Mardin (Agenzia Fides) - A decree has ordered the full restitution of ecclesiastical assets scattered in the Mardin region to the Syriac Orthodox Church and that in 2017 had been placed under the control of Turkish public institutions.

The attorney of the Foundation of the Monastery of Mor Gabriel, announced that the matter was the subject of a decree. 30 ecclesiastical assets will be returned to the foundations and to the organisms linked to the Syriac-Orthodox Church which previously belonged to them. Among the assets that will definitively be returned to the control of the Syriac Orthodox Church there are the three monasteries of Mor Melki, Mor Yakup and Mor Dimet.

The shadow of a possible expropriation of the Syriac Orthodox church assets by the Turkish apparatuses had appeared in the 2016/2017 biennium, when those assets were placed under the direct control of the Undersecretariat for the Treasury, and seemed they were soon to be entrusted to the management of the Presidency of Religious Affairs (Diyanet, a body linked directly to the Prime Minister). The operation was carried out at the end of the process with which Mardin had been transformed into a metropolitan municipality, and the consequent administrative reorganization of the territory had transformed the surrounding villages into as many neighborhoods in the metropolitan area. Faced with these developments, the Mor Gabriel Foundation, which runs the most important Syriac Orthodox monastery on Turkish land (see photo), in June 2017 had presented a petition to the civil court of Mardin to ask to stop the process of expropriation of Syriac-Orthodox churches, monasteries and cemeteries and their transfer under the direct control of Turkish governmental bodies. Turkey had denied any intention to expropriate 50 Christian churches and monasteries scattered around Mardin. The office of the governor of Mardin had declared to the Turkish media that the ownership and administrative management of the churches and monasteries in question still had to be legally defined, and in the meantime the ecclesiastical property will still be registered at the Treasury and will not end up under the control of Diyanet. (GV) (Agenzia Fides, 13/2/2018)


Teachings of Christ

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God." (John 3:16-18 ESV)

Encounter

Rejoice, O Mother of God, Virgin full of grace. * From you has risen the Sun of Righteousness, Christ our God, * shining upon those who are in darkness. * Rejoice also, you righteous Elder; * for you received in your arms the Deliverer of our souls, * Who has given us resurrection. (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.

O Christ God, through Your birth You sanctified the Virgin's womb; * and blessed, as it was proper, the hands of Simeon. * Now, having come, you saved us. * Give peace to Your commonwealth in times of war * and strengthen our civil authorities, whom You have loved, O You who alone loves mankind. (Kontakion, Tone 1)

(The Feast of the Encounter is February 2nd - the 40th Day of Christmas)

Random Proverb

"Let your heart hold fast my words; keep my commandments, and live." (Proverbs 4:4 ESV)

Pray Without Ceasing

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

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

Acts of charity, almsgiving and all the external good works do not suppress the arrogance of the heart; but noetic meditation, the labor of repentance, contrition and humility -- these humble the proud mind.

Elder Joseph the Hesychast