Baghdad - The patriarch of the Chaldean Catholic Church has issued a call for “prayer and pardon” following the murder of Christian students in Mosul.

“Today our eyes are filled with tears. We are stunned by this attack on innocent young Christian students: two explosions in an act of brutal violence, of which the effect, only thanks to God, was not worse,” said Cardinal Emmanuel Delly in a statement. He continued:

"We are close to the victim's families, we express sincere condolences to those who lost loved ones. We pray for the eternal repose of the souls of the dead, for the recovery of all the injured, some in serious conditions, and for the consolation of the parents. Our reaction today is one of prayer and pardon. We are all brothers and sisters, we are all children of God, and the Iraqi people are called to accept this truth and embrace it.

We pray the Lord will illuminate the minds and hearts of our rulers and also of those who bloody their hands with these and similar acts of violence, that they may convert and take the path of peace and reconciliation. Our Christian response to the violence we suffer day after day is and will always be this: certainty that the Lord is with us and that He makes Himself visible in the love and help shown to us by the Christians of the world."

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Teachings of Christ

“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another." (John 13:34-35 ESV)

Theophany

At Your baptism in the Jordan, O Lord, * worship of the Trinity was revealed, * for the Father's voice bore witness to You, calling You His “beloved Son”, * and the Spirit in the form of a dove confirmed the truth of these words. * O Christ God, * Who appeared and enlightened the world, glory to You! (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.

You have appeared to the whole world today, * and Your light, O Lord, is signed upon us, * who with knowledge sing praise to You: * “You have come, and You have appeared , O Unapproachable Light." (Kontakion, Tone 4)

Christ is Born!

Your Nativity, O Christ our God, * has dawned upon the world the light of knowledge. * for through it, those who served the stars * were taught by a star to worship You, the Sun of Righteousness * and to know You, the Dawn from on high. * Glory to You, O Lord! (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 Virgin gives birth to the Transcendent One, * and the earth offers a cave to the Unapproachable One. * Angels and shepherds sing His glory; * Wise Men journey with a star * for there is born for us an infant Child, the God Who is before all ages. (Kontakion, Tone 3)

Random Proverb

"My son, do not lose sight of these — keep sound wisdom and discretion, and they will be life for your soul." (Proverbs 3:21,22a ESV)

Pray Without Ceasing

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

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

Why do you trouble yourself in a house that is not your own? Let the sight of a dead man be a teacher for you concerning your departure from hence.

St. Isaac the Syrian