CWN - Pope Francis received Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, president of the Department of External Church Relations of the Moscow Patriarchate, in audience on September 15.

According to the Moscow Patriarchate, the two discussed the persecution of Christians in the Middle East, joint efforts in the area of culture, and the February joint statement between the Pope and Patriarch Kirill.

Metropolitan Hilarion also gave Pope Francis, as a gift from Patriarch Kirill, a relic of a Russian monk, St. Seraphim of Sarov (1754-1833).

In addition, Metropolitan Hilarion met with the Vatican’s Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin.

“The participants focused on the situation of Christians in the Middle East and North Africa suffering at the hands of terrorists,” the Moscow Patriarchate said in a statement. “Both Metropolitan Hilarion and Cardinal Pietro Parolin consider the situation difficult, but hope that the negotiations between high-ranking officials of Russia and the USA will yield their good fruit.”

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Teachings of Christ

“Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account." (Matthew 5:11 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)

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

The hour of death will come upon us, it will come, and we shall not escape it. May the prince of this world and of the air (cf. John 14:30; Eph. 2:2) find our misdeeds few and petty when he comes, so that he will not have good grounds for convicting us. Otherwise we shall weep in vain. 'For that servant who knew his lord's will and did not do it as a servant, shall be beaten with many stripes' (cf. Luke 12:47).

St. Hesychius the Priest