Translated by Ollie Richardson & Angelina Siard
For the holiday of Nikolaos the Wonderworker the archbishop of Izium of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchy Elisey blessed the archpriest of the Izium region Bogdan Dumindyak and the clergyman of the Krestovozdvizhensky temple of the city of Izium Aleksandr Panasenko to deliver relics of Saint Nikolaos The Wonderworker to the location of the UAF in the “anti-terrorist operation zone”.
As the Izium diocese reports, “priests, carrying out the blessing of the ruling bishop, stopped at each checkpoint and served a short prayer service about the ‘restoration of the territorial integrity of Ukraine'”.
“An especially warm welcome of an ark with pieces of relics of Saint Nikolaos occurred in Popasnaya, where the battalion of General Kulchitsky fulfils a military duty (he died in 2014 near Slavyansk when his helicopter was shot down by ‘separatists’)”.
After a prayer service Bogdan Dumindyak not only sprinkled the unit with holy water (thus, having blessed on behalf of the Holy Spirit further feats for the sake of the integrity of Ukraine), but also “gave out gifts”, allegedly collected by “parishioners of the city of Izium”. Then he addressed fighters with a sermon “about the value and greatness of the military duty fulfilled in good faith for the defence of our Motherland Ukraine”.
Also the priest read prayers for the consecration of vehicles (bringing ammunition to the unit and everything for conducting a victorious war).
“Furthermore a shrine was delivered to the most advanced frontline outposts, or as is said in dry army slang, ‘on zero’,” boasted the Izium diocese. Here the clergymen of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (Moscow Patriarchate) blessed the most “frontline” “soldiers of anti-terrorist operation” with relics of Saint Nicholas The Wonderworker, then “with God’s blessing” came back to the city of Izium.
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