“Now more and more people are joining for the rosary. Yesterday there were already 72 families, as well as our sisters from America, Italy and Great Britain,” Tumanevych said.
“And at the end of the rosary, we say that we can now go to sleep because sisters from America are taking over the duty,” she added.
Many local parishes host perpetual adoration, while priests hear confessions from morning to night.
The sisters pray the rosary especially for the conversion of President Putin, who was born on Oct. 7, 1952, the feast of Our Lady of the Rosary.
Tumanevych said that her mother, with whom she is constantly in touch, prayed as many as seven rosaries a day.
The Congregation of the Sisters of the Holy Family of Nazareth was founded in Rome in 1875 by Franciszka Siedliska, a Polish blessed also known as Maria of Jesus the Good Shepherd.
The congregation, which is dedicated to education and ministry to families, has six houses in Ukraine. But one was forced to close shortly after the invasion began. The two sisters in Kherson, a city in southern Ukraine, had to flee their convent and are making their way to Poland, where more than 150,000 people from Ukraine have sought refugee since Feb. 24.
In the besieged capital city of Kyiv, the congregation has a community of seven sisters. They have taken refuge in a church basement, where they are caring for around 100 people forced to evacuate their apartments.
“The sisters are with the people all the time,” Tumanevych said. “They pray all day long, and one of the nuns from the convent in Kyiv has lost her voice because they constantly pray.”
Although shops are closed, the sisters have been able to buy blankets and disposable plates. They also provide food, but fear it could run out.
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The sisters continue to dream of life after the war. They hope to open a dormitory for female students that would help young women to discern whether they have vocations to marriage or religious life.
Tumanevych said: “I’m staying. This is my country, and I will defend it. With the rosary and sandwiches, and everything that can be done in these conditions.”
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