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

'Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day." (John 6:53-54 ESV)

Saint Nicholas of Myra

The truth of your deeds has revealed you to your flock, * as a rule of faith, an image of meekness, and a teacher of abstinence. * Therefore, you attained the heights through humility, * and riches through poverty. * O Father and Hierarch Nicholas, * pray to Christ God that our souls may be saved. (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.

In Myra, You were shown to be a servant of the sacred things, O Holy Nicholas, * for, fulfilling the Gospel of Christ, you, O Venerable, laid down your life for your people, * and saved the innocent from death. * Therefore, you were sanctified as a great initiate of the grace of God. (Kontakion, Tone 3)

Random Proverb

"The woman Folly is loud; she is seductive and knows nothing." (Proverbs 9:13 ESV)

Pray Without Ceasing

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

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

Do not pray that things may be according to your desires, for your desires are not always in keeping with the will of God. It is better to pray as you were taught, saying: "Thy will be done" (Matthew 6:10). Pray in this way about all things, for He always desires what is good and profitable for your soul, whereas you do not always seek it.

Saint Nilus of Mount Sinai: "153 Texts on Prayer"