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

“Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I have not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance.” (Luke 5:31-32 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

"Go to the ant, O sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise. Without having any chief, officer, or ruler, she prepares her bread in summer and gathers her food in harvest." (Proverbs 6:6-8 ESV)

Pray Without Ceasing

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

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

While the Bridegroom tarried, they slumbered and slept: Give ear, ye prudent, to our Lord's parable, for it is all light. All of them slept, both the foolish and the wise -- Which signifies that the good and the wicked die until the resurrection. The same sleep comes upon the ten of them, which is as much as to say, That death is the same for all creation without distinction. One was the sleep of the wise and of the foolish, For one is death, both of the righteous and of sinners. The good die, as the wise virgins slept; And the bad die, as the foolish also slept. Behold, all creation looketh for the coming of the Bridegroom, Christ, Who cometh at the end with His angels. But since He hath tarried, all generations slumber and sleep with the sleep of death, while looking for when He cometh.

A Homily on the Ten Virgins by Mar Jacob, Bishop of Serugh