· Vatican City ·

Cardinal Krajewski prays before mass graves in Izium

23 September 2022

Only a few days after being caught in gunfire while he was delivering humanitarian aid near the Ukrainian city of Zaporizhzhia, Cardinal Konrad Krajewski, the Papal Almoner, visited the site of a recently discovered mass grave in Izium. The Cardinal, who for the fourth time since the beginning of the war, travelled to Ukraine to bring Pope Francis’ closeness and solidarity to the suffering people, said he was “dumbfounded by the horror” and was left “with neither words, nor tears”, to describe the grief he felt on seeing at least 400 unmarked graves.

The Cardinal described the “moving and touching participation” of the “young Ukrainians carrying the bodies in such a delicate way, so quietly, in total silence” as if they were doing it for their own family members. “They showed a human beauty in a place where there could be only revenge. But no: I was reminded of the words of the Holy Scriptures that tell us that evil must always be overcome with good. A certainty that is balm on the wounds of this war,” he said. Accompanied by Bishop Pavlo Honcharuk of Kharkiv-Zaporizhzhia, the Papal Almoner walked among them reciting the Chaplet of the Divine Mercy for three hours.

Cardinal Krajewski then travelled to Kyiv where he was scheduled to depart for Rome.