Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Islamists Kidnap Nuns
United States Backed Free Syrian Army 
Continues Attacks on Christians

On December 3rd, Islamist rebels kidnapped a group of nuns from the Greek Orthodox Monastery of Saint Thecla in Maaloula (north of Damascus). These armed men burst in the monastery, forcibly taking twelve nuns. The nuns remained in the town after the entire Christian community fled back in September, following the attack by Rebels supported by the United States. Among the various Christian communities in Syria, the Greek Orthodox are the largest, with about five hundred thousand faithful, concentrated mainly in the western part of the country and in Damascus

In their battle against the government of Syrian President Assad, the Islamic rebels have taken to the terrible practice of kidnapping and then killing innocent civilians. The body of a Greek Orthodox priest, Father Fadi Jamil Haddad, pastor of the Church of Saint Elias in Qatana, was found in the Jaramana neighborhood (north of Damascus) not far from the place where he was kidnapped on October 19. Reports say the armed rebels tortured the priest horribly, and gouged out his eyes. Meanwhile, the fate of the two Orthodox archbishops kidnapped some time ago, remains unknown.

Considering the governments of the United States and France have backed the Islamic rebels, the Christians of Maaloula and Syria see President Assad as their only protector. The American administration of President Obama continues to turn a blind eye to these atrocities, and Christianity in the Middle East is facing the likelihood of becoming extinct.

Please join me in praying for the safe release of these Orthodox nuns, the two Orthodox archbishops, and the safety of the Christian population of Syria, and throughout the Middle East. Islam is showing its true face, for as Muslims enjoy state sponsored freedom throughout Western countries, the persecution of Christians in Muslim countries continues unabated.

With love in Christ,
Abbot Tryphon

Wednesday December 4, 2013 / November 21, 2013
24th Week after Pentecost. Tone six.
Fast. Fish Allowed

The Entry of the Most Holy Theotokos into the Temple.
Venerable Columbanus of Bobbio, abbot and founder of Luxeuil Abbey (Gaul) (615) (Celtic & British).
New Martyrs Priest Alexander Khotovitsky of New York (1937), and Priest Alexis Benemansky of Tver (1937).
Icon of the Most Holy Theotokos "Everlasting Hope"

You can read the life of the saint by clicking on the highlighted name.

THANKS to all of you who have been able to contribute towards the support of the monastery. These difficult times of economic hardship have impacted the monastery, and those of you who have been able to donate, have been our lifeline. May God bless you for your generosity, and kindness.
With love in Christ,
Abbot Tryphon

Donations can be made directly to the monastery through PayPal, or you may send donations to:

All-Merciful Saviour Monastery
PO Box 2420
Vashon Island, WA 98070-2420 USA

The Scripture Readings for the Day

Hebrews 9:1-7

The Earthly Sanctuary

9 Then indeed, even the first covenant had ordinances of divine service and the earthly sanctuary. For a tabernacle was prepared: the first part, in which was the lampstand, the table, and the showbread, which is called the sanctuary; and behind the second veil, the part of the tabernacle which is called the Holiest of All, which had the golden censer and the ark of the covenant overlaid on all sides with gold, in which were the golden pot that had the manna, Aaron’s rod that budded, and the tablets of the covenant; and above it were the cherubim of glory overshadowing the mercy seat. Of these things we cannot now speak in detail.

Limitations of the Earthly Service

Now when these things had been thus prepared, the priests always went into the first part of the tabernacle, performing the services. But into the second part the high priest went alone once a year, not without blood, which he offered for himself and for the people’s sins committed in ignorance;

Luke 10:38-42

Mary and Martha Worship and Serve

38 Now it happened as they went that He entered a certain village; and a certain woman named Martha welcomed Him into her house. 39 And she had a sister called Mary, who also sat at Jesus’ feet and heard His word. 40 But Martha was distracted with much serving, and she approached Him and said, “Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Therefore tell her to help me.”
41 And Jesus answered and said to her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things. 42 But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her.”

Luke 11:27-28

Keeping the Word

27 And it happened, as He spoke these things, that a certain woman from the crowd raised her voice and said to Him, “Blessed is the womb that bore You, and the breasts which nursed You!”
28 But He said, “More than that, blessed are those who hear the word of God and keep it!”

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