I have been sent to you. You in the Ukraine were the first [European] nation to be entrusted to me. Throughout your long persecution you have not lost faith, hope, or love. I always pray for you, my dear children, wherever you are.”
“Oppression and wars continue to occupy the minds and hearts of many people. Russia, despite everything, continues to deny my Son. Russia rejects real life and continues to live in darkness. If there is not a return to Christianity in Russia, there will be a Third World War; the whole world will face ruin.”
The Ukraine had its declaration of independence ratified in Kiev on August 24, 1991 – some 77 years after Blessed Mary’s prediction in 1914!
Now we are witnessing the Russian invasion of the Ukraine beginning on 24 Feb. 2022 with yet more suffering and the potential for the start of a third world war.
I believe that God allows this to happen as a form of chastisement, a purification, a call to turn again to God. We are to repent, to praise and thank Him in every situation.
Let us pray.
Let us seek the help of Our Lady, Mother of Mercy and Jesus, the King of Mercy.
They have recommended the Rosary and the Chaplet of the Divine Mercy.