Munster (Agenzia Fides) - "War is not fought with war, but through dialogue, forgiveness, reconciliation, and the will to start a new life and follow new paths of peace": said Armenian Catholic Archbishop of Aleppo, Butros Marayati, at the international meeting "Paths of Peace" organized by the Community of Sant'Egidio in Munster, Germany. As Fides learns, Marayati, who heads the Armenian community of Aleppo, a place which is symbol of the long Syrian conflict, recalled the other two Bishops of Aleppo, Siro-Orthodox Mar Gregorios Yohanna Ibrahim and Greek Orthodox Paul Yazigi, kidnapped on April 22, 2013, renewing an appeal for their release: "Aleppo awaits the return of its kidnapped Bishops and priests, awaits the end of war, hopes and trusts in the Lord", he said.

Recalling the immense suffering of children, women, and refugees waiting for peace, Archbishop Marayati concluded: "Their cry is 'never war again' because war is always a useless massacre".

The two metropolitan Bishops of Aleppo were kidnapped in the area between the Syrian metropolis and the border with Turkey. The car on which the two Bishops were traveling was blocked by the group of kidnappers and the driver was killed cold-bloodedly. Since then, no group has claimed the kidnapping. After more than four years since their kidnapping, there is no reliable news on the fate of the two and very often the news given is unfounded.

In recent months, in a joint message, two Patriarchs of Antioch, Greek Orthodox Yohanna X and Siro Orthodox Mar Ignatios Aphrem II, have appealed to the international community to remember the two abducted metropolitans and take appropriate efforts to obtain their release. (PA) (Agenzia Fides, 13/9/2017)


Teachings of Christ

“My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father's hand. I and the Father are one.” (John 10:27-30 ESV)

Pentecost

Blessed are You, O Christ our God, * Who has shown the fishermen to be all wise, * by sending down to them the Holy Spirit, * and through them You have caught the whole world in Your net. * O Lover of Mankind, glory to You. (Troparion - Tone 8)

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and to the ages of ages. Amen.

When the Most High descended, confusing tongues, * He divided the nations; * but when He distributed the tongues of fire, * He called all to unity; * and, with one voice, * we glorify the Most Holy Spirit. (Kontakion - Tone 8)

Random Proverb

Honor the Lord with your wealth and with the firstfruits of all your produce; then your barns will be filled with plenty, and your vats will be bursting with wine. (Proverbs 3:9,10 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