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

“So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.” (Matthew 7:12 ESV)

Entrance of the Mother of God into the Temple

Today is the prelude of the goodwill of God * and the heralding of the salvation of mankind; * the Virgin appears clearly in the temple of God * and foretells Christ to all. * Let us also with a mighty voice cry out to her: * “Rejoice, O Fulfillment of the Creator’s divine plan.” (Troparion - Tone 4)

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and to the ages of ages. Amen.

The most pure Temple of the Savior, * the most precious Bridal-Chamber and Virgin, the sacred Treasury of the glory of God, * is brought today into the house of the Lord, * bringing with her the grace that is in the Divine Spirit. * The angels of God praise her in song: * “She is the heavenly tabernacle.” (Kontakion - Tone 4)

(November 21st)

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

But if a person is constantly mindful of God, he will rejoice: as the psalmist says, "I remembered God, and I rejoiced" (Psalms 77:3). For when the intellect is gladdened by the remembrance of God, then it forgets the afflictions of this world, places its hope in Him, and is no longer troubled or anxious.

St. Peter of Damaskos, "JOY" (from "The 24 Discourses), "The Philokalia vol. III," - pp. 260 - 263.