“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

“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)

Entrance of the Mother of God into the Temple

Today is the prelude of the goodwill of God * and the heralding of the salvation of mankind; * the Virgin appears clearly in the temple of God * and foretells Christ to all. * Let us also with a mighty voice cry out to her: * “Rejoice, O Fulfillment of the Creator’s divine plan.” (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.

The most pure Temple of the Savior, * the most precious Bridal-Chamber and Virgin, the sacred Treasury of the glory of God, * is brought today into the house of the Lord, * bringing with her the grace that is in the Divine Spirit. * The angels of God praise her in song: * “She is the heavenly tabernacle.” (Kontakion - Tone 4)

(November 21st)

Random Proverb

"Hear, O sons, a father's instruction, and be attentive, that you may gain insight, for I give you good precepts; do not forsake my teaching." (Proverbs 4:1,2 ESV)

Pray Without Ceasing

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

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

Abbot Macarius was asked: "How should I pray?" The staretz answered: "There is no need to waste time with words; it is enough to hold out your hands and say: 'Lord, have mercy.'  If you are hard pressed in the struggle, say: 'Lord, save me!' He knows what is best for you, and he will have mercy on you."

Abbot Macarius, quoted in St. Gregory Palamas and Orthodox Spirituality, Meyendorff, 1974, SVS Press