Deisis (Novogorod)

Celebration of 150 years of the Saint Vincent de Paul Society in Damascus

Damascus 29 September 2013

Patriarch Gregorios III presided at the celebration of the Divine Liturgy in the Cathedral of the Dormition in Damascus on Sunday 29 September. The day marked the 150th anniversary of the founding of the Saint Vincent de Paul Society in Damascus.

Concelebrating with His Beatitude was Archbishop Joseph Absi, Patriarchal Vicar and other members of the clergy. Among other dignitaries present were the Minister for Social Affairs, Kinda al-Shamat  and other members of Parliament. The grandson of righteous layman George Bitar was present in the congregation which filled the church. Some Muslims were present to celebrate the occasion alongside Christian worshippers.

In his sermon, His Beatitude spoke of the need for more solidarity among all Syria’s citizens despite the crisis, as this would be the guarantee for reconciliation and a peaceful future for the country.

V.C.


Teachings of Christ

“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.” (Matthew 22:37-40 ESV)

Lamb and Redeemer

When You were baptized in the Jordan, O Lord, * worship of the Trinity was revealed, * for the Father's voice bore witness to You, calling You His “beloved Son”, * and the Spirit in the form of a dove confirmed the certainty of these words. * O Christ God, * Who appeared and enlightened the world, glory to You! (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.

You have appeared to the whole world today, * and Your light, O Lord, is signed upon us, * who with knowledge praise You in song: * "You have come, and You have appeared, O Unapproachable Light." (Kontakion, Tone 4)

Random Proverb

"Let your heart hold fast my words; keep my commandments, and live." (Proverbs 4:4 ESV)

Pray Without Ceasing

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

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

The work of prayer belongs to the angels, and is, therefore, the special concern of the Church. Every other work, i.e., charity, nursing the brethren, visiting the sick, caring for prisoners, releasing captives, and other similar things, is done by the brethren in love and offered by them to God. Similarly, poverty, fasting, sleeping on the ground, prostrations, vigils, etc., are good and like a sacrifice to God, because they aim to subdue and humble the body so that we may be purified and approach God and become friends of God -- yet these things do not present us directly to God, whereas prayer does so and unites us with Him. A person praying acts towards God like a friend -- conversing, confiding, requesting -- and through this becomes one with our Maker Himself.

St. Symeon of Thessalonica