The Plenary Assembly of the Congregation for the Eastern Churches began with a prayer for the people of Syria on Thursday morning, 19 November. The prayer was led by Cardinal Leonardo Sandri, Prefect of the Congregation for the Eastern Churches, at the Mass he celebrated in the Chapel of the Choir in St Peter's Basilica. The Cardinal spoke about the prayer later in the Consistory Hall of the Apostolic Palace, where Pope Francis had met with the Patriarchs and major Archbishops of the Eastern Catholic Churches. Archbishop Pietro Parolin, Secretary of State, was also present.
In his homily the Cardinal emphasized the joy of these days when “the leaders and fathers of all the Oriental Catholic Churches with the cardinals and bishops of the Latin Church, are celebrating, as brothers, the liturgy of the Church of Rome. May they let themselves be led by the Holy Spirit who will join together fro an ever more perfect unity, so that through the common witness of mutual love the world will believe”.
Then, referring to the place chosen for the celebration, the chapel which houses the relics of St John Chrysostom, the Cardinal stressed the teaching of the great father of the East. Sandri said that John Chrysostom “immediately makes us think of the Holy Land, and in particular, of his beloved Syria. Let the supplication, that peace and security soon return to Syria, bloom in our hearts. Calm days and night are finally returning, especially for the many innocent people who have been caught up in a whirlwind of pain without end”. He concluded by entrusting prayers “for the Syrian people to the Saints of the East, the Apostle Peter, and Paul, who on the road to Damascus received the light of the Christian faith”.
St. Peter’s Square
Dec. 12, 2019
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