Krakow, 23 March, 2022 / 7:00 pm (ACI Africa).
In the month since the full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine, more than two million people have crossed the border with Poland seeking refuge.
In the Polish city of Kraków, the local Archbishop Marek Jędraszewski has shown his support for Ukraine’s battered population, first by welcoming new arrivals at the main train station and then by personally welcoming refugees in his residence.
Jędraszewski lives in the Bishop’s Palace, in the center of the city regarded as Poland’s cultural capital. It was there that the future St. John Paul II lived in the 1960s and 70s before his election to the papacy.
Eleanor Petritschenko, a 55-year-old from Rivne, a city in western Ukraine, is one of four refugees currently staying in the palace, which also houses Kraków archdiocese’s Metropolitan Curia.
Eleanor resigned herself to leaving her home when drones began flying over her neighborhood at the end of February. She took her 92-year-old mother, Catharine Shimonovitsch, with her. Their departure was all the more difficult because they had to leave behind the men in their family, who were obliged to stay and defend the country.