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

 


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

When You were baptized 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 certainty 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 praise You in song: * "You have come, and You have appeared, O Unapproachable Light." (Kontakion, Tone 4)

Theophany is a Greek word meaning "manifestation or appearence of God".

Random Proverb

Honor the Lord with your wealth and with the firstfruits of all your produce; then your barns will be filled with plenty, and your vats will be bursting with wine. (Proverbs 3:9,10 ESV)

Pray Without Ceasing

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

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

The demons are sleepless and immaterial, death is at hand, and I am weak. Lord, help me; do not let Your creature perish, for You care for me in my misery.

St. Peter of Damascus