24 September 1918 - 22 September 2018

Patriarch Emeritus Gregorios III was happy to participate in the abbey’s celebrations. In the morning, a solemn mass had been celebrated by Bishop Stefan Oster in the basilica, after which followed a concert in the upper church, with speeches from the abbot, Marianus Bieber, the state-minister Bernd Sibler and the district councillor, Christian Bernreiter. In the afternoon, His Beatitude presided at Byzantine Vespers in the St Nicholas Church. The whole occasion offered a good opportunity for him to visit the abbey and join in the festivities.

He brought the monks greetings from the Holy Land, and from the countries suffering from war, from Palestine with its seventy-year long conflict, from Iraq, and from Syria, now in its eighth year of crisis.

He writes, “My presence was a reminder of my predecessor, Maximos IV’s visiting Niederaltaich during the International Eucharistic Conference in Munich (1960), and later, on the occasion of the Second Vatican Council, together with some bishops of the Melkite Church.

“My work is also related to that of the monastery, because my Arabic quarterly, Unity in Faith, was exchanged with the German quarterly, Una Sancta edited by the monastery, and that of the Christkönigsinstitut in Meitingen.

“This also demonstrates the common core of ecumenism at the heart of this Benedictine monastery’s work and that of the Meitingen sisters, and of my work, which is why the Mother Superior of the Institute, Anna Maria Bäumler, and two sisters accompanied me there.”

His Beatitude profited from the occasion to remind everyone that through his participation in this feast, he was able to exchange ideas on ecumenism, the war in Syria and the Church’s efforts to help and work for peace.

His Beatitude concludes, “May all the world’s Church leaders work more closely together for unity and peace in our world.”

In 1918 after a period of secularisation, the Niederaltaich Monastery was reorganized as a Priory of Metten Benedictine Abbey. For its ecumenical work, see its English language website: http://www.abtei-niederaltaich.de/ecumenism/?L=3

 


Teachings of Christ

“Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you." (Matthew 6:33 ESV)

Seventh Ecumenical Council

O Christ our God, You are most glorious, * for You established our Fathers as lights upon the earth * and through them led us to the true faith. * O greatly Compassionate One, glory to You! (Troparion, Tone 8)

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

The Son Who shone forth ineffably from the Father * was born two-fold in nature. * Beholding Him, we do not refuse the image of his form, * but piously depicting it, we honor it faithfully. * Therefore the Church, holding fast to the true faith, * kisses the icon of the incarnation of Christ. (Kontakion, Tone 6)

(Troparia of the Sunday of the Holy Fathers of the Seventh Ecumenical Council)

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

The Holy Eucharist is the first, most important, and greatest miracle of Christ. All the other Gospel miracles are secondary. How could we not call the greatest miracle the fact that simple bread and wine were once transformed by the Lord into His very Body and His very Blood, and then have continued to be transformed for nearly two thousand years by the prayers of priests, who are but simple human beings? And what is more, this mystery has continued to effect a miraculous change in those people who communicate of the Divine Mysteries with faith and humility. 

St. Ambrose of Optina