Rabweh 10/09/2013
His Holiness Pope Francis
Vatican City

Most Holy Father

We wish to thank Your Holiness for your call to fasting and prayer for peace in Syria, the Middle East and throughout the world. This day united in prayer people of good will of all faiths everywhere in the world.

Very many faithful responded to this appeal for prayer and gathered in our Cathedral of the Dormition in Damascus, in the presence of the Apostolic Nuncio, Archbishop Mario Zenari, Catholic hierarchs and clergy of other Churches.

Your Holiness’ call for peace has allowed the world to discover and hear the peaceable voice of the Gospel. To those who need it, those who do not recognize it and those who refuse to believe it, this appeal showed another way to resolve the Syrian crisis than that of weapons and military intervention.

Most Holy Father

Deeply touched by this initiative, as Patriarch of Antioch and All the East, of Alexandria and Jerusalem, President of the Assembly of Catholic Hierarchs in Syria (ACHS) and a member of the Assembly of Catholic Patriarchs and Bishops in Lebanon (ACPBL) and Egypt, we ask Your Holiness to continue to accompany us along the way of peace by writing to the Congress of the United States, as you did for the G20 summit, to enumerate all the consequences of this proposed intervention in Syria, which will entail the tragic decline of the Christian presence in the Middle East. The example of the tragic consequences of intervention in Iraq is still with us in the form of thousands of Christian refugees in Syria who have no other refuge left.

 Most Holy Father

We have great hope that such a message will succeed in convincing the undecided, give pause for thought to those in favour of war and a military solution and awaken the world’s conscience. Peace is the only condition that will allow the Eastern Churches to continue the way of the Synod for the Middle East and be Communion and Witness.
 
Please accept, Your Holiness, the assurance of my respectful, religious devotion

+ Gregorios III, Patriarch

MELKITE GREEK CATHOLIC
PATRIARCHATE
OF ANTIOCH AND ALL THE EAST
OF ALEXANDRIA AND OF JERUSALEM


Teachings of Christ

“My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father's hand. I and the Father are one.” (John 10:27-30 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 increase your bonds? Take hold of your life before your light grows dark and you seek help and do not find it. This life has been given to you for repentance; do not waste it in vain pursuits. 

St. Isaac the Syrian