www.kofc.org - Over the past two years, Father Douglas Bazi, pastor of Mar Elia Chaldean Catholic Church in Erbil, Iraq, has sheltered hundreds of families displaced after fleeing attacks by militants of the Islamic State, also known as ISIS or Daesh.

Born in Baghdad in 1972, Father Bazi is no stranger to religious persecution. In 2005, he survived two bomb attacks and was shot in the leg with an AK-47. The next year, he was kidnapped and tortured for nine days by Islamic extremists before the Chaldean Catholic community raised $80,000 as a ransom for his release. Because of the overwhelming danger, Father Bazi was reassigned to Kurdish-controlled Erbil in 2013.

In recent months, Father Bazi partnered with the Knights of Columbus to press Western nations, especially the United States, to recognize ISIS’ actions as genocide. On March 10, he spoke at the public release of the Knights’ extensive genocide report in Washington, D.C., and he also addressed the topic at a congress held at the United Nations in New York on April 28. In May, Father Bazi went on a month-long speaking tour throughout the country to raise awareness of the genocide.

Columbia recently spoke with Father Bazi about his ordeal as a captive, the suffering of his people and the future of religious freedom in his country.

Read the interview at: https://www.kofc.org/en/columbia/detail/save-my-people.html


Teachings of Christ

“The Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” (Mark 10:45 ESV)

Theophany

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 sing praise to You: * "You have come, and You have appeared, O Unapproachable Light." (Kontakion, Tone 4)

Random Proverb

"When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with the humble is wisdom." (Proverbs 11:2 ESV)

Pray Without Ceasing

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

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

Repentance is the renewal of baptism. Repentance is a contract with God for a second life. A penitent is a buyer of humility. Repentance is constant distrust of bodily comfort. Repentance is self-condemning reflection, and carefree self-care. Repentance is the daughter of hope and the renunciation of despair. A penitent is an undisgraced convict. Repentance is reconciliation with the Lord by the practice of good deeds contrary to the sins. Repentance is purification of conscience. Repentance is the voluntary endurance of all afflictions. A penitent is the inflicter of his own punishments. Repentance is a mighty persecution of the stomach, and a striking of the soul into vigorous awareness.

St. John of the Ladder