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

 


Christ is Risen!

Christ is risen from the dead, trampling down death by death, and to those in the tombs bestowing life! (Troparion)

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever and to the ages of ages. Amen.

Although You descended into the tomb, O Immortal One, * You destroyed the power of Hades; * You arose as the victor, O Christ God, * proclaiming to the myrrh-bearing women: “Rejoice!” * And granting peace to Your Apostles, * O, You, Who gives resurrection to the fallen. (Kontakion)

Teachings of Christ

“I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?” (John 11:25-26 ESV)

Entry into Jerusalem

As we were buried with You through Baptism, O Christ our God, * we were made worthy of immortal life by Your Resurrection, * and we praise You in song, crying out: * “Hosanna in the highest! * Blessed is He Who comes in the Name of the 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.

As you were carried upon a throne in heaven and upon a colt on earth, * O Christ God, you accepted the praise of angels and the songs of children who cry out to You: * “Blessed are You Who has come to to call back Adam!” (Kontakion, Tone 6)

Random Proverb

"Take my instruction instead of silver, and knowledge rather than choice gold, for wisdom is better than jewels, and all that you may desire cannot compare with her." (Proverbs 8:10,11 ESV)

Pray Without Ceasing

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

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

When you are praying, watch over yourself so that not only your outward man prays, but your inward one also. Though you be sinful beyond measure, still pray. Do not heed the devil's provocation, craftiness, and despair, but overcome and conquer his wiles. Remember the abyss of the Saviour's mercy and love to mankind. The devil will represent the Lord's fact to you as terrible and unmerciful, rejecting your prayer and repentance; but remember the Saviour's own words, full of every hope and boldness for us: `Him that cometh to Me, I will in no wise cast out'; and `Come unto Me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden' - with sins and iniquities, and wiles and calumnies of the devil - and I will give you rest.'

St. John of Kronstadt, My Life in Christ