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

“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)

Theophany

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

Random Proverb

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction. (Proverbs 1:7 ESV)

Pray Without Ceasing

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

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

When despondency seizes us, let us not give in to it. Rather, fortified and protected by the light of faith, let us with great courage say to the spirit of evil: "What are you to us, you who are cut off from God, a fugitive for Heaven, and a slave of evil? You dare not do anything to us: Christ, the Son of God, has dominion over us and over all. Leave us, you thing of bane. We are made steadfast by the uprightness of His Cross. Serpent, we trample on your head." 

St. Seraphim of Sarov