Saydnaya (Agenzia Fides) - Syrian President Bashar al Assad visited the temporary seat of the Syriac Orthodox monastery of the Holy Cross, under construction, accompanied by his wife Asma and other family members. He was received by Syriac Orthodox Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem II together with Metropolita Mor Timotheos, the Syriac Orthodox Vicar of Damascus, and monks of the monastery. The official sources of the Syriac Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch report that President Assad's visit took place "a few days ago" without specifying the date. Assad and his wife, accompanied by the Patriarch, also met the children housed in the "Small Angel House", an orphanage supported by the Syriac Orthodox Church, he had lunch with them and with the monks of the monastery. In this context - inform Syriac Orthodox Church sources - the Patriarch informed the President "about the projects the Patriarchate is carrying out in the region".
In Saydnaya, a small town about 35 km from Damascus, there is also the female Greek Orthodox monastery of the Mother of God, founded in the Justinian era at the site of a Marian apparition, where an ancient Marian icon attributed to Saint Luke is kept. (GV) (Agenzia Fides, 8/9/2017)


Teachings of Christ

“So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.” (Matthew 7:12 ESV)

Christ is Born!

Your Nativity, O Christ our God, * has dawned upon the world the light of knowledge. * for through it, those who served the stars * were taught by a star to worship You, the Sun of Righteousness * and to know You, the Dawn from on high. * Glory to You, O Lord! (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.

Today the Virgin gives birth to the Transcendent One, * and the earth offers a cave to the Unapproachable One. * Angels and shepherds sing His glory; * Wise Men journey with a star * for there is born for us an infant Child, the God Who is before all ages. (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

No one has to be embarrassed over his sinful state. ‘There is no man who, while living, does not sin,’ and the more sinful the man, the stronger will be God’s help in leading him out of his sinful mire. But the help of God comes only when the sinner repents with heartfelt contrition and has the will to reform. Not seeing in himself enough strength of soul to break away from sinful deeds, he asks for God’s help. This is where the mercy of God, Who does not wish the death of the sinner but wants him to be converted and live, is often evident.… If the voice of conscience awakens in us a feeling of remorse or repentance, then we must pray fervently to the Guardian Angel of our human existence that he may keep us from corrupt downfalls and help us ‘serve God with fear and trembling.’

Elder Macarius of Optina