Thousands of Miraculous Medals go to Ukraine
Despite the risk of being caught in crossfire and bombings, in early April 2022, Italian TFP member Miguel Angel Guttierez made a daring foray into Ukraine to deliver thousands of Miraculous Medals to beleaguered Catholics in the cities of Kiev and Lviv. Made possible by the Italian TFP’s campaign Luci sull’Est (Light Over the East) and the Fédération Pro Europa Christiana, Mr. Guttierez hauled 50,000 Miraculous Medals into the war-torn region. Javier Navascués interviewed Mr. Guttierez upon his return to Rome.
“Why did the Fédération Pro Europa Christiana decide to send a large number of Miraculous Medals to Ukraine?”
“The bishops of Ukraine asked to consecrate Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary and asked the Fatima shrine to have a statue of the Virgin in the country. This gave us the certainty that the drama of war is fought above all in the spiritual field. Hence the idea of sending and distributing the medal of Our Lady that has given the most graces, “the Miraculous Medal.”
“How many medals were there exactly and how were they distributed?”
“Right now we have 50,000. As you can imagine, it’s hard to get to small towns. So we sent 20,000 to Kiev and 20,000 to the Auxiliary Bishop of Lviv, Archbishop Kava, who, being a conventual Franciscan, follows the spirituality of Saint Maximilian Kolbe to spread the Miraculous Medal.
The rest were distributed to the faithful in the churches of Lviv, mainly where the Pilgrim Virgin of Fatima is.”
“Were you afraid of having to enter a country at war with the sword of Damocles over your head, of possible bombings, tanks. . . ?”
“When I received the message from a priest friend, Father Paulo Vyskosky, an OMI missionary, that he and his community were in Kiev to give spiritual and charitable assistance to trapped people, I thought that if they had that courage and zeal for souls while being in an area very close to the front, I had to arm myself with that courage and even more going to an area less affected by the conflict.”
“What testimonies could you highlight from people who were consoled by the medal of Our Lady?”
“What impressed me the most is the gratitude of the people for the medal. Ukrainian Catholics have suffered persecution and martyrdom for decades, they have a very deep faith as it was forged in blood. And knowing that other countries are praying for them and that this medal is the symbol of that unity in prayer, it has moved their hearts. It must be said that the medals are very well minted and made of good metal and this makes them even more appreciated. ‘For God the best,’ as Saint Francis of Assisi said.”
“How did this experience help you spiritually and to what extent did you feel protected by Our Lady?”
“To meet a people suffering the horrors of war and to see them pray for peace with this deep faith and trust in God, through the Virgin Mary, to whom they are very devoted, makes me reflect on how we live so tepidly in our countries of the West.
I will give you an example. The Pilgrim Virgin of Fatima is in the largest Greek-Catholic parish in the country. Every afternoon they make the procession praying the Rosary around the church. When the anti-aircraft sirens sound, the procession is not suspended . . . it continues in the basement of the church.”
“To what extent do you see the solution to the ills of humanity in the triumph of the Heart of Mary?”
“The bishops of Ukraine saw very clearly that with the conversion of men’s hearts, problems are solved. If there is no conversion, man’s sin will continue to produce greater evils. That is why the Virgin of Fatima asked for the consecration of Russia and also for penance and conversion. This is the path she indicated so that we can see her Immaculate Heart triumph as quickly as possible.”
The Catholic, Marian note in Ukraine’s resistance to the Russian invasion is a source of encouragement, comfort and certainty that they are on the right path.
May Our Lady keep Ukraine free from Putin’s clutches and free from the Orthodox Church that in the past was the mainstay of Bolshevism and today is the support of Putinism.