On July 4, 2014, a little past 3 AM the Ukrainian army, coming very close to Lugansk, fired artillery against the regional clinical oncological dispensary of Lugansk, where the St. Olga’s Convent is located, reports the convent’s website.
“It was obviously a response to the prayer resistance to the Fratricidal war, organized by the clergy and sisters of the convent,” the message reads. “After all, prayers for peace are offered up daily by the convent’s sisters, in combination with perpetual reading of the Psalter and the prayer rule of St. Pachomios the Great, who, as is generally known, had been a warrior before taking Baptism and after Baptism became a monk and founded the first Christian coenobitic monastery.”
Priests of the St. Panteleimon’s Church of the convent daily celebrate Divine Liturgies, perform prayer services and read akathists (up to 40 every day) with prayers for protection of all Donbass residents from shelling and death.
Only by mercy of God the church and the territory of the convent have not been damaged as a result of the shelling.
Through intercession of the Most Holy Theotokos as well as Holy Royal Passion-Bearer and Princess Olga Romanova (to whom the convent is dedicated) and Holy Greatmartyr and Healer Panteleimon (to whom the church on the territory of the oncological dispensary is dedicated) nobody has been killed.
However, buildings of the outpatients’ clinic and some departments of the dispensary have been damaged by shells and shrapnel. And many patients with the terminal stage of oncological diseases are staying there – they are unable to leave hospital wards on their own and to go to the shelters.
“However, for all appearances, the Ukrainian army did not care about it as no one warned anyone of the night shelling of the hospital and the convent beforehand,” reports the convent’s website.
“But, as we know, there are no atheists during a war…
“And when we find ourselves surrounded by war, we begin to appreciate the time and conditions in which we lived before. We begin to thank God in the evening for every day that we have lived and to beseech Him to let us survive the following night, and in the morning again invoke Him with gratitude and prayer request. Life becomes especially significant and communication with God – particularly necessary.
“That is why we are now calling upon all people, especially those who are currently outside the war, to appreciate and value every minute of life that God granted to you, not to remain indifferent to your neighbors and those in trouble or misery, never to cool in faith, love and prayer, lest you should experience great sufferings of war as well. May the Lord help all of us!”