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)

Lenten Prayer of St. Ephrem

O Lord and Master of my life, drive away from me the spirit of despondency, carelessness, love of power, and idle chatter. (Prostration)

Rather grant to me, Your servant, the spirit of wholeness of being, humility, patience, and love. (Prostration)

Yes, O Lord and King, grant that I may see my own faults and not condemn my brother; for You are blessed to the ages of ages. Amen. (Prostration)


Today is the fountainhead of our salvation, * and the revelation of an eternal mystery: * The Son of God becomes the Son of a Virgin, * and Gabriel announces the good news of grace. * Therefore, let us also cry with him to the Mother of God: * "Rejoice, O Full of Grace, the Lord is with you!” (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.

To you, O Mother of God, our leader and defender, * we, your servants, delivered from calamity, offer hymns of victory and thanksgiving. * So you, who have invincible might, * set us free from every peril * that we may cry to you: * "Rejoice, O unwedded Bride!" (Kontakion, Tone 8)

Random Proverb

"My son, do not forget my teaching, but let your heart keep my commandments, for length of days and years of life and peace they will add to you." (Proverbs 3:1,2 ESV)

Pray Without Ceasing

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

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

Our distresses are notorious, even though we leave them untold, for now their sound has gone out into all the world. The doctrines of the Fathers are despised; apostolic traditions are set at nought; the devices of innovators are in vogue in the Churches; now men are rather contrivers of cunning systems than theologians; the wisdom of this world wins the highest prizes and has rejected the glory of the cross. Shepherds are banished, and in their places are introduced grievous wolves hurrying the flock of Christ. Houses of prayer have none to assemble in them; desert places are full of lamenting crowds. The elders lament when they compare the present with the past. The younger are yet more to be compassionated, for they do not know of what they have been deprived. All this is enough to stir the pity of men who have learnt the love of Christ; but, compared with the actual state of things, words fall very far short....

Saint Basil the Great
(Letter 90)