Mardin (Agenzia Fides) - A decree has ordered the full restitution of ecclesiastical assets scattered in the Mardin region to the Syriac Orthodox Church and that in 2017 had been placed under the control of Turkish public institutions.

The attorney of the Foundation of the Monastery of Mor Gabriel, announced that the matter was the subject of a decree. 30 ecclesiastical assets will be returned to the foundations and to the organisms linked to the Syriac-Orthodox Church which previously belonged to them. Among the assets that will definitively be returned to the control of the Syriac Orthodox Church there are the three monasteries of Mor Melki, Mor Yakup and Mor Dimet.

The shadow of a possible expropriation of the Syriac Orthodox church assets by the Turkish apparatuses had appeared in the 2016/2017 biennium, when those assets were placed under the direct control of the Undersecretariat for the Treasury, and seemed they were soon to be entrusted to the management of the Presidency of Religious Affairs (Diyanet, a body linked directly to the Prime Minister). The operation was carried out at the end of the process with which Mardin had been transformed into a metropolitan municipality, and the consequent administrative reorganization of the territory had transformed the surrounding villages into as many neighborhoods in the metropolitan area. Faced with these developments, the Mor Gabriel Foundation, which runs the most important Syriac Orthodox monastery on Turkish land (see photo), in June 2017 had presented a petition to the civil court of Mardin to ask to stop the process of expropriation of Syriac-Orthodox churches, monasteries and cemeteries and their transfer under the direct control of Turkish governmental bodies. Turkey had denied any intention to expropriate 50 Christian churches and monasteries scattered around Mardin. The office of the governor of Mardin had declared to the Turkish media that the ownership and administrative management of the churches and monasteries in question still had to be legally defined, and in the meantime the ecclesiastical property will still be registered at the Treasury and will not end up under the control of Diyanet. (GV) (Agenzia Fides, 13/2/2018)

Teachings of Christ

“Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” (John 4:13-14 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

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

Do all in your power not to fall, for the strong athlete should not fall. But if you do fall, get up again at once and continue the contest. Even if you fall a thousand times because of the withdrawal of God's grace, rise up again each time, and keep on doing this until the day of your death. For it is written, 'If a righteous man falls down seven times' - that is, repeatedly throughout his life - 'seven times shall he rise again' [Prov. 24:16].

John of Karpathos