A woman from France who knows Ukraine well has intervened in the war by sending "a shower of miraculous medals" throughout the war-torn country.
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Marie-Aude Tardivo is a Russian, Ukrainian and English translator, and lives in Nice, France. But her heart breaks for Ukraine, where she spent three years working at the Catholic University of Ukraine. She has kept up many friendships from her time there. She immediately reached out to these friends when Russia invaded Ukraine.
“What can I do for you?” she asked her friends, feeling powerless in the face of the horror of war. “Send French icons of Mary to the soldiers,” replied her dear friend, Father Vasyl Bilash, a priest of the Greek Catholic Church in Ukraine. But icons are not as beloved in France as medals. So Marie-Aude, who loves the Virgin Mary so much, had an idea: “Send miraculous medals to Ukraine to let all Ukrainians know that we are praying for them and, more importantly, that Mary is at their side.”
5,000 miraculous medals
With a few friends, Marie-Aude bought 1,000 miraculous medals, and unexpectedly, she then received 4,000 others thanks to a donation. She had small cards printed, where the story of the Rue du Bac was explained in Ukrainian along with the phrase “O Mary conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee.”
Then this mother in her forties asked her son’s elementary school for help in tying the medals to the cards with ribbons in Ukraine’s colors. And so the tiny hands of the students of Saint Rita of Nice set to work.
Deeply inspired by this project that “exceeds me,” Marie-Aude hopes her small initiative will grow “so that a rain of medals falls on Ukraine.”
Medals have begun to arrive in Lviv
Nearly 600 medals have been sent and have safely arrived at their destination, as witnessed by Father Vasyl Bilash, who has just sent some photos to Marie-Aude with this message:
“Glory be to Jesus Christ! Dear friends, we just got medals prepared and sent by Marie-Aude. So, thank you so much for your prayers, your memory and compassion. Now we feel the support from all over the world, we are one body of Christ, one Church. “And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honored, all the members rejoice with it.” 1 Corinthians 12:26Fr Vasyl
In the photos sent by Father Vasyl Bilash, in addition to the medals, one can see the statue of the Virgin of Fatima, the one that the priest went to Warsaw to bring to Lviv on March 18. Certainly Mary is present and guides the steps of her children across the borders.