Damascus 09/09/13
    
Peace for Maalula

That the residents of Maalula be able to return to their town before September 14, Feast of the Elevation of the Cross, is a demand Christians make of their Muslim brothers: I appeal to world opinion and all parties.

It will be a symbol that Syria is capable of love, reconciliation, dialogue and walking together and building together.

It will renew my faith in Syria’s spiritual heritage to the world: if every effort is made in solidarity in order to return the people to Maalula before the Feast of the Elevation of the Cross. And I'll be leading them in prayers and devotional hymns as they return home. First we’ll visit the churches, and then go to our homes.

I will be fasting all this week for this intention.

I hope to join many in a day of fasting and prayer in churches and homes. Indeed, I call on everyone to work for the return of all categories of people to Maalula, people of every shade of opinion whatsoever.

If we are all working for the people of Maalula to return, it means that we are all, despite blood, victims and tragedies, able to love and encourage hope in people's hearts and foster reconciliation, forgiveness and dialogue among all citizens. We will set a wonderful example for the whole world....

That would be a victory for the sacred values of faith, for Christians and Muslims.

Long live love!

Long live faith!

Long live hope!

Long live Maalula!

Long live love in Syria!

+ Gregorios III

Patriarch of Antioch and All the East,
of Alexandria and of Jerusalem


Teachings of Christ

“Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I have not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance.” (Luke 5:31-32 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

"When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with the humble is wisdom." (Proverbs 11:2 ESV)

Pray Without Ceasing

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

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

Even if we have thousands of acts of great virtue to our credit, our confidence in being heard must be based on God's mercy and His love for men. Even if we stand at the very summit of virtue, it is by mercy that we shall be saved. 

St. John Chrysostom