Deisis (Novogorod)

Vulnerable Ukrainians receive Pope's aid in time for Christmas

Thanks to Pope Francis over 2 million people affected by the humanitarian crisis in eastern Ukraine will receive a first installment of much needed aid in time for Christmas, Vatican Radio informs.

A communiqué released by the Papal charitable office ‘Cor Unum’  reveals that about 6 million euros, out of the 12 million that have been collected so far, will reach vulnerable people in the regions of Donetsk and Lugansk, Zaporozhe, Kharkiv and Dnepropetrovsk.

The press release points out that aid will be distributed regardless of religion or ethnic group.

The money was collected by Catholic churches across Europe in response to a personal appeal by the Pope for a collection on April 24, 2016, in aid of Ukrainians affected by the conflict in the east of the nation. 

He then set up a committee presided over ‘in loco’ by the Auxiliary Bishop of Kharkiv- Zaporozhe, Jan Sobilo, and coordinated by the Apostolic Nuncio in Ukraine, Archbishop Claudio Gugerotti, to oversee the distribution of the funds. 

The committee has since selected and evaluated a series of aid programmes presented by Christian and international humanitarian organizations.

So far it has decided to fund 20 large-scale projects and 39 smaller ‘solidarity’ initiatives.

In collaboration with the Apostolic Nunciature, the money will be used to fund food, housing, medical and health care projects.

According to a recent UNHCR report, the ongoing conflict in Eastern Ukraine has killed 9758 people and injured almost 23000 since it began in mid-2014.

Source:RISU


Teachings of Christ

“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied." (Matthew 5:6 ESV)

Lamb and Redeemer

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 praise You in song: * "You have come, and You have appeared, O Unapproachable Light." (Kontakion, Tone 4)

Random Proverb

"My son, do not forget my teaching, but let your heart keep my commandments, for length of days and years of life and peace they will add to you." (Proverbs 3:1,2 ESV)

Pray Without Ceasing

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

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

Even a pious person is not immune to spiritual sickness if he does not have a wise guide -- either a living person or a spiritual writer. This sickness is called _prelest_, or spiritual delusion, imagining oneself to be near to God and to the realm of the divine and supernatural. Even zealous ascetics in monasteries are sometimes subject to this delusion, but of course, laymen who are zealous in external struggles (podvigi) undergo it much more frequently. Surpassing their acquaintances in struggles of prayer and fasting, they imagine that they are seers of divine visions, or at least of dreams inspired by grace. In every event of their lives, they see special intentional directions from God or their guardian angel. And then they start imagining that they are God's elect, and often try to foretell the future. The Holy Fathers armed themselves against nothing so fiercely as against this sickness -- prelest.

Metropolitan Anthony Khrapovitsky