CWN - Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill of Moscow expressed his “deep sorrow” at the death of Fidel Castro, describing the Cuban dictator as a “courageous and charismatic person, a man who was a sincere friend of the Russian Orthodox Church.”

The Russian prelate said that Castro was “the embodiment of the Cuban people,” whose leadership allowed Cuba to gain “genuine independence.” In his message—addressed to Raul Castro, who succeeded his brother as head of the Cuban government—he offered prayers that the news Cuban would find leader “solance and composure to carry on.”

“The Russian Orthodox Church will always say Fidel Castro’s name with respect and gratitude,” Patriarch Kirill said, recalling that Fidel Castro had allowed the opening of a Russian Orthodox parish in Havana.

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Teachings of Christ

“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you." (Matthew 7:7,8 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

"The woman Folly is loud; she is seductive and knows nothing." (Proverbs 9:13 ESV)

Pray Without Ceasing

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

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

Wrath is a reminder of hidden hatred, that is to say, remembrance of wrongs. Wrath is a desire for the injury of the one who has provoked you. Irascibility is the untimely blazing up of the heart. Bitterness is a movement of displeasure seated in the soul. Anger is an easily changeable movement of one’s disposition and disfiguration of soul.

St. John Climacus, “The Ladder of Divine Ascent"