CWN - Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill believes that the most important outcome of his historic meeting with Pope Francis was a new public recognition of the persecution of Christians.

In an interview with La Stampa more than a year after the meeting, the Russian Patriarch sidestepped most questions about ecumenical relations between Moscow and Rome. Instead he focused on the question of religous freedom and persecution. He said:

The main subject of the discussion was in fact the “monstrous” condition of Christians in the Middle East and North Africa, a much wider topic than the bilateral agenda. I

Until our meeting with Pope Francis, this topic was almost invisible on international media, and we also saw a great deal of indifference from many international organizations. Afterwards, the situation has changed substantially.

Patriarch Kirill went on to say, in the interview with La Stampa, that Christians should work together, especially in Europe, to reverse dangerous trends: “the destruction of the family, the ideology of trans-humanism and so many others.”

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Teachings of Christ

“Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” (John 4:13-14 ESV)

Lenten Prayer of St. Ephrem

O Lord and Master of my life, drive away from me the spirit of despondency, carelessness, love of power, and idle chatter. (Prostration)

Rather grant to me, Your servant, the spirit of wholeness of being, humility, patience, and love. (Prostration)

Yes, O Lord and King, grant that I may see my own faults and not condemn my brother; for You are blessed to the ages of ages. Amen. (Prostration)

Random Proverb

"One gives freely, yet grows all the richer; another withholds what he should give, and only suffers want." (Proverbs 11:24 ESV)

Pray Without Ceasing

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

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

When despondency seizes us, let us not give in to it. Rather, fortified and protected by the light of faith, let us with great courage say to the spirit of evil: "What are you to us, you who are cut off from God, a fugitive for Heaven, and a slave of evil? You dare not do anything to us: Christ, the Son of God, has dominion over us and over all. Leave us, you thing of bane. We are made steadfast by the uprightness of His Cross. Serpent, we trample on your head." 

St. Seraphim of Sarov