CWN - Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Vatican Secretary of State, has said that he hopes to lay the foundation for a papal visit to Russia when he visits Moscow later this month.

Cardinal Parolin told the Italian daily Corriere della Sera that “a possible visit to Russia by the Holy Father” will be one of the key items on the agenda for his discussions with Russian officials. The cardinal is due to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin and with Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill during his trip, which will take place August 20 to 24.

Pope John Paul II had long sought to arrange a visit to Russia, but his hopes were dashed by opposition from the Moscow patriarchate. Relations between Rome and Moscow have thawed under Pope Francis, and the two arranged an unprecedented personal meeting in Cuba in February 2016.

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Teachings of Christ

“I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. (John 14:6 ESV)

Christ is Born!

Your Nativity, O Christ our God, * has dawned upon the world the light of knowledge. * for through it, those who served the stars * were taught by a star to worship You, the Sun of Righteousness * and to know You, the Dawn from on high. * Glory to You, O Lord! (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.

Today the Virgin gives birth to the Transcendent One, * and the earth offers a cave to the Unapproachable One. * Angels and shepherds sing His glory; * Wise Men journey with a star * for there is born for us an infant Child, the God Who is before all ages. (Kontakion, Tone 3)

Random Proverb

"The wage of the righteous leads to life, the gain of the wicked to sin." (Proverbs 10:10 ESV)

Pray Without Ceasing

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

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

In two things then was Abraham victorious: that he killed his son although he did not kill him and that he believed that after Isaac died he would be raised up again and would go back down with him. For Abraham was firmly convinced that He Who said to him, 'through Isaac shall your descendants be named,' was not lying.

St. Ephrem the Syrian, Commentary on Genesis