Deisis (Novogorod)

Patriarch Gregorios III: Letter to Pope Francis on the Syrian Crisis

Rabweh 10/09/2013
His Holiness Pope Francis
Vatican City

Most Holy Father

We wish to thank Your Holiness for your call to fasting and prayer for peace in Syria, the Middle East and throughout the world. This day united in prayer people of good will of all faiths everywhere in the world.

Very many faithful responded to this appeal for prayer and gathered in our Cathedral of the Dormition in Damascus, in the presence of the Apostolic Nuncio, Archbishop Mario Zenari, Catholic hierarchs and clergy of other Churches.

Your Holiness’ call for peace has allowed the world to discover and hear the peaceable voice of the Gospel. To those who need it, those who do not recognize it and those who refuse to believe it, this appeal showed another way to resolve the Syrian crisis than that of weapons and military intervention.

Most Holy Father

Deeply touched by this initiative, as Patriarch of Antioch and All the East, of Alexandria and Jerusalem, President of the Assembly of Catholic Hierarchs in Syria (ACHS) and a member of the Assembly of Catholic Patriarchs and Bishops in Lebanon (ACPBL) and Egypt, we ask Your Holiness to continue to accompany us along the way of peace by writing to the Congress of the United States, as you did for the G20 summit, to enumerate all the consequences of this proposed intervention in Syria, which will entail the tragic decline of the Christian presence in the Middle East. The example of the tragic consequences of intervention in Iraq is still with us in the form of thousands of Christian refugees in Syria who have no other refuge left.

 Most Holy Father

We have great hope that such a message will succeed in convincing the undecided, give pause for thought to those in favour of war and a military solution and awaken the world’s conscience. Peace is the only condition that will allow the Eastern Churches to continue the way of the Synod for the Middle East and be Communion and Witness.
 
Please accept, Your Holiness, the assurance of my respectful, religious devotion

+ Gregorios III, Patriarch

MELKITE GREEK CATHOLIC
PATRIARCHATE
OF ANTIOCH AND ALL THE EAST
OF ALEXANDRIA AND OF JERUSALEM


Teachings of Christ

“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another." (John 13:34-35 ESV)

Transfiguration

You were transfigured on the mountain, O Christ God, * showing Your glory to Your Disciples as far as they were able to bear it. * Through the prayers of the Mother of God, * let Your everlasting Light shine also upon us sinners. * O Giver of Light, glory to You! (Troparion, Tone 7)

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

Upon the mountain You were transfigured, O Christ God, * and Your Disciples beheld Your glory as far as they could receive it, * so that when they would see You crucified, * they would understand that You suffered willingly; * and they would preach to the world * that You are truly the radiance of the Father. (Kontakion, Tone 7)

Dormition

O Mother of God, in giving birth you preserved virginity; * and in falling asleep you did not forsake the world. * You are the Mother of Life and have been transferred to life, * and through your prayers you deliver our souls from death. (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.

Neither the tomb nor death could detain the Mother of God, * who is unsleeping in her prayers and our unfailing hope in her intercession; * for He Who dwelt in her ever-virgin womb, * transferred to Life the Mother of Life. (Kontakion - Tone 2)

Random Proverb

Honor the Lord with your wealth and with the firstfruits of all your produce; then your barns will be filled with plenty, and your vats will be bursting with wine. (Proverbs 3:9,10 ESV)

Pray Without Ceasing

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

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

Seek God daily. But seek Him in your heart, not outside it. And when you find Him, stand with fear and trembling, like the Cherubim and Seraphim, for your heart has become a throne of God. But in order to find God, become humble as dust before the Lord, for the Lord abhors the proud; whereas He visits those that are humble in heart, wherefore He says: “To whom will I look, but to the one who is meek and humble in heart?”

St. Nectarius of Aegina