Protocol 428/2013D                              

Damascus
09/09 2013

In the face of the tragedies that have befallen Syria over the last two and a half years, I see it as my duty now to appeal to you with confidence, Your Majesties, Highnesses and Excellencies, and with respect, appreciation and love at this historic moment in the annals of our countries, and of Syria in particular, by which I mean the threat from the United States of America, supported by the European Union, of a military strike on Syria.

I do not wish to enter into the question of the legality of the strike and its causes and justification, but I raise a heartfelt cry to Your Majesties: that they prevent the dangers and consequences that a strike on Syria would have on the whole region including neighbouring countries, especially Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq, Palestine and Israel, as we do not know how far the conflagration might spread into adjoining countries.

I appeal to you dear friends, to stand shoulder to shoulder to spare Syria, and even our beloved Arab East, from the scourge of a strike, for we dare not call it war, in which all of us Christians and Muslims in the Arab world would be killed. We hope the whole world will heed the peace appeal launched by his Holiness Pope Francis. He told us: "War is a defeat for peace!"

We appeal to you, as we have said before, for unity and for a faithful free secular democracy in the Arab world, which is the real Arab Spring that responds to the slogans of demonstrators in the main squares of our cities, and meets the expectations and aspirations of generations of our young men and women, for liberty, dignity, pride and a bright future!

I pray for you all to make supplication for our blessed Arab land that I love, which is home to all of us Christians and Muslims, the land of civilizations and the cradle of religions, and the responsibility of us all, which lies especially in your hands, your hearts and your minds, and deserves all our sacrifices and our love.

With the assurance of our love and prayers

+ Gregorios III

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


Teachings of Christ

“If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’" (John 7:37-38 ESV)

Pentecost

Blessed are You, O Christ our God, * Who has shown the fishermen to be all wise, * by sending down to them the Holy Spirit, * and through them You have caught the whole world in Your net. * O Lover of Mankind, glory to You. (Troparion - Tone 8)

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

When the Most High descended, confusing tongues, * He divided the nations; * but when He distributed the tongues of fire, * He called all to unity; * and, with one voice, * we glorify the Most Holy Spirit. (Kontakion - Tone 8)

Random Proverb

"Do not say to your neighbor, “Go, and come again, tomorrow I will give it”—when you have it with you." (Proverbs 3:28 ESV)

Pray Without Ceasing

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

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

Adam, before the fall ... participated in ... divine illumination and resplendence, and because he was truly clothed in a garment of glory he was not naked, nor was he unseemly by reason of his nakedness. He was far more richly adorned than those who now deck themselves out with diadems of gold and brightly sparkling jewels. St. Paul calls this divine illumination and grace our celestial dwelling when he says, 'For this we sigh, yearning to be clothed in our heavenly habitation, since clothed we will not be found naked' (2 Cor. 5:2).

St. Gregory Palamas (Topics of Natural and Theological Science no. 67, The Philokalia Vol. 4 edited by Palmer, Sherrard and Ware; Faber and Faber pg. 377)