Pro-Life Bell Forged in Poland and Blessed by Pope Francis Given to Catholic Parish in Ukraine

Among other images, the bells illustrate a DNA chain, the ultrasound of an unborn child and the Ten Commandments tablets.

The ‘Voice of the Unborn’ bell arrives in Lviv, Ukraine, on March 24.
The ‘Voice of the Unborn’ bell arrives in Lviv, Ukraine, on March 24. (photo: Courtesy photo / Tomasz Duklanowski/Radio Szczecin)

A pro-life bell blessed by Pope Francis arrived in Lviv, Ukraine, in recognition of the beauty of human life amid Russia’s invasion of the country. 

“It reminds us that everyone has the right to be born and to live,” Father Tomasz Kancelarczyk, who delivered the bell on March 24, said. “It is also a voice of warning.”

Tomasz Duklanowski/Radio Szczecin.

Credit: Tomasz Duklanowski/Radio Szczecin

Father Kancelarczyk of the Little Feet Foundation in Szczecin, Poland, brought the “Voice of the Unborn” bell to the St. John Paul II Shrine in Lviv. The bell’s journey does not end there: It will continue to travel among Ukrainian parishes in order to promote — or ring in — a culture of life.

“The Voice of the Unborn Bell is on the one hand a voice of warning, but also a call to the sanctity of life,” the priest said at the bell’s arrival ceremony. “It is supposed to stimulate us to adore life and that its enormous value should always be in the heart not only of the Church, but also of every human being.”

“You cannot ask for peace while waging war against the weakest,” he stressed.

Pope Francis blessed the bell for Ukraine, along with a bell for Ecuador, in St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican last October. The Voice of the Unborn bells are part of an initiative by the Polish Yes to Life foundation, which advocates for human life from conception until natural death. 

Pope Francis rings one of the "Voice of the Unborn" bells on Oct. 27, 2021. Courtesy of the Yes to Life foundation

Pope Francis rings one of the ‘Voice of the Unborn’ bells on Oct. 27, 2021. | Courtesy of the Yes to Life foundation

“May their sound announce the ‘gospel of life’ to the world, awaken the consciences of men, and be a reminder of the unborn,” the Pope said at the time. “I entrust to your prayer every conceived child whose life is sacred and inviolable.”

The giant bells, like the original in Poland, come from the bell-making workshop of Jan Felczyński, located in Przemyśl. Each one weighs more than 2,000 pounds and reaches nearly four feet in diameter. 

The bells’ decoration speaks to their purpose. Among other images, they illustrate a DNA chain, the ultrasound of an unborn child and the Ten Commandments tablets. The bells are inscribed with the text of the Fifth Commandment — “Thou shalt not kill.”

The bells also cite Jeremiah 1:5 (“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you; before you were born, I dedicated you”) and quote Pope St. John Paul II's encyclical Evangelium Vitae: “respect, protect, love and serve life, every human life!”

Before departing for Lviv, Father Kancelarczyk wrote that the bell’s arrival the day before the Solemnity of the Annunciation on March 25 was not an accident.

“It is not a coincidence for me to place under such a call, nor is it a coincidence for me and this day of experiencing the mystery of the conception of the Son of God in the womb of the Blessed Virgin Mary is not a coincidence, because it was deliberately and deliberately chosen by the organizers,” he wrote. “It is also not a coincidence that it will happen on the day that the Ukrainian Bishops’ Conference announced as the day of penance for the sin of abortion.”

The priest said that an appreciation for the beginning of Christ's life should lead to an appreciation for all human life. 

“This admiration leads to adoration of life in its practical dimension: helping pregnant women; it is expressed in respect for them and readiness to help and care,” Father Kancelarczyk said.

He included human life threatened by war, saying that the war in Ukraine is waged in parallel with the spiritual war. 

“The Voice of the Unborn Bell sounded in Lviv as a voice of respect for the dignity of life,” he said.

After the bell ceremony at the Lviv shrine, the parish celebrated a Mass for peace.

In addition to the bell, the citizens of Lviv were given medical supplies, medicines and food from Poland.

“These people need not only material things, but also something immaterial: fortitude, love of the homeland, courage, and this cannot be bought with any money,” said Father Kancelarczyk. “I have a feeling that we have done a good job by handing over this bell, but also many necessary articles.”