CWN - A year after a Salesian missionary priest from India was kidnapped in Yemen, his religious superiors do not know where he is or who is holding him.

Father Thomas Uzhunnalil was taken captive last March 4 when Islamic militants attacked a rest home in Aden, operated by the Missionaries of Charity. Sixteen people, including four nuns, were killed in the raid; Father Uzuhunnalil was seized.

A video in which Father Uzhunnalil pleads for help was released late in December. The priest, who said that his health was deteriorating, criticized the government of India for failing to secure his release.

The government of India has sought to negotiate the release of the missionary priest, with no success to date. Cardinal Baselios Mar Cleemis of Trivandrum, the president of India’s episcopal conference, admitted that “we don’t know who kidnapped the priest and where they have taken him.”

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Teachings of Christ

“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.” (Matthew 5:43-44 ESV)

Exaltation of the Cross

Save Your people, O Lord, and bless Your inheritance; * grant victory to Your Church over her enemies * and protect Your commonwealth by Your Cross. (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.

Willingly lifted up on the Cross, O Christ God, * bestow Your compassions upon the new commonwealth that bears Your name. * By your power grant joy to Your Church, * granting her victory over her enemies. * May she have your Cross as the weapon of peace * and the invincible ensign of victory. (Kontakion - Tone 4)

The Church celebrates the Feast of the Exaltation of the Cross on September 14th.

Random Proverb

"My son, do not despise the Lord's discipline or be weary of his reproof, for the Lord reproves him whom he loves, as a father the son in whom he delights." (Proverbs 3:11,12 ESV)

Pray Without Ceasing

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

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

The Holy Eucharist is the first, most important, and greatest miracle of Christ. All the other Gospel miracles are secondary. How could we not call the greatest miracle the fact that simple bread and wine were once transformed by the Lord into His very Body and His very Blood, and then have continued to be transformed for nearly two thousand years by the prayers of priests, who are but simple human beings? And what is more, this mystery has continued to effect a miraculous change in those people who communicate of the Divine Mysteries with faith and humility. 

St. Ambrose of Optina