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)

Encounter

Rejoice, O Mother of God, Virgin full of grace. * From you has risen the Sun of Righteousness, Christ our God, * shining upon those who are in darkness. * Rejoice also, you righteous Elder; * for you received in your arms the Deliverer of our souls, * Who has given us resurrection. (Troparion, Tone 1)

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

O Christ God, through Your birth You sanctified the Virgin's womb; * and blessed, as it was proper, the hands of Simeon. * Now, having come, you saved us. * Give peace to Your commonwealth in times of war * and strengthen our civil authorities, whom You have loved, O You who alone loves mankind. (Kontakion, Tone 1)

(The Feast of the Encounter is February 2nd - the 40th Day of Christmas)

Random Proverb

"Blessed is the one who finds wisdom, and the one who gets understanding, for the gain from her is better than gain from silver and her profit better than gold." (Proverbs 3:13,14 ESV)

Pray Without Ceasing

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

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

“Only one sin is nowadays severely punished: the attentive observance of the traditions of our Fathers. For that reason the good ones are thrown out of their places and brought to the desert.” (ep. 243)