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

“I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?” (John 11:25-26 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)

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

When you are praying, watch over yourself so that not only your outward man prays, but your inward one also. Though you be sinful beyond measure, still pray. Do not heed the devil's provocation, craftiness, and despair, but overcome and conquer his wiles. Remember the abyss of the Saviour's mercy and love to mankind. The devil will represent the Lord's fact to you as terrible and unmerciful, rejecting your prayer and repentance; but remember the Saviour's own words, full of every hope and boldness for us: `Him that cometh to Me, I will in no wise cast out'; and `Come unto Me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden' - with sins and iniquities, and wiles and calumnies of the devil - and I will give you rest.'

St. John of Kronstadt, My Life in Christ