Novena for peace and healing in Ukraine: For the widows of war

1 min read
Screenshot | Knights of Columbus

Blessed Michael McGivney, Defender of the Widow and Orphan, pray for us.

“Religion that is pure and undefiled before God and the Father is this, to care for orphans and widows in their affliction and to keep oneself unstained by the world.” (Ja 1:27)


For the women who have lost their husbands to the war. May the Lord fill the wounds of their hearts with the oil of grace, particularly the virtues of faith, hope and love.


Visiting a Ukrainian cemetery, one will see far too many fresh graves — many of them husbands and fathers whose world turned upside down two years ago when they became soldiers overnight. Today we pray for their surviving families, especially the widows of war undergoing their new, personal Way of the Cross.

These women spent their days praying for the return of their husbands, while striving to keep their family functioning, even while internally displaced or as refugees. Their children look to them with countless questions about what has happened in their lives, and how they will live now.

Place yourself in one of these widow’s positions: what are your needs? What thoughts fill your sleepless nights? What are your prayers — are you still even able to pray?

Amid these women’s devasting losses, we pray that God’s grace will come to heal their aches. May they experience signs of his love expressed by those nearby who can offer support. And may they hold on to hope — hope in the Father who protects the widow and the orphan.


May widows have the strength to rise after loss and continue to live for all those they love. Let us pray to the Lord. Lord, hear our prayer.

May widows find help and support in moments of trial and always stay close to God. Let us pray to the Lord. Lord, hear our prayer.

Daily Prayers

A Prayer for Peace in Ukraine

O Lord God of powers and God of our salvation, O God who alone works wonders: look down with mercy and compassion on your humble servants, and out of love for mankind listen and have mercy on us and on the land of Ukraine.

Visit your mercies and compassions upon your humble servants, those who protect Ukraine and her much-suffering people, and hear us who fall down before your deep compassion.

For you are the health, victory and salvation of them who put their hope in you, and unto you do we send up glory: to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and unto the ages of ages.


Our Father…
Hail Mary…
Glory be…

(“A prayer for Peace in Ukraine” is adapted from the Byzantine Iiturgical tradition (Prayer Service Sung in Times of War,” in Trebnyk, Book of Needs)

This novena is shared with the permission of the Knights of Columbus. Visit KOFC.ORG/UKRAINE for more information about the Knights’ humanitarian efforts in Ukraine.

Our Sunday Visitor Staff

A trusted publication for more than a century, Our Sunday Visitor is an indispensable source of information and formation for Catholics who love their faith.