Category Archives: Eastern Church

Bartholomew convokes Orthodox Primates

The Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople, the point of unity among Eastern Chrsitians, has called the patriarchs and archbishops of the world’s Orthodox Churches to a meeting in Istanbul in March. This meeting is a precursor to a Pan-Orthodox Synod slated for 2015. Orthodox Primates last me in Constantinople in 2008.

Asianews.it carries one of the stories. For more on the event and for Metropolitan John Zizioulas of Pergamon’s comments read, “Bartholomew convokes the Primates of the Orthodox Churches.”

The Ecumenical Patriarch is 74 and has served the Church as a priest since 1969 and in this present capacity since 1991. He is the 27oth successor of Saint Andrew the Apostle. His Holiness’ biography is here.

This is terrific news!!!

All the holy Apostles, pray for the Primates!

Melkite Patriarch lists church damage

damaged church Im Al-Zinar in Bustan al Diwan, HomsAccording to the Melkite Patriarch Gregory the Great 88 Christian churches have been destroyed or damaged in some way as a result of the civil war in Syria. The majority of the damage is within the Melkite community, but numbers do not matter as this civil war affects all Christians. War is a failure for entire world.

Words of empathy are fine but deeds of love really matter.

This is not merely a local problem but a matter of concern with the rise of radical Islamic groups working to re-establish the ancient caliphate.

As of December 21 this the breakdown:

  • Armenian Catholic 3
  • Armenian Orthodox 9
  • Evangelical 1
  • Greek Orthodox 16
  • Melkite 37
  • Maronite 2
  • Latin 10
  • Syriac Catholic 3
  • Syriac Orthodox 7

We pray that the newborn Prince of Peace makes his Presence felt.

Coptic contribution to Christianity, don’t forget

Coptic of Christ and evangelistsSignificant roots of Christianity exist with the Coptic Church. Liturgy, theological reflection, the monastic witness, culture and education are gifts to the entire worldwide Christian community. These desert Christians are living testimonies to a vital faith in Jesus Christ as Lord, Savior and victor over sin and death. It is difficult to exaggerate the contributions of Coptic Christians.

It is estimated that at there about 8.5 million Copts but that equals about 10% of the Egyptian population. It is not just fear that’s running through the hearts and minds of the Coptic about Islamic persecution of Coptic Christians, it is a reality. There are documented attacks on Coptic people but just there are on the Coptic institutions of church, monastic life, school, economy and culture.

The 60 Minutes news organization made this presentation, The Coptic Christians of Egypt. This presentation is OK. It lacks some substance and nuance, and it is slanted toward the Coptic Orthodox Church while there are Coptic Catholics who face similar struggles and aspirations. But the report of 60 Minutes ought to open for you an interest to know more, and to pray for Christians in Egypt. One of the unique pieces about the Coptic Orthodox Church is the manner in which the Pope is elected (you’ll have to watch the presentation).

May the Holy Family bless the Coptic Christians, Catholic and Orthodox.

Saint Anthony and Saint Mary of Egypt, pray for us.

Saint Saba

St SabaPrayer and simple living characterize the saint Mother Church offers to us today. Saint Saba (439-532) is known for simple things, died at 93 of natural causes, dedicated himself to God; it is said that his vocation was to the anchorite way of life; he’s not a well-educated man. The Byzantine Church calls Saba “the Sanctified.” In monastic circles Saba is honored as being one of the great Patriarchs of Eastern monasticism. Said before on these pages, saints beget saints, Saba was a spiritual son of Saint Euthymius the Great and a collaborator with Saint Theodosius.

Saint Saba was the founder of a now famous lavra named after him in the Kidron Valley, close to Jerusalem, and  Qumran (where the Dead Sea Scrolls were found). Saba’s lavra is the second oldest continually functioning monastery in the world, after that of Saint Catherine on Mount Sinai. Under Saba’s direction  several famous saints are counted, men like Saint John of Damascus.

He is an intercessor for rain, healings, and against temptations from the devil.

A previous post on Abbot Saint Saba is here.

Pope calls for prayer for kidnapped Syrian nuns

As a follow-up to a blog I made the other day, “Islamist rebels control Monastery of St Thecla, Maaloula, Syria,” there is this call for spiritual closeness, prayer, for the plight of the Syrian nuns and some lay collaborators by Pope Francis.

Read the brief note here. Listen to the brief  Vatican Radio report is here.

Here is the perspective of Bishop Antoine Audo of Aleppo (Audo is the bishop for the Chaldeans).

A few other reports have been filed on AsiaNews.it: here and here.

Mary, Queen of Peace, pray for the nuns and all Christians in Syria.
Saint Ephrem the Syrian, pray for us.

About the author

Paul A. Zalonski is from New Haven, CT. He is a member of the Fraternity of Communion and Liberation, a Catholic ecclesial movement, and an Oblate of Saint Benedict. Contact Paul at paulzalonski[at]yahoo.com.
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