Damascus (Agenzia Fides) - A mortar shell hit the Bab Tuma area on Monday, January 8, in the old city of Damascus where several churches are concentrated, causing massive damage to the Latin Catholic parish of the Conversion of Saint Paul, entrusted to the pastoral care of the Franciscan friars. The side and the roof of the church were damaged, the windows were broken and the systems used to heat the parish were also damaged. The mortar shells also caused damage to the adjacent Maronite cathedral, built in 1865.
The Archeparchy of Damascus of the Maronites, led by Archbishop Samir Nassar, counted over 20,000 baptized in 2013.

The mortar shells launched against the Old City of Damascus represent yet another confirmation that the conflict in Syria is still ongoing and continues to affect even peripheral areas of the capital. In recent days, local sources contacted by Fides confirmed the news of air raids carried out in the eastern suburbs of Damascus, on areas still in the hands of anti-Assad groups. While Syrian official sources report that in the early hours of today, Tuesday, January 9, Israel implemented an attack on Syrian territory with the use of aircraft and missiles, aimed at hitting a Syrian military base near Katifa, eastern suburb of Damascus. (GV) (Agenzia Fides, 9/1/2017)


Teachings of Christ

“If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel's will save it. For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul? For what can a man give in return for his soul?" (Mark 8:34-37 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

"Hear, O sons, a father's instruction, and be attentive, that you may gain insight, for I give you good precepts; do not forsake my teaching." (Proverbs 4:1,2 ESV)

Pray Without Ceasing

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

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

He who suffers wrong and does not demand any reparation from the man who wronged him, trusts in Christ to make good the loss; and he is rewarded a hundredfold in this world and inherits eternal life (cf. Mk 10:30).

Saint Kosmas Aitolos +1779