“This kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting.” (Matthew 17: 21)


26 July 2016

On the threshold of this Marian month of August and as we are about to begin holding Paraklesis services, we summon the faithful of all our eparchies to prayer and fasting, in order to counter by prayer and fasting this wave of terrorism that is affecting one country after another around the world.

During this month of July, Germany was hit three times on successive days by this blind terrorism and today it was France, where Father Jacques Hamel was decapitated, just after celebrating Holy Mass. Then there were the dramas experienced by our dear Syria, especially over recent days in Aleppo and Qamishli, and by our dear Lebanon, with the tragedy that struck Qaa, not forgetting the assassination attempt upon our brother, the Syriac Orthodox Patriarch, Moran Mor Ignatius Aphrem II.

We are deeply saddened by these tragedies, (especially when Syrian refugees are involved) since they tend to provoke a backlash of hatred and racism towards other, peaceful refugees. We discussed this during our visits to our faithful who have taken refuge in Germany.

Echoing the words of our Lord, Jesus Christ, “This sort goeth not out but by prayer and fasting,” (Matthew 17: 21) we call once more for fasting and prayer to prepare for the Feast of the Dormition of the Mother of God, so that, at her intercession, we may drive out these crimes of terrorism and violence, through fasting and prayer.

In our own name and on behalf of our faithful, we offer our deep condolences to France and Germany, praying for the repose of the souls of all victims, the speedy recovery of the injured and the return of peace to all our countries.

Gregorios III
Patriarch of Antioch and All the East
Of Alexandria and of Jerusalem


Teachings of Christ

“I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?” (John 11:25-26 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)

Saints and Martyrs

Adorned with the blood of Your Martyrs throughout the world, * as with purple and fine linen, * Your Church cries out to You through them: * "Send down Your compassions upon Your people. * Grant peace to Your commonwealth and great mercy to our souls." (Troparion - Tone 4)

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and to the ages of ages. Amen.

As the first-fruits of nature to the Planter of Creation, * the whole world offers to You, O Lord, the God-bearing martyrs. * Through their prayers and the intercession of the Mother of God * preserve Your commonwealth, the Church, in profound peace, O Most Merciful One. (Kontakion - Tone 8)

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

Demons often transform themselves into angels of light and take the form of martyrs, and make it appear to us during sleep that we are in communication with them. Then, when we wake up, they plunge us into unholy joy and conceit. But you can detect their deceit by this very fact. For angles reveal torments, judgments and separations; and when we wake up we find that we are trembling and sad. As soon as we begin to believe the demons in dreams, then they make sport of us when we are awake too. He who believes in dreams is completely inexperienced. 'But he who distrusts all dreams is a wise man. Only believe dreams that warn you of torments and judgments. But if despair afflicts you, then such dreams are also from demons.

St. John Climacus, The Ladder of Divine Ascent