Amid heavy security, Patriarch Louis Raphaël I Sako was solemnly enthroned in Baghdad as head of the Chaldean Catholic Church on March 6, five weeks after his election by a synod of Chaldean prelates meeting in Rome.

The new Patriarch of Babylon of the Chaldeans, who leads an Eastern Catholic church with 419,000 members, told La Croix that his priorities are the reorganization of the patriarchal curia, the appointment of bishops to vacant sees, and the updating of liturgical books.

“Liturgical reform has never occurred in our church,” he said. “We celebrate the Mass according to an ancient missal, and each diocese has its own missal. We need to update our liturgy so that it speaks to man today, so that it gives meaning and much hope.”

Born in 1948, the patriarch was ordained a priest of the Eparchy of Mosul in 1974 and Archbishop of Kirkuk in 2003.

The church, which is in full communion with the Holy See, has eparchies (dioceses) in Iraq, Iran, Egypt, Lebanon, Syria, Turkey, Australia, Canada, and the United States.


Teachings of Christ

'Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day." (John 6:53-54 ESV)

Encounter

Rejoice, O Mother of God, Virgin full of grace. * From you has risen the Sun of Righteousness, Christ our God, * shining upon those who are in darkness. * Rejoice also, you righteous Elder; * for you received in your arms the Deliverer of our souls, * Who has given us resurrection. (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.

O Christ God, through Your birth You sanctified the Virgin's womb; * and blessed, as it was proper, the hands of Simeon. * Now, having come, you saved us. * Give peace to Your commonwealth in times of war * and strengthen our civil authorities, whom You have loved, O You who alone loves mankind. (Kontakion, Tone 1)

(The Feast of the Encounter is February 2nd - the 40th Day of Christmas)

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

As long as the flesh is in full health, let us observe abstinence at all times and in every place. When it has been tamed (which I do not suppose is possible this side of the grave), then let us hide our accomplishment.

St. John Climacus, "The Ladder of Divine Ascent,
STEP 14: On That Clamorous Mistress, the Stomach