“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

“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.” (Matthew 5:43-44 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

"One gives freely, yet grows all the richer; another withholds what he should give, and only suffers want." (Proverbs 11:24 ESV)

Pray Without Ceasing

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

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

We ought to learn the virtues through practicing them, not merely through talking about them, so that by acquiring the habit of them we do not forget what is of benefit to us. 'The kingdom of God', St. Paul says, 'resides not in words but in power' (I Cor. 4:20). For he who tries to discover things through actual practice will come to understand what gain or loss lies in any activity that he pursues..."

St. Peter of Damaskos (Book 1:A Treasury of Divine Knowledge, The Philokalia Vol. 3 pg. 183)