On Sunday, 5 November 2017, a gunman entered a Baptist church in Sutherlands Springs, Texas, USA, when the service was underway, and opened fire on the parishioners. Twenty-six people died, including children, teenagers, elderly people and a pregnant woman. His Holiness Patriarch Kirill sent condolences to the U.S. President Donald Trump. The text of the message is given below.

His Excellency

Mr. Donald John Trump

President

United States of America

Your Excellency,

Dear Mr. President,

It grieved me deeply to learn about the tragedy that had occurred at a Baptist church in Sutherland Springs, Texas. I offer my sincere condolences to you and to all the American people.

The dreadful crime, which was committed on a Sunday, the day held sacred by Christians, and claimed the lives of dozens of innocent people, including defenseless elderly people, women and children, shocks by its devilish cruelty and guile. I am convinced that there is no justification whatsoever for such acts of violence.

Please convey my words of consolation and support to the families of the victims. I am praying that the Merciful God the Lover of Mankind comfort all those who sorrow and grant the soonest recovery to the injured.

Yours respectfully,

+KIRILL

PATRIARCH OF MOSCOW AND ALL RUSSIA


Teachings of Christ

“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you." (Matthew 7:7,8 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

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction. (Proverbs 1:7 ESV)

Pray Without Ceasing

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

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

Long ago, the wily one cast his weapon and wounded Adam and killed him; Indeed, he completely destroyed the weak man. But now, even if he struck the bodies of the noble men, he did not destroy their spirits. He persuaded the first-created man to fall by words, but not even by deeds, the noble ones. Bewitching the former, he made promises; he made offers to the latter: For Adam, the making of a god; for the martyrs, honor. He offers what he does not have; he suggests bestowing things not in his authority. Therefore, saints, having shattered his scheme, You gained crowns. 

Kontakia of Romanos, On the Forty Martyrs of Sebasteia I.