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August 8, 2022

Cardinal Sandri to offer Pope’s Gift to Ukrainian refugees in Romania

Cardinal Leonardo Sandri, Prefect of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches, will visit Romania Thursday to Sunday on the third anniversary of Pope Francis’ apostolic visit to Romania to meet Ukrainian refugees, to whom he will distribute the Pope’s Gift, according to the Press Office of the Romanian Greek Catholic Major Archeparchy of Fagaras and Alba Iulia.

The cardinal will be accompanied by Apostolic Nuncio to Romania and Moldova Miguel Maury Buendia, by Under Secretary of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches Flavio Pace, and by Auxiliary Bishop of the Archeparchy of Alba Iulia and Fagaras Cristian Crisan.

“The first leg of the visit will take place in Cluj-Napoca, where, on June 2, 2022, at noon, in the Great Hall of the Babe-Bolyai University, Cardinal Leonardo Sandri will receive an honorary doctorate from the prestigious Cluj-Napoca-based university. On the same day, at 18:00hrs, EEST, the cardinal will participate in the consecration of the Bob Greek Catholic church as a result of the completion of the restoration works.”

On Friday, Sandri will travel to Sighetu Marmatiei to meet Ukrainian refugees and “pass on the apostolic blessing and all the support from Pope Francis.” Accompanied by the Bishop of the Maramures Diocese, Vasile Bizau, the cardinal will arrive at the convent of the Sisters of the Mother of God, after which they will travel to the border with Ukraine, where they will meet leaders of various organisations that take care of receiving refugees.

On the same day, in the evening, the cardinal will have a meeting with Ukrainian refugee families who are housed in the convent of the Sisters of the Mother of God, followed by a moment of community prayer and a dinner with the refugees and the sisters. He will then distribute the Pope’s Gift to Ukrainian refugees consisting of basic food and healthcare products.

The third leg of the visit will take place in Blaj, where the pope’s envoy will mark the three-year anniversary of the apostolic visit of June 2, 2019 to Little Rome, the nickname of the town.

On Saturday, the high prelate will visit the Pope Francis Mercy House, a refugee centre, after which he will participate in the opening of the ordinary session of the synod of Romania’s Greek Catholic bishops.

On Sunday, the prefect of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches will concelebrate the holy mass together with Greek Catholic bishops of Romania at the Holy Trinity Major Archbishop Cathedral. On the same day, in the afternoon, he will attend a prayer time at the Greek Catholic church in the Barbu Lautaru neighbourhood, a place of worship dedicated to the local Roma community which cornerstone was blessed by him in the autumn of 2017. The church was visited by Pope Francis in 2019.


Considered one of the most influential cardinals, Leonardo Sandri was in Blaj in 2010 as well, apart from his visit in 2017, Agerpres informs.

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