CWN - Orthodox Patriarch Bartholomew I of Constantinople left Turkey just hours before the abortive coup this past weekend, prompting rumors that he had been warned of the attempt of oust President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. But a spokesman said that the Patriarch's travel plans-- to Slovenia, for a vacation-- had been set weeks in advance.

Patriarch Bartholomew heard about the attempted coup soon after arriving in Slovenia, and attempted to fly home immediately. But he could not return, because the would-be rebels had closed Ataturk airport in Istanbul. 

The Interfax news agency in Russia has carried reports of the Orthodox Patriarch's last-minute departure from Turkey, along with the explanation from the Constantinople patriarchate. The Russian Orthodox Church, which has vied with the Constantinople patriarchate for leadership of the world's Orthodox churches, may take a special interest in criticism of Patriarch Bartholomew. 

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Teachings of Christ

“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you." (Matthew 7:7,8 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

Honor the Lord with your wealth and with the firstfruits of all your produce; then your barns will be filled with plenty, and your vats will be bursting with wine. (Proverbs 3:9,10 ESV)

Pray Without Ceasing

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

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

The Holy Eucharist is the first, most important, and greatest miracle of Christ. All the other Gospel miracles are secondary. How could we not call the greatest miracle the fact that simple bread and wine were once transformed by the Lord into His very Body and His very Blood, and then have continued to be transformed for nearly two thousand years by the prayers of priests, who are but simple human beings? And what is more, this mystery has continued to effect a miraculous change in those people who communicate of the Divine Mysteries with faith and humility. 

St. Ambrose of Optina