Damascus (Agenzia Fides) - A mortar shell hit the Bab Tuma area on Monday, January 8, in the old city of Damascus where several churches are concentrated, causing massive damage to the Latin Catholic parish of the Conversion of Saint Paul, entrusted to the pastoral care of the Franciscan friars. The side and the roof of the church were damaged, the windows were broken and the systems used to heat the parish were also damaged. The mortar shells also caused damage to the adjacent Maronite cathedral, built in 1865.
The Archeparchy of Damascus of the Maronites, led by Archbishop Samir Nassar, counted over 20,000 baptized in 2013.

The mortar shells launched against the Old City of Damascus represent yet another confirmation that the conflict in Syria is still ongoing and continues to affect even peripheral areas of the capital. In recent days, local sources contacted by Fides confirmed the news of air raids carried out in the eastern suburbs of Damascus, on areas still in the hands of anti-Assad groups. While Syrian official sources report that in the early hours of today, Tuesday, January 9, Israel implemented an attack on Syrian territory with the use of aircraft and missiles, aimed at hitting a Syrian military base near Katifa, eastern suburb of Damascus. (GV) (Agenzia Fides, 9/1/2017)


Teachings of Christ

“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another." (John 13:34-35 ESV)

Theophany

When You were baptized in the Jordan, O Lord, * worship of the Trinity was revealed, * for the Father's voice bore witness to You, calling You His “beloved Son”, * and the Spirit in the form of a dove confirmed the certainty of these words. * O Christ God, * Who appeared and enlightened the world, glory to You! (Troparion, Tone 1)

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

You have appeared to the whole world today, * and Your light, O Lord, is signed upon us, * who with knowledge sing praise to You: * "You have come, and You have appeared, O Unapproachable Light." (Kontakion, Tone 4)

Random Proverb

"Blessed is the one who finds wisdom, and the one who gets understanding, for the gain from her is better than gain from silver and her profit better than gold." (Proverbs 3:13,14 ESV)

Pray Without Ceasing

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

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

The Seraph could not touch the fire's coal with his fingers, but just brought it close to Isaiah's mouth: the Seraph did not hold it, Isaiah did not consume it, but us our Lord has allowed to do both. 

St. Ephraim the Syrian