CWN - Aleppo has become a divided city, like Berlin during the Cold War era, a Syrian archbishop told Vatican Radio.

Archbishop Joseph Tobji, the head of the Maronite Catholic archdiocese in Aleppo, said that the city has been divided and battered by rival armed forces. The constant bombardment is causing an enormous number of civilian casualties, he said, reporting that his archdiocese schedules at least ten funerals daily for innocent victims.

Archbishop Tobji told Vatican Radio that he recently met with Pope Francis, and presented the Pontiff with a photo album, put together by young Catholics in Aleppo, showing pictures of their friends who had been killed in the fighting. He said that as the Pope looked at the pictures, “his eyes filled with tears.”

The Syrian archbishop said that the current warfare in Syria serves the benefit of no one in Syria, but is prolonged by the support of foreign powers who “see the country as a pie” to be divided up as spoils.

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Teachings of Christ

“I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. (John 14:6 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

"My son, do not lose sight of these — keep sound wisdom and discretion, and they will be life for your soul." (Proverbs 3:21,22a ESV)

Pray Without Ceasing

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

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

We should zealously cultivate watchfulness, my brethren; and when, our mind purified in Christ Jesus, we are exalted by the vision it confers, we should review our sins and our former life, so that shattered and humbled at the thought of them we may never lose the help of Jesus Christ our God in the invisible battle.

St. Hesychius the Presbyter