Damascus - On Sunday 7th. June, in the evening, His Beatitude Patriarch Gregorios III, together with four bishops, celebrated the Divine Liturgy at Mismiyeh, where Saint Paul is traditionally thought to have stayed during his three years spent in the Hauran wilderness, meditating on his experience of Christ and working as a tent-maker. Some four thousand people, including troops of scouts, attended the Liturgy.

In the evening of Monday 8th. June, His Beatitude led a pilgrimage, accompanied by prayers and hymns, from the Melkite Greek Catholic Church of Saint Joseph, Damascus, to the sanctuary of Memorial Saint Paul, not far from Bab Sharqi, where he presided at a service initiated by the Melkite Greek Catholic Patriarchate. The Memorial, which is in the care of the Franciscans, was founded by the late Pope Paul VI after his pilgrimage to the Holy Land and his fraternal meeting with the late Patriarch Athenagoras in 1964. The grotto in the garden of the Memorial is traditionally venerated as the place where Saint Paul rested after escaping in a basket down from the walls of the city.

 

V.C.


Joachim and Anna Rejoice

Today the bonds of childlessness are loosed, * for God has heard Joachim and Anna * and He promises manifestly that they, against all hope, would give birth to the Maiden of God * from whom the Uncircumscribed One Himself would be born, becoming man, * and he commanded the Angels to cry out to her: * “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.

Today the whole world celebrates * the conception of Anne which was brought about by God, * for she gave birth to the one who, beyond understanding, * gave birth to the Word. (Kontakion - Tone 4)

Saint Nicholas of Myra

The truth of your deeds has revealed you to your flock, * as a rule of faith, an image of meekness, and a teacher of abstinence. * Therefore, you attained the heights through humility, * and riches through poverty. * O Father and Hierarch Nicholas, * pray to Christ God that our souls may be saved. (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.

In Myra, You were shown to be a servant of the sacred things, O Holy Nicholas, * for, fulfilling the Gospel of Christ, you, O Venerable, laid down your life for your people, * and saved the innocent from death. * Therefore, you were sanctified as a great initiate of the grace of God. (Kontakion, Tone 3)