There is a tradition that every year Caritas Ukraine distributes Christmas candles decorated and packed by young people with special needs. Parents of wards of the “Center for leisure and social rehabilitation of people with special needs” helped them in their work.
Funds from the Christmas candles sale are used to support children and young people from vulnerable and needy families, and to support young people with special needs who are affiliated to Caritas Lviv. This year there were produced 115 000 of Christmas candles. They were distributed in local Caritas organizations throughout Ukraine: Drohobych, Stryi, Sokal, Uzhgorod, Kolomyia, Ivano-Frankivsk, Chortkiv, Ternopil, Kharkiv, Kyiv, Odesa, Dnipropetrovsk etc.
Lviv Archbishop of the Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Church Ihor Voznyak stated that “Social initiative of “Christmas Candle” in parishes is intended not only to collect donations, but also to develop comprehension. Thus, it focuses our attention on the problems of poverty of children and their families, and awareness of their need for our understanding and support”.
“Christmas Candle” Action has been held since 2003. This year it is particularly relevant, since on December 8 Pope Francis declared the Holy Year of Mercy.
Caritas Ukraine invites everyone to join the action. Candles can be purchased in the parishes of the Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Church. The donation for the candle gives hope to children deprived of love and care. It shows them love of God in action, and good will of the community to commit works of mercy. Remember, that Christmas time is a special opportunity for joy, comfort and light. And it is not only the festival of tasty “kutia” and happy carols, but also a step towards the true love of neighbor, towards mercy.