Today during a meeting with Pope Francis in the Vatican, Major Archbishop of the Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Church Sviatoslav Shevchuk presented the Roman Pontiff with a Mother of God icon “The Crop Saver” by Sofia Atlantova. The icon had been painted on a weaponry box fragment brought from Avdiyivka, a hotspot of the Russian-Ukrainian war.
This is the second of the “Icons on Ammo Boxes” given to the Holy Father. Nine days ago, on behalf of five bishops of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Archeparchy of Philadelphia, Pope Francis was presented with an icon of Saint Apostle Peter by Oleksandr Klymenko.
The “Icons on Ammo Boxes” is a joint project of Kyivan artists Sofia Atlantova and Oleksandr Klymenko aimed at supporting the PFVMH, which engages civilian medics in the provision of medical aid in the Joint Forces Operation (formerly Anti-Terrorist Operation) zone in Eastern Ukraine. The main idea of the project is the transformation of death (symbolized by ammo boxes) into life (traditionally symbolized by icons in Ukrainian culture).