The Conception of the Most Holy Mother of God by the Righteous Anna
December 9, 2013
O Adam! O Eve! Lay aside your sorrow!
Behold, a barren womb today wondrously bears fruit: The Mother of our Joy!
Rejoice, O Father Abraham and all the patriarchs! See your seed blossom: The Mother of our God!
Rejoice, O Anna! Rejoice, O Joachim! Today in a wondrous manner you bear to the world: The fruit of grace and salvation!
Rejoice, O choir of prophets! Behold, today Anna bears the holy fruit You foretold to us!
Rejoice, O ye nations! The barren Anna conceives the fruit of her womb; By preserving in hope, she bears our life!
Rejoice, O ye ends of the earth! Behold the barren mother conceives her Who without human seed will bear the Creator of all!
Today a royal robe of purple and fine linen Is woven from the loins of David. The mystical flower of Jessie blossoms From which comes Christ God, the Savior of our souls!
(From the Matins of the Byzantine Liturgy - December 9th)
- Vespers - Genesis 28:10-17, Ezekiel 43:27-44:4, Proverbs 9:1-11
- Matins - Luke 1:39-49,56
- Divine Liturgy - Galatians 4:22-31, Luke 8:16-21
The Icon is the Embrace of Joachim and Anna. This feast celebrates the conception of Mary by Anna and Joachim. This feast is traditionally celebrated on December 9th but has been moved by some Byzantine Churches to December 8th to match the Western feast.
Statement of the Assembly of the Catholic Hierarchy of Syria
- Created: 09 December 2013
Liqaa Center - Rabweh (Lebanon) 6/12/2013
The Assembly of the Catholic Hierarchy of Syria, presided over by Patriarch Gregorios III, met in special session with Cardinal Robert Sarah, President of the Vatican’s Cor Unum.
The members of the Synod wished to express their gratitude on this occasion to all those who, over the last two and a half years of the Syrian crisis, have helped the Church in Syria carry out its service of aiding all Syrian citizens and especially Christians, through Caritas Syria and all welfare associations.
Our gratitude goes above all to Pope Francis, the Holy See, Cor Unum and its President, Cardinal Sarah, who have been especially alert to the needs of our Churches and our country.
We thank the episcopal conferences and the various, especially Catholic, charitable organisations, which have helped us through the projects of Caritas Syria, (presided over by Bishop Antoine Audo SJ) which is working in the Assembly’s name.
Many of our eparchies and associations have received assistance from various organisations. Through this statement to the international press, we should like to thank them.
Missing Syrian nuns appear in video
- Created: 09 December 2013
CWN - The Syrian Orthodox nuns who were reportedly abducted from their convent in the historic Christian town of Ma'loula have appeared in a video, Agence France-Presse reported. Their captors are offering to free the nuns in exchange for 1,000 female political prisoners, according to a separate report, but questions have been raised as to whether the latter report is reliable.
In a video, which was taken in an unknown location, a nun denied they had been kidnapped and said that “a group brought us here and protected us, and we're very, very happy with them.”
The “Free Qalamoun Brigade,” which has claimed credit for the nuns’ abduction, did not deny that they were being held captive, and said that they “will only be freed in exchange for the liberation of 1,000 women prisoners from regime jails,” according to the Saudi newspaper Sharq al Awsat. A spokesman for the group said that the exchange offer had been relayed through the Vatican to the Syrian government.
However, the ANSA news agency cautioned that the reported exchange offer was unreliable. “There is no such rebel group as the “Free Qalamoun Brigade,” a Syrian source told ANSA—leaving the status of the kidnapped nuns unclear.