Melkite Greek Catholic Patriarchate
of Antioch and All the East
of Alexandria and of Jerusalem

Prot.      /2010D

Damascus, 12 April 2010

His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI

Vatican City

 

Most Holy Father,

On 16 April, the eve of your Apostolic Visit to Malta in the steps of Saint Paul, Your Holiness celebrates another birthday, your eighty-third.

On this occasion, I am happy to send you, Most Holy Father, in the name of my brother Hierarchs, members of the Holy Synod of the Melkite Greek Catholic Church and in my own name, our warmest wishes for the Holy Spirit to continue to help you during your onerous Petrine ministry.

At the moment when, once more, an insidious media campaign is being orchestrated, I want to assure Your Holiness of our full communion and total solidarity in prayer for you, which is an integral part of the daily Divine Liturgy.

As in the Acts of the Apostles (12: 5), so today, the whole Church is praying without ceasing to God for Peter.

Whilst awaiting our forthcoming meeting in Malta, I beg Your Holiness to bless us, your beloved in Christ.

Most devotedly and most respectfully and faithfully,

 

+ Gregorios III, Patriarch


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SECTION FOR GENERAL AFFAIRS

From the Vatican, 22 April 2010

N. 146.100

 

Beatitude,

With all the Bishops of the Holy Synod of the Melkite Greek Catholic Church, you have addressed to His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI, a message of good wishes and support on the occasion of his birthday. He thanks you most warmly for that.

As the Church is going through a painful time, the unity of pastors and faithful around the Successor of Peter acquires a special significance. In this year dedicated to priesthood, the Holy Father wishes to demonstrate his trust with respect to your priests, and he encourages you to remain close to them in order to help them move forward along the paths of priestly holiness and to find the means  for leading a really balanced life. At the prayers of the Virgin Mary, may the risen Christ grant bishops and priests to live in truth the commitments undertaken on the day of their ordination.

With all his heart, the Holy Father sends an affectionate apostolic Blessing to you and to the Bishops, priests and all the faithful of the Melkite Greek Catholic Church.

Associating myself with His Holiness' regards, I assure your Beatitude of my cordial and devoted regards in the Lord,

 

Tarcisio Card. Bertone

Secretary of State to His Holiness

__________________________________________

His Beatitude Gregorios III LAHAM

Patriarch of Antioch of the Melkite Greeks

DAMASCUS

 


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)

Exaltation of the Cross

Save Your people, O Lord, and bless Your inheritance; * grant victory to Your Church over her enemies * and protect Your commonwealth by Your Cross. (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.

Willingly lifted up on the Cross, O Christ God, * bestow Your compassions upon the new commonwealth that bears Your name. * By your power grant joy to Your Church, * granting her victory over her enemies. * May she have your Cross as the weapon of peace * and the invincible ensign of victory. (Kontakion - Tone 4)

The Church celebrates the Feast of the Exaltation of the Cross on September 14th.

Nativity of the Mother of God

Your nativity, O Virgin Mother of God, * heralded joy to all the world; * for from you has dawned the Sun of Righteousness, Christ our God, * and, having annulled the curse, He gave the blessing * and by destroying Death He granted us eternal life. (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.

Through your holy nativity, O Immaculate One, * Joachim and Anna were freed from the reproach of childlessness, * and Adam and Eve from the corruption of death. * Delivered from the guilt of sin, your people celebrate this as they cry out to you: * "The barren woman gives birth to the Mother of God, the Nourisher of our Life." (Kontakion - Tone 4)

The Church celebrates the Feast of the Nativity of the Mother of God on September 8th.

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

God is nearer to us than any man at every time. He is nearer to me than my raiment, nearer than the air or light, nearer than my wife, father, mother, daughter, son or friend. I live in Him, soul and body. I breathe in Him, think in Him, feel, consider, intend, speak, undertake, work in Him. `For in Him we live, and move, and have our being' (Acts 17:28).

St. John of Kronstadt, My Life in Christ