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

“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)

Dormition

O Mother of God, in giving birth you preserved virginity; * and in falling asleep you did not forsake the world. * You are the Mother of Life and have been transferred to life, * and through your prayers you deliver our souls from death. (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.

Neither the tomb nor death could detain the Mother of God, * who is unsleeping in her prayers and our unfailing hope in her intercession; * for He Who dwelt in her ever-virgin womb, * transferred to Life the Mother of Life. (Kontakion - Tone 2)

Random Proverb

"Blessed is the one who finds wisdom, and the one who gets understanding, for the gain from her is better than gain from silver and her profit better than gold." (Proverbs 3:13,14 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)