Cardinal Konrad Krajewski, the Polish papal envoy or almoner, recently recalled their harrowing experience of being under gunfire when they went to Ukraine to deliver humanitarian aid.
According to a National Catholic Reporter (NCR) article, Cardinal Krajewski visited the war-torn city of Zaporizhzhia in southeastern Ukraine on behalf of Pope Francis.
They reportedly delivered much-needed aid to Ukrainians reeling from the effects of the ongoing war against Russia.
'We Could Only Pray to Jesus'
The cardinal told Vatican News that he went to Ukraine on the anniversary of his appointment as papal envoy and ninth episcopal ordination.
Upon seeing how the ongoing Ukraine-Russian war had devastated the country, Cardinal Krajewski said there were 'no tears or words' on the day of their visit. He called it "a day without mercy," the NCR report said.
The papal envoy also blurted out that all they could do was pray to Jesus Christ and say, "Jesus, I trust in you."
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How the Attack Occurred
Cardinal Krajewski explained that he was with a Ukrainian soldier, and Protestant and Catholic bishops when shots rang out from nowhere.
He said they luckily survived the gunfire and went on to deliver the aid placed inside a minibus.
"For the first time in my life, I didn't know where to run because it's not enough to run. You have to know where to go," NCR quoted the papal envoy saying.
On Sept. 9, the Dicastery for the Service of Charity issued a statement announcing Cardinal Krajewski's Ukrainian mission.
The dicastery said the papal envoy was going to Ukraine for the fourth time. It announced that Cardinal Krajewski would visit Kharkiv, Odesa, and Zhytomyr, as well as several eastern Ukraine locations.
"It is a silent and evangelical trip to be with the people who are suffering, praying and comforting each of them, showing with his presence that they are not alone in this situation that is only bringing destruction and death," the dicastery explained.
The statement also bared that Cardinal Krajewski's Ukrainian trip would deliver aid to bishops, Catholic faithful, and priests who chose to stay in Ukraine despite the war and at significant personal risk.
The dicastery noted how the target beneficiaries of the papal envoy's humanitarian mission "for more than 200 days continue to remain in the places of their ministry despite the dangers of war."
About Cardinal Krajewski
According to the Vatican website, Cardinal Konrad Krajewski was a Polish-born cardinal who became a priest on June 11, 1988.
Cardinal Krajewski studied at the Saint Anselmo Liturgical Institute in Rome and obtained his theology degree from the Pontifical University of Saint Thomas on March 10, 1995.
The website added that the cardinal was appointed in 1998 at the Office of Liturgical Celebrations of the Supreme Pontiff. The following year, he became the Papal master of ceremonies.
Cardinal Krajewski went to become the Almoner of His Holiness in August 2013. According to the Vatican website, he was also the titular archbishop of Benevento.
Pope Francis proclaimed him a cardinal on June 28, 2018.
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