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Pope Francis donates ambulance, opens war trauma center in Ukraine

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Pope Francis blesses the ambulance that he donated in June 2024 to to treat the wounded in Ukraine’s Ternopil region. / Credit: Dicastery for the Service of Charity

Rome Newsroom, Jun 25, 2024 / 13:15 pm (CNA).

The Vatican has announced the opening of a war trauma rehabilitation center this month in Ukraine named after St. John Paul II.

Cardinal Konrad Krajewski, the papal almoner and prefect of the Vatican’s Dicastery for the Service of Charity, is traveling to Ukraine to inaugurate the clinic on the pope’s behalf.

The cardinal will also personally deliver an ambulance filled with medical supplies that was donated by Pope Francis to treat the wounded in Ukraine’s Ternopil region.

“In the Ternopil region, due to the continuing war, numerous convoys arrive daily carrying civilians and soldiers forced to flee the border area with Russia, where hostilities are most bloody,” the announcement from the Vatican’s charity dicastery said on June 24.

“This ambulance will also be a valuable tool to support relief workers treating injured people.”

It will be Krajewski’s eighth trip to Ukraine since the war broke out. On one of his prior trips, the cardinal was shot at as he delivered humanitarian aid near the city of Zaporizhzhia.

According to the Vatican’s charity dicastery, the St. John Paul II Rehabilitation Center, located in Vinnytsia in the Diocese of Kamyanets-Podilskyy, will provide both physical and psychological rehabilitation for soldiers and their families who have suffered from war trauma.

The clinic, created with contributions from the Papal Foundation and Aid to the Church in Need, will be open to all “without any distinction of faith, nationality, or exclusion,” according to Pope Francis’ wishes.

Pope Francis has already donated two other ambulances that are being used to provide medical assistance and humanitarian relief in other parts of Ukraine.


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