On 6 March, 2011, Cardinal Leonardo Sandri, Prefect of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches, together with the Congregation’s Undersecretary, Mgr. Maurizio Malvestiti, and in company with the Apostolic Nuncio to Lebanon, Bishop Gabriele Caccia and his Adjutor, visited Patriarch Gregorios III of the Melkite Greek Catholic Church at the patriarchal summer residence of Ain Traz. Cardinal Sandri and the other visiting clergy admired the restored residence, which, among its other functions, is very well adapted for meetings of the Melkite Synod of Bishops. Later this year, the Ain Traz residence will be celebrating the two hundredth anniversary of its foundation.

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)