Vatican City, Apr 13, 2022 / 09:47 am (CNA).
Pope Francis blessed an Easter basket for Ukraine war victims this week, as the Knights of Columbus work to deliver 10,000 Easter care packages to displaced families in Ukraine.
Patrick Kelly, Supreme Knight of the Knights of Columbus, met with the pope in a private audience on April 11 while en route to western Ukraine, where he delivered care packages to families who have taken refuge in a 14th-century monastery in the Archdiocese of Lviv.
“By distributing these Easter care packages to Ukrainian families, we are sharing the light and hope of Christ’s Resurrection, even in this time of darkness and war,” Kelly said in a statement on April 12.
During his audience with the pope, the Supreme Knight discussed the Knights of Columbus’ humanitarian efforts in Ukraine and Poland to aid those suffering from the war.
Pope Francis then offered his blessing upon an Easter basket, which represented the thousands of care packages being delivered by the Knights during Holy Week.
Kelly also visited Kraków, in southern Poland, where the local Knights of Columbus have been assembling the Easter care packages containing meat, flour, pasta, chocolate, and an Easter candle.
The care packages are being delivered by the Knights’ convoy of trucks which regularly brings humanitarian supplies into Ukraine.
“I was blessed to see firsthand how Knights in Poland and Ukraine have taken up the Holy Father’s challenge to serve others — especially mothers and children — with St. Joseph’s spirit of creative courage,” Kelly said.
“Our efforts in Ukraine and Poland have only just begun.”
As the largest Catholic fraternal service organization in the world, the Knights of Columbus have so far raised more than $11 million specifically to provide humanitarian aid in Ukraine.
Polish Knights have established collection sites in Kraków, Radom, and Tomaszów Lubelski, where they gather and package medical supplies, warm clothing, and other necessities to be sent into Ukraine.
“I had the opportunity to share with Pope Francis all of the good work being carried out by Knights in Ukraine and Poland to help those suffering from the war,” Kelly said. “The Holy Father appreciates our efforts very much.”