CWN - Pope Francis has named the two top officials of the Pontifical Council for Christian Unity as his delegates to attend the Pan-Orthodox Council.

Cardinal Kurt Koch and Bishop Brian Farrell-- the president and secretary, respectively, of the Pontifical Council-- will travel to Crete for the opening of the gathering, which is scheduled for June 19. The high-level delegation shows that the Pope considers the Orthodox gathering a "supremely important" event, Bishop Farrell told the Catholic News Service.

(Disputes among the Orthodox churches have raised questions about the level of attendance at the meeting in Crete, and the possibility that the gathering might be postponed. See today's separate CWN news story.) 

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Teachings of Christ

“Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account." (Matthew 5:11 ESV)

Entrance of the Mother of God into the Temple

Today is the prelude of the goodwill of God * and the heralding of the salvation of mankind; * the Virgin appears clearly in the temple of God * and foretells Christ to all. * Let us also with a mighty voice cry out to her: * “Rejoice, O Fulfillment of the Creator’s divine plan.” (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.

The most pure Temple of the Savior, * the most precious Bridal-Chamber and Virgin, the sacred Treasury of the glory of God, * is brought today into the house of the Lord, * bringing with her the grace that is in the Divine Spirit. * The angels of God praise her in song: * “She is the heavenly tabernacle.” (Kontakion - Tone 4)

(November 21st)

Random Proverb

"One gives freely, yet grows all the richer; another withholds what he should give, and only suffers want." (Proverbs 11:24 ESV)

Pray Without Ceasing

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

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

Adam, God's first-formed man, transgressed: could He [God] not at once have brought death upon him? But see what the Lord does, in His great love towards man. He casts him out from Paradise, for because of sin he was unworthy to live there; but He puts him to dwell over against Paradise: that seeing whence he had fallen, and from what and into what a state he was brought down, he might afterwards be saved by repentance.

St. Cyril of Jerusalem (Catechetical Lectures: Lecture 2 no. 7)