Catholics in Hanoi pray for Ukraine
by Joseph Tran Hung

Although masses continue to be held online due to the pandemic, the faithful have taken up Pope Francis' appeal to turn their thoughts to the ongoing conflict during Lent. “We ask God to remember in a special way the Ukrainian people,” said Archbishop Giuse Vũ Văn Thiên of Hanoi.

Hanoi (AsiaNews) – Since the beginning of Lent, many Vietnamese Catholics have responded to Pope Francis’s appeal to pray for Ukraine.

Since Russia’s invasion, fighting has continued almost non-stop in various parts of the country; as a result, more than a million people have fled to neighbouring countries according to the United Nations.

Archbishop Giuse (Joseph) Vă Văn Thiên of Hanoi has responded to the Holy Father’s call, accompanying his parishioners in their plea for peace for the Ukrainian people.

“We are entering Lent while the world is experiencing a political crisis," said the prelate in his Ash Wednesday homily. “Many people have died as a result of the war, including children. We ask God to remember in a special way the Ukrainian people.”

“Let us pray that peace will be re-established in our world. Let us listen to God's call to build a peaceful world. May God bless those who build peace for they will be called children of God", the prelate went on to say.

“Ukrainians are suffering under the bombs, they are separated from their families, and are facing tragic death,” said Fr Giuse Ngô Văn Kha on 3 March during Mass at the St Gerard chapel of the Redemptorist Order in Hanoi.

Fr Giuse invited everyone to join the pontiff during the holy season of Lent to pray for the work of apostolic charity and for peace in the world, especially in the Ukraine.

Through Masses – which in Vietnam continue to be held only online due to the COVID-19 pandemic – millions of Vietnamese Catholics silently pray for the victims of the war in Ukraine and for the war to end as soon as possible.