CWN - Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill believes that the most important outcome of his historic meeting with Pope Francis was a new public recognition of the persecution of Christians.

In an interview with La Stampa more than a year after the meeting, the Russian Patriarch sidestepped most questions about ecumenical relations between Moscow and Rome. Instead he focused on the question of religous freedom and persecution. He said:

The main subject of the discussion was in fact the “monstrous” condition of Christians in the Middle East and North Africa, a much wider topic than the bilateral agenda. I

Until our meeting with Pope Francis, this topic was almost invisible on international media, and we also saw a great deal of indifference from many international organizations. Afterwards, the situation has changed substantially.

Patriarch Kirill went on to say, in the interview with La Stampa, that Christians should work together, especially in Europe, to reverse dangerous trends: “the destruction of the family, the ideology of trans-humanism and so many others.”

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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)

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

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"