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Ukrainian priests meet with Pope, who blesses crown for Marian image (L’Osservatore Romano (Italian))

On August 3, Pope Francis received two Ukrainian priests sent by Bishop Stanislav Szyrokoradiuk, the Latin-rite Bishop of Odessa-Simferopol in Ukraine.

“Our pastor [i.e., bishop] has always remained close to the population of Odessa,” said one of the priests, Father Daniel Kulakowski. “The territory of our diocese also includes Mykolaiv and Kherson, where missiles hit private homes, hospitals, and even churches: four were attacked and destroyed.”

The Pontiff blessed a crown with which a Marian image in Odessa’s cathedral will be crowned on August 15. Under Soviet rule, the cathedral, confiscated by Communist authorities, was used as a club and gymnasium; it was restored to the Church in 1991.


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