Deisis (Novogorod)

Patriarch Gregorios III discusses the appeal of His Holiness Pope Francis for peace in “beloved” Syria

During the Angelus of Sunday 25 August 2013, His Holiness Pope Francis launched an appeal for peace in Syria, which he was pleased to describe as "beloved."

It was said in this appeal that His Holiness continues "with great distress and anxiety to follow the situation in Syria... in a war between brothers and sisters with the escalation of massacres and acts of atrocity."

His Holiness raises his voice with prophetic boldness, repeating the call that "the clash of weapons may be silenced."

His Holiness expresses in heartfelt tones his love and "closeness with prayers and solidarity to all the victims of this conflict, to all who are suffering, especially the children," and asks us "to keep the hope of peace ever alive."

His Holiness addresses his appeal "to the international community to ...help ... find a solution to this war that is sowing destruction and death."
He ends his appeal by praying to the Virgin Mary, Queen of Peace.

We should like to thank His Holiness in the name of the Church here in Syria for this very impressive appeal; or rather we thank him in the name of all Christian and Muslim denominations of the Syrian nation for his sincere fatherly feeling.

We regret that the stance of many Arab Eastern and European and Western countries is one of pride, a bullying attitude, with warning threats, muscle-flexing and sending weapons, and mercenary fighters.

We regret seeing many countries, instead of hastening the preparation for Geneva II for peace, scrambling to raise the tone of threats with more means of war and destruction.

In the face of all this, we ask you: who drove people in Syria to this so-called "red line"? Who brought the country to the risk of chemical weapons? Who drove this country to almost systematic destruction? Those very countries!

We pray for those heads of state to heed the Holy Father's voice, and that of the bishops and spiritual leaders of Syria and all those who are calling for reconciliation, dialogue and peace in the world.

We ask all our bishops to disseminate Pope Francis' appeal by all means, especially in our parishes and churches.

+ Gregorios

Patriarch of Antioch and All the East,
Of Alexandria and of Jerusalem


Teachings of Christ

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God." (John 3:16-18 ESV)

Lenten Prayer of St. Ephrem

O Lord and Master of my life, drive away from me the spirit of despondency, carelessness, love of power, and idle chatter. (Prostration)

Rather grant to me, Your servant, the spirit of wholeness of being, humility, patience, and love. (Prostration)

Yes, O Lord and King, grant that I may see my own faults and not condemn my brother; for You are blessed to the ages of ages. Amen. (Prostration)

Annunciation

Today is the fountainhead of our salvation, * and the revelation of an eternal mystery: * The Son of God becomes the Son of a Virgin, * and Gabriel announces the good news of grace. * Therefore, let us also cry with him to the Mother of God: * "Rejoice, O Full of Grace, the Lord is with you!” (Troparion, Tone 4)

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever and to the ages of ages. Amen.

To you, O Mother of God, our leader and defender, * we, your servants, delivered from calamity, offer hymns of victory and thanksgiving. * So you, who have invincible might, * set us free from every peril * that we may cry to you: * "Rejoice, O unwedded Bride!" (Kontakion, Tone 8)

Random Proverb

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction. (Proverbs 1:7 ESV)

Pray Without Ceasing

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

God is nearer to us than any man at every time. He is nearer to me than my raiment, nearer than the air or light, nearer than my wife, father, mother, daughter, son or friend. I live in Him, soul and body. I breathe in Him, think in Him, feel, consider, intend, speak, undertake, work in Him. `For in Him we live, and move, and have our being' (Acts 17:28).

St. John of Kronstadt, My Life in Christ