CWN - Greek Orthodox Patriarch Ignatius IV of Antioch, honored as the third-ranking prelate within Eastern Orthodoxy after the Patriarchs of Constantinople and Alexandria, has died at the age of 91.

Born in Syria as Habib Hazim, he was consecrated a bishop in 1961 and was enthroned as patriarch in 1979. The patriarchate, which is one of 14 autocephalous Orthodox churches and is based in Damascus, has 750,000 members, principally in Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, Kuwait, Iran, Australia, Europe, and the Americas, including 250 parishes and missions in the United States and Canada.

Patriarch Ignatius IV promoted frequent Holy Communion and, in the words of L’Osservatore Romano, “launched numerous appeals for peace in Syria and, alongside the Catholic bishops and Muslim religious leaders, was deeply committed to encouraging reconciliation in the region.”

There are four other Patriarchs of Antioch. The heads of the Syriac Catholic Church, the Maronite Catholic Church, and the Melkite Greek Catholic Church are all in full communion with the Holy See and follow the Antiochene, Maronite, and Byzantine liturgical traditions respectively. The head of the Syrian Orthodox Church ceased to be in full communion with the Holy See following the Council of Chalcedon in 451 and is the head of one of the six Oriental Orthodox churches.

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Teachings of Christ

“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God." (Matthew 5:9 ESV)

Holy Angels

O Supreme Leaders of the heavenly armies, * we, who are unworthy, ever beseech you, * that through your prayers you may surround us * with the shelter of the wings of your immaterial glory, * watching over us who fervently fall down and cry out: * “Deliver us from perils, * for you are the commanders of the Powers on high!” (Troparion - Tone 4)

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

O Supreme Leaders of the armies of God * and ministers of the Divine Glory, * princes of angels and guides of men, * ask for us what is expedient for us and for great mercy, * for you are the leaders of the Bodiless Hosts. (Kontakion - Tone 2)

Random Proverb

"My son, do not forget my teaching, but let your heart keep my commandments, for length of days and years of life and peace they will add to you." (Proverbs 3:1,2 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"