Salihiya, Lebanon | February 6, 2023

Lord, have mercy on your people and save us from the horrors of earthquake!

With sorrowful hearts, tearful eyes, and supplicatory hands, we accompany the horrific news of the earthquake that struck our region, especially Syria, as well as the north and south of Turkey and Iskenderun, home of the city of Antioch, the Great City of God.

We are consoled by the co-operation, solidarity, love, assistance, fraternity, patriotism, humanity, and fellowship manifesting themselves at their finest on the streets of Aleppo, Lattakia, Hama, Tartous, Idlib, Damascus and Beirut.

These are our religious and national values. This is our heritage and history. This is the path we taking for the sake of our future generations.

We are proud of our people and our country, our president, ministers, deputies, governors, army, hospitals, doctors, nurses, the Red Cross, the Red Crescent, civil defence, humanitarian institutions and the citizens of all affected areas.

So we feel both compassion for the victims and the missing and gratitude for all citizens standing together. We mourn the departed and console the bereaved and those who are still to learn the fate of their loved ones.
From our sanctuary, we pray for all regions and citizens. May the mercy of God, who loves mankind and watches over his people, embrace us. May he hear and answer our prayers.

We appeal to the United Nations, the United States of America and the countries of the European Union to lift the sanctions on the Syrian people afflicted by war and natural disasters.

We are grateful to all those countries and international organizations that have shown solidarity with our people, and promised to help all those afflicted by this devastating earthquake.

Let us all work together as brothers and sisters in this suffering world, so that we may be as the Lord Jesus Christ called us to be, and so that life may be better, more beautiful and peaceful, for all of us.

This cataclysm of earthquake, devastation and tragedies invites us to this global solidarity. Let us build together the civilization of God, the Saviour of mankind - a civilization of love, a civilization of peace, a civilization for a better future for us all.

Gregorios III (Laham)
Patriarch Emeritus

- Prayer -

Let us pray and implore God's mercy, according to the teachings of the Church:

Have mercy on us, O Lord, have mercy on us! For, at a loss for any answer, we sinners offer unto Thee, as to our Master, this supplication: Have mercy on us!

O Lord, have mercy on us, for in Thee have we placed our hope. Be Thou not exceeding wroth with us, neither be Thou mindful of our iniquities; but look down now, in that Thou art compassionate, and deliver us from our enemies. For Thou art our God, and we are Thy people. We are all the works of Thy hands, and we call upon Thy name.

Open unto us the portals of thy lovingkindness, O blessed Mother of God, that we who place our trust in thee may not perish, but may be delivered by thee from misfortunes. For thou art the salvation of Christians.