CWN- The patriarch of the Maronite Catholic Church said that the release of a dozen kidnapped Syrian nuns appeared imminent until recently.

In December, Syrian rebel forces abducted the nuns from the Greek Orthodox monastery of Mar Taqla in the historic Christian village of Ma’loula, whose residents still speak Aramaic.

“We have made multiple contacts with several international sides, and the nuns’ release was imminent, but the issue stumbled again,” said Cardinal Béchara Boutros Raï, according to a report in the Beirut-based Daily Star.

Adding that “the nuns’ detention is a disgrace to the world,” Cardinal Raï called upon nations “that are either eager for a Syria war or to talk peace in Syria” to work for the nuns’ release.

The patriarch’s February 11 remarks came two days after the Al Jazeera television network broadcast a new video in which the nuns appeared.

“They say they are in good health, haven’t been mistreated... and they are waiting for their release to return to the convent,” a commentator said, according to an Agence France-Presse report.


Teachings of Christ

“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly." (John 10:10 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

"Take my instruction instead of silver, and knowledge rather than choice gold, for wisdom is better than jewels, and all that you may desire cannot compare with her." (Proverbs 8:10,11 ESV)

Pray Without Ceasing

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

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

Guard thyself then, O man; thou hast the signs of Antichrist; and remember them not only thyself, but impart them also freely to all. If thou hast a child according to the flesh, admonish him of this now; if thou hast begotten one through catechizing, put him also on his guard, test he receive the false one as the True. For the mystery of iniquity doth already work. I fear these wars of the nations; I fear the schisms of the Churches; I fear the mutual hatred of the brethren. But enough on this subject; only God forbid that it should be fulfilled in our days; nevertheless, let us be on our guard. And thus much concerning Antichrist.

St. Cyril of Jerusalem, Catechetical Lecture XV