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

“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’" (Matthew 7:21-23 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

"Let your heart hold fast my words; keep my commandments, and live." (Proverbs 4:4 ESV)

Pray Without Ceasing

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

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

God is a fire that warms and kindles the heart and inward parts. Hence, if we feel in our hearts the cold that comes from the devil - for the devil is cold - let us call on the Lord. He will come to warm our hearts with perfect love, not only for Him but also for our neighbor, and the cold of him who hates the good will flee before the heat of His countenance.

St. Seraphim of Sarov