Rome - (CWN) - Pope Benedict XVI met on June 28 with a delegation of Orthodox prelates, who were in Rome to join him in celebrating the feast of Sts. Peter and Paul.

Each year the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople sends a delegation to join in the Vatican’s celebration of its patronal feast. In turn the Holy See sends a delegation to participate in ceremonies in Constantinople on the feast of St. Andrew, the patron of that see. This year’s Orthodox delegation was led by Metropolitan Emmanuel Adamakis, the leader of the Greek Orthodox Church in France.

In his remarks to the visiting prelates, Pope Benedict observed that the Church is marking the 50th anniversary of Vatican II, an event that sparked a new era of ecumenism. He saluted the Orthodox leader of that era, Patriarch Athenagoras, who joined with Popes John XXIII and Paul VI to be “proponents of bold initiatives which paved the way for a renewed relationship between the Ecumenical patriarchate and the Catholic Church.”

The Pope went on to say: “It is a cause of special joy to me to note that His Holiness Bartholomew I is following with fresh fidelity and fruitful creativity the way marked out by his predecessors, Patriarch Athenagoras and Patriarch Dimitrios,” in his dedication to ecumenical progress. The Holy Father said he prayed the continuation of that work will enable Catholics and Orthodox “to arrive soon at the blessed day when we will be able to share in the Eucharistic banquet.”


Teachings of Christ

“Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account." (Matthew 5:11 ESV)

Exaltation of the Cross

Save Your people, O Lord, and bless Your inheritance; * grant victory to Your Church over her enemies * and protect Your commonwealth by Your Cross. (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.

Willingly lifted up on the Cross, O Christ God, * bestow Your compassions upon the new commonwealth that bears Your name. * By your power grant joy to Your Church, * granting her victory over her enemies. * May she have your Cross as the weapon of peace * and the invincible ensign of victory. (Kontakion - Tone 4)

The Church celebrates the Feast of the Exaltation of the Cross on September 14th.

Random Proverb

"Take my instruction instead of silver, and knowledge rather than choice gold, for wisdom is better than jewels, and all that you may desire cannot compare with her." (Proverbs 8:10,11 ESV)

Pray Without Ceasing

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

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

Repentance is the renewal of baptism. Repentance is a contract with God for a second life. A penitent is a buyer of humility. Repentance is constant distrust of bodily comfort. Repentance is self-condemning reflection, and carefree self-care. Repentance is the daughter of hope and the renunciation of despair. A penitent is an undisgraced convict. Repentance is reconciliation with the Lord by the practice of good deeds contrary to the sins. Repentance is purification of conscience. Repentance is the voluntary endurance of all afflictions. A penitent is the inflicter of his own punishments. Repentance is a mighty persecution of the stomach, and a striking of the soul into vigorous awareness.

St. John of the Ladder