CWN - Pope Francis visited the Pontifical Oriental Institute on October 12, for a celebration of the 100th anniversary of its founding.

The Pope met with students, faculty, and staff of the Oriental Institute, then proceeded to the basilica of St. Mary Major (which is just across a piazza from the Institute), where he presided at a Mass of thanksiving. In his homily the Holy Father recalled that the Institute was established by Pope Benedict XV at a time when World War I was shaking Europe. He praised the achievements of the Institute in encouraging greater understanding of the traditions of Eastern Christianity.

In a message to Cardinal Leonardo Sandri—who is the chancellor of the Oriental Institute as well as the prefect of the Congregation for Eastern Churches—the Pope urged all teachers to “remain open to the Oriental churches, considered not only in terms of their ancient configuration, but also in their current diffusion and at times troubled geographical spread.” He said that the Oriental Institute still has “an ecumencial mission to pursue,” seeking full communion with all of the Eastern churches.

“On the other hand,” the Pope continued, “the task of the Institute is also to make know the treasures of the rich traditions of the Oriental churches to the Western world.” He continued:

With the collapse of the totalitarian regimes and of various dictatorships, which in some countries has unfortunately created conditions favourable to the spread of international terrorism, the Christians of the Oriental churches are experiencing the tragedy of persecutions and an increasingly worrying diaspora. We cannot close our eyes to these situations.

The Pope said that Catholic bishops of the Latin-rite dioceses around the world should be aware of the pastoral needs of “the geographically dislocated oriental faithful without their own hierarchy.”

Further information:

Teachings of Christ

“Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I have not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance.” (Luke 5:31-32 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)

Random Proverb

"My son, be attentive to my wisdom; incline your ear to my understanding, that you may keep discretion, and your lips may guard knowledge." (Proverbs 5:1,2 ESV)

Pray Without Ceasing

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

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

I pray Thee, compassionate Lord, do not allow me to be condemned because of the unworthy and ungrateful manner in which I contemplate the great mysteries that Thou hast revealed to Thy saints and through them to me, a sinner and Thy unworthy servant. For see, Lord, Thy servant stands before Thee, idle in everything, speechless, as one who is dead; and I do not dare to say anything more or to presumptuously contemplate further. But as always I fall down before Thee, crying from the depths of my soul. . . .

St. Peter of Damascus