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

'Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day." (John 6:53-54 ESV)

Encounter

Rejoice, O Mother of God, Virgin full of grace. * From you has risen the Sun of Righteousness, Christ our God, * shining upon those who are in darkness. * Rejoice also, you righteous Elder; * for you received in your arms the Deliverer of our souls, * Who has given us resurrection. (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.

O Christ God, through Your birth You sanctified the Virgin's womb; * and blessed, as it was proper, the hands of Simeon. * Now, having come, you saved us. * Give peace to Your commonwealth in times of war * and strengthen our civil authorities, whom You have loved, O You who alone loves mankind. (Kontakion, Tone 1)

(The Feast of the Encounter is February 2nd - the 40th Day of Christmas)

Random Proverb

"Do not say to your neighbor, “Go, and come again, tomorrow I will give it”—when you have it with you." (Proverbs 3:28 ESV)

Pray Without Ceasing

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

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

The work of prayer belongs to the angels, and is, therefore, the special concern of the Church. Every other work, i.e., charity, nursing the brethren, visiting the sick, caring for prisoners, releasing captives, and other similar things, is done by the brethren in love and offered by them to God. Similarly, poverty, fasting, sleeping on the ground, prostrations, vigils, etc., are good and like a sacrifice to God, because they aim to subdue and humble the body so that we may be purified and approach God and become friends of God -- yet these things do not present us directly to God, whereas prayer does so and unites us with Him. A person praying acts towards God like a friend -- conversing, confiding, requesting -- and through this becomes one with our Maker Himself.

St. Symeon of Thessalonica