CWN - Three patriarchs of Damascus have issued an appeal for an end to international sanctions on their country, saying that they have increased the suffering of the civilian population, "especially the poor and working class."

The statement, issued through the AsiaNews service, is signed by Melkite Catholic Patriarch Gregory III Laham, Greek Orthodox Patriarch John X, and Syrian Orthodox Patriarch Ignatius Ephrem II. 

The international sanctions have "deepened the suffering of the Syrian people," the Christian leaders report. Although the sanctions were intended to isolate the Syrian government, they say that the practical effect has been to burden the people and to encourage others who "do not want the common good of the country."

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Teachings of Christ

“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another." (John 13:34-35 ESV)

Resurrection

Christ is risen from the dead * trampling down Death by death, * and upon those in the tombs bestowing life! (Troparion)

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

Although You descended into the tomb, O Immortal One, * You destroyed the power of Hades; * You arose as the victor, O Christ God, * proclaiming to the myrrh-bearing women: “Rejoice!” * And granting peace to Your Apostles, * O, You, Who gives resurrection to the fallen. (Kontakion)

Random Proverb

"The wage of the righteous leads to life, the gain of the wicked to sin." (Proverbs 10:10 ESV)

Pray Without Ceasing

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

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

The "principal characteristics" of the zealot according to knowledge are the following: "fervent love for God and neighbor, gentleness, religious tolerance, forbearance, graciousness of manner."