CWN - The Chaldean Catholic archbishop of Erbil—the Kurdish city in Iraq to which tens of thousands of Christians fled in 2014 as ISIS advanced—believes that they will begin to return to their liberated villages next summer.

“If concrete signs [of safety and security] are given, people will definitely return,” Archbishop Bashar Warda told Aid to the Church in Need. “Hopefully, by next summer we will be seeing people on the ground [on the Nineveh Plain], working, cleaning and trying to get institutions going again.”

He added:

Finally, ISIS is being defeated; the Cross is victorious and finally this terrible evil is no longer there. People are attending Masses and saying prayers … Unfortunately there’s been a lot of destruction: there are burned out churches, while some of the shrines were completely destroyed and a lot of houses were damaged or destroyed, with furniture looted. We need time for reconstruction—to make these villages livable again.

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Teachings of Christ

“Whoever denies me before men, I also will deny before my Father who is in heaven.” (Matthew 10:33 ESV)

Saint Nicholas of Myra

The truth of your deeds has revealed you to your flock, * as a rule of faith, an image of meekness, and a teacher of abstinence. * Therefore, you attained the heights through humility, * and riches through poverty. * O Father and Hierarch Nicholas, * pray to Christ God that our souls may be saved. (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.

In Myra, You were shown to be a servant of the sacred things, O Holy Nicholas, * for, fulfilling the Gospel of Christ, you, O Venerable, laid down your life for your people, * and saved the innocent from death. * Therefore, you were sanctified as a great initiate of the grace of God. (Kontakion, Tone 3)

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

Acts of charity, almsgiving and all the external good works do not suppress the arrogance of the heart; but noetic meditation, the labor of repentance, contrition and humility -- these humble the proud mind.

Elder Joseph the Hesychast