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

“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.” (Matthew 5:43-44 ESV)

Exaltation of the Cross

Save Your people, O Lord, and bless Your inheritance; * grant victory to Your Church over her enemies * and protect Your commonwealth by Your Cross. (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.

Willingly lifted up on the Cross, O Christ God, * bestow Your compassions upon the new commonwealth that bears Your name. * By your power grant joy to Your Church, * granting her victory over her enemies. * May she have your Cross as the weapon of peace * and the invincible ensign of victory. (Kontakion - Tone 4)

The Church celebrates the Feast of the Exaltation of the Cross on September 14th.

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

Do not pray that things may be according to your desires, for your desires are not always in keeping with the will of God. It is better to pray as you were taught, saying: "Thy will be done" (Matthew 6:10). Pray in this way about all things, for He always desires what is good and profitable for your soul, whereas you do not always seek it.

Saint Nilus of Mount Sinai: "153 Texts on Prayer"