Annual Christmas Retreat for the Clergy of Damascus

On the occasion of Christmas, His Holiness Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem II hosted the annual Christmas Retreat for the Clergy in Damascus.

His Beatitude Greek Catholic Patriarch Joseph Absi, and His Excellency Cardinal Mario Zenari, Apostolic Nuncio in Damascus, also participated in the retreat.
The Christian hierarchs, priests, monks and nuns participated in the retreat which was held at St. Georges Patriarchal Cathedral in Bab Touma.

The theme of this Christmas’ spiritual retreat was: “A Nativity Beyond Nature”. The prayers and meditations included Hymns from Mor Aphrem, Mor Jacob of Serugh, and St. John Chrysostom.

From the Syriac Orthodox Church, their Eminences Mor Selwanos Petros Al-Nemeh, Metropolitan of Homs and Hama, and Mor Timotheos Matta Al-Khouri, Patriarchal Vicar for the Patriarchal Archdiocese of Damascus, participated in this spiritual retreat.

The clergy also prayed together for peace in Syria, Palestine and the Middle East.

During the retreat, Very Rev. Raban Jack Yakoub, Director of the Youth Department, gave a sermon in which he talked about Christmas as a cornerstone for salvation and Christian faith.

At the end of the retreat, His Holiness read a statement issued by the heads of Churches in Damascus concerning Jerusalem. The statement reassured the rejection of Church Leaders for the decision of the American President Trump, and emphasized the fact that Jerusalem is an important capital for Jews, Christians and Muslims alike, and should remain a city for all.

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