25 April, 2014 AsiaNews.it Twitter AsiaNews.it Facebook            

Help AsiaNews | About us | P.I.M.E. | | RssNewsletter





mediazioni e arbitrati, risoluzione alternativa delle controversie e servizi di mediazione e arbitrato
e-mail this to a friend printable version


» 08/03/2012 15:39
SYRIA - ISLAM
Gregory III Laham: Christians and Muslims pray and fast together for an end to violence
August 1, Catholics started fasting for Dormition of the Virgin, which will last until August 15. It coincides in part with the Muslim Ramadan (August 20 to 18). The religious functions and moments of abstinence and prayer are held simultaneously in churches and mosques. AsiaNews publishes the message of Gregory III Laham, Melkite Patriarch of Antioch. The prelate calls on Christians and Muslims to use this time to rediscover the value of charity, dialogue and reconciliation.

Damascus (AsiaNews) - "Christians and Muslims fast and pray together for peace in Syria and the end of violence." This is at the heart of a message to Catholics by Msgr. Gregory III Laham, Melkite Patriarch of Antioch, during their fast for the feast of the Dormition of the Virgin, which will last 1 to 15 August, the Feast of the Assumption. The period of abstinence in part coincides with Ramadan, the month of prayer and fasting for Muslims, which ends next August 18. The periods of abstinence and prayer will be held simultaneously in churches and mosques. In his pastoral letter to Catholics, the bishop also addresses the rest of the population, and stresses that "the Syrians are still able to love and forgive." According to Msgr. Laham, praying together for the end of the war helps everyone to testify to the value of dialogue, reconciliation and tolerance in a country torn by violence between rebels and the Assad regime.

Here's the full text of the recently published message by Msgr. Gregory III Laham:

To our brother bishops, members of our Holy Synod in the Middle East and throughout the whole world!

To our sons and daughters: priests, monks, nuns, and Greek Catholic faithful!

May "the Peace of God which passeth all understanding keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus!" (Philippians 4: 7)

Dear brothers and sisters!

Once again Christians and Muslims are fasting and praying at the same time. That is one of the most beautiful marks and signs of their living together in solidarity.

So Muslims have begun the fast of the honourable month of Ramadan (that lasts this year from 20 July to 18 August.)

In a few days, Christians will begin the fast or abstinence of the Dormition of the Mother of God, from 1 until 15 August. This fast is a summer fast. There is first the autumn fast that precedes the Nativity (40 days). Then follows Great Lent or the winter fast(40 to 50 days), before the Feast of the Resurrection or Great Feast, and the spring or Apostles' fast (20 to 25 days), in June.

The fast or abstinence of Our Lady is very popular and loved by Christian families. During these 15 days we celebrate the consolation or invocation service called Paraklesis in Greek. It is a very popular service that fills our hearts with hope, consolation and joy. It is celebrated for various intentions, especially for the sick, injured, travellers, mourners, orphans, refugees, exiled, departed...

We call upon our faithful, especially in our patriarchal eparchy in Damascus, to participate in these services, with fasting, prayer and repentance.

So the sounds of services in churches and mosques will be simultaneously united, as will be the prayers, fasting and devotions of Muslims and Christians both in places of worship and homes! What beautiful harmony of faith!

Together we shall be praying especially for the safety of all Syrians and for the cessation of the violence that sows fear in quiet districts and has caused the displacement and flight of thousands who have left their homes and properties! We pray too during this period for the return of charity, friendship, fellowship and compassion among all citizens. Syrians are still capable of loving and forgiving each other, being reconciled and showing tolerance to one another. Together they can rebuild a renewed,free, secure, conciliatorySyria, in which citizens regardless of group, party, religion or affiliation can enjoy freedom, dignity, employment and education ... United together, they can rebuild what has been destroyed and work for development and prosperity, for a better future for all citizens.

Together we pray: "O Lord, save thy people and bless thine inheritance. Grant peace to thy world! Grant peace to Syria! By thy Cross, preserve thy people!"

We ask everyone to add special litanies for peace and reconciliation to services.

To everyone, a holy fast!

With my affection!

United in prayer!

 

Gregorios III

Patriarch of Antioch and All the East,

Of Alexandriaand Jerusalem

 

 

 


e-mail this to a friend printable version

See also
05/07/2005 SYRIA
Gregory III Laham: No to fundamentalism, hope for a peaceful Arab world
by Jihad Issa
08/28/2013 SYRIA - LEBANON
Gregory III: Democracy is built with peace. U.S. attack is a criminal act
04/11/2006 SYRIA
Easter message of Gregory III urges charity, resurrection for peace for all Arabs
by Jihad Issa
06/22/2005 LEBANON
Gregory III Laham: "Reconciling the Church and defending the Christian vocation"
by Youssef Hourany
05/28/2013 SYRIA - EU
Gregory III Laham: "The future of Syria cannot be built on destruction"

Editor's choices
ITALY - ASIA
Easter, victory over death and impotence
by Bernardo Cervellera
SYRIA
I will miss you Fr Frans, you inspired us all, says Syrian Jesuit
by Tony Homsy*A young priest from the Society of Jesus remembers the life and work of Fr Frans van der Lugt, who was killed in Homs after he refused to abandon residents beleaguered by hunger and war. "He gave and continues to give everything for the Church, Syria, and peace. His story and qualities made him an exceptional missionary and witness to the Gospel." Reprinted courtesy of 'The Jesuit Post'.
FRANCE - IRAQ
Chaldean Patriarch on the uncertain future of eastern Christians, a bridge between the West and Islam
by Mar Louis Raphael I SakoThe wars in Iraq, Libya and Afghanistan have made things worse for their peoples, especially minorities. As Western policies have been a failure, fundamentalism has grown with the Arab Spring losing out to extremism. Muslim authorities have a role in protecting rights and religious freedom. The presence of Christians in the Middle East is crucial for Muslims.

Dossier
by Giulio Aleni / (a cura di) Gianni Criveller
pp. 176
by Lazzarotto Angelo S.
pp. 528
by Bernardo Cervellera
pp. 240
Copyright © 2003 AsiaNews C.F. 00889190153 All rights reserved. Content on this site is made available for personal, non-commercial use only. You may not reproduce, republish, sell or otherwise distribute the content or any modified or altered versions of it without the express written permission of the editor. Photos on AsiaNews.it are largely taken from the internet and thus considered to be in the public domain. Anyone contrary to their publication need only contact the editorial office which will immediately proceed to remove the photos.