Damascus (Agenzia Fides) - Christians in Syria are "no guests or migratory birds". They "are part of the origin of the nation, and without them there is no pluralistic Syria". This is what Syrian President Bashar Assad said on Sunday, September 17, to a large delegation of participants in a room of the Damascus Hall at the annual youth gathering organized by the Syriac Orthodox Church. Responding to the questions posed by some of the young people present, the Syrian leader highlighted the failed attempts of the "extremists" of striking Syrian Christians in order to expel them from the Country, arguing that this operation was part of a larger design aimed at "dividing the region in sectarian States to justify the existence of the Jewish State".

During the meeting with young Christians, President Assad was accompanied by Syriac Orthodox Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem II. Three Bishops and numerous monks and priests of the Syriac Orthodox Church also took part in the gathering.

Recently Assad has repeatedly shown his closeness to senior Syriac Orthodox Church leaders. At the beginning of September, as reported by Agenzia Fides (see Fides 8/9/2017), the Syrian President also carried out a visit to the temporary seat of the Syriac Orthodox monastery of the Holy Cross, under construction, in the town of Saydnaya, accompanied by his wife Asma and other family members. On that occasion, Assad and his wife, accompanied by Patriarch Ignatius Aphrem, also met the children housed in the "Small Angel House", an orphanage supported by the Syriac Orthodox Church, and had lunch with them and with the monks and the nuns of the monastery. (GV) (Agenzia Fides, 18/9/2017)


Teachings of Christ

“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’" (Matthew 7:21-23 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

For the Lord gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding. (Proverbs 2:6 ESV)

Pray Without Ceasing

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

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

What purposelessness, oh the deceit of life; truly in vain does each man vex himself, and truly blessed and thrice-blessed are those who have left everything for the Lord, that they may attain the good things announced in the Gospels. For what profit will it be for a man to enjoy the whole world, but lose his soul, to which the whole universe is not equivalent? All the splendor of man is like the blossom of grass. For the grass departs and the blossom dies, but the word of the Lord abideth for ever.

St. Nicon "Repent Ye"