No. EN 163/21
ܒܫܡ ܐܝܬܝܐ ܡܬܘܡܝܐ ܐܠܨܝ ܐܝܬܘܬܐ ܕܟܠ ܐܚܝܕ
ܐܝܓܢܛܝܘܣ ܦܛܪܝܪܟܐ ܕܟܘܪܣܝܐ ܫܠܝܚܝܐ ܕܐܢܛܝܘܟܝܐ ܘܕܟܠܗ̇ ܡܕܢܚܐ
ܘܪܝܫܐ ܓܘܢܝܐ ܕܥܕܬܐ ܣܘܪܝܝܬܐ ܐܪܬܕܘܟܣܝܬܐ ܕܒܟܠܗ̇ ܬܒܝܠ
ܕܗܘ ܐܦܪܝܡ ܬܪܝܢܐ ܡ̄
We extend our apostolic benediction, benevolent prayers and greetings to our brethren, His Beatitude Mor Baselius Thomas I, Catholicos of India, and their Eminences the Metropolitans; our spiritual children: Very Reverend Corepiscopoi, Reverend priests, monks, nuns and deacons and the entire blessed Syriac Orthodox people throughout the world. May the divine providence embrace them through the intercession of the Virgin Mary, Mother of God, and St. Peter, Chief of the Apostles, and the rest of the Martyrs and Saints. Amen.
Dearly beloved in Christ,
We welcome the Holy Lent this year while we are celebrating the Jubilee of the 1500 years of the passing away of Mor Jacob of Serugh. On this occasion, we invite you all to meditate with us on a beautiful poem written by Mor Jacob on Lent. This provides us with a great opportunity to delve into the spirituality of Lent that we may experience an uplifting fasting, looking forward to the joy of the Feast of the glorious Resurrection which proclaims to us the victory of life over death.
“At the beginning of Lent, let us offer suppliant prayer, that through it we may be saved from harm.
At the beginning of Lent, let us wakefully despise slumber and be always diligent in our service.
At the beginning of Lent, let us mercifully distribute alms so that the Lord may be tenderly pleased with our fast.
At the beginning of Lent, let us totally hate sin, and wholeheartedly love the path of truth.
At the beginning of Lent which is the treasure of all good things, let us harvest successfully the fruits of repentance.
At the beginning of Lent, together the soul and body are prepared to enter the dangerous battleground.
At the beginning of Lent which is the source of all good things, let us all run to receive the crown at its completion.
At the beginning of Lent, let us throw away all evil and let us all fast in purity and wisdom.
At the beginning of Lent, from alms let us weave a crown, so that at its completion we may participate at the wedding of the groom.
At the beginning of Lent, let us invite ourselves to repent so that at its end we may rejoice with the groom in the chamber of light.
At the beginning of Lent, let us take off all spiteful things, and put on the garment of asceticism.
At the beginning of Lent, let us purify ourselves from evil thoughts so that at its end we exult at the joyful wedding feast.
At the beginning of Lent, let us not be weak like the feeble, but let us be strong against wicked desires.
From generation to generation, the righteous fasted saintly and thus drew closer to God and were victorious.
This is the Lent which uplifted the chosen Moses to behold the presence of God on Mount Sinai.
This is the Lent which elevated Elijah to the highest and he became worthy to dwell with the angels.
This is the Lent which saved Daniel from the wild beasts to which he was thrown.
This is the Lent which extinguished the furnace and saved the children of Hananiah from fire.
Let us prepare ourselves, O faithful audience, for Lent has arrived and we shall refrain from all evil.
Let us purify ourselves from wickedness so that with holiness we may attain His great passover.
Let us receive the upcoming Lent with zeal and by it we will fight the power of the Enemy (Satan).
Come in peace, O Lent with which the Lord of creation defeated the evil one who deceitfully fought him.
Come in peace, O master of forces and miracles, for through you will triumph the one who abhors desires.
Come in peace, O treasure house full of all good things, for the one who embraces poverty will be enriched by you.
Come in peace, O vessel carrying all treasures, which came and unloaded its abundant richness in the churches
Come in peace, O lamp full of light, for the one who gazes at you is saved from darkness.
Come in peace, O banquet full of delights, for the hungry will be plentifully satisfied by you.
Come in peace, O teacher who teaches excellent things, which drive away all disagreeable deeds from those who accept them.
Come in peace, O priest pleasing God, and forgiving all debts and trespasses.
Come in peace, O apostle who proclaims the truth, and preacher whose voice resonates in the churches.
How agreeable is Lent for youth and childhood, it restrains the first and safely nurtures the other.
How agreeable is Lent for the elderly who is approaching the end, for pure lent strengthens our weakness.
How agreeable is Lent for the righteous, the priests and the ascetics; like pillars they are holding the earth with their prayers.
How agreeable is Lent for the kings, the meek and the poor; it exalts the kings, and promotes the meek.
How agreeable is Lent for all the children of the holy church, for the kingdom of heaven is prepared for them to enjoy.
O observers of lent, consider in which way you will accept the lent which exalts the one who fasts with holiness.
Let the whole body be sanctified with the pure lent so that it becomes a pure temple for the Lord in which He will dwell.
Through pure lent, all spiritual and physical senses shall be purified from defilement.
Through pure lent, all foul thoughts, desires and unpleasant talk shall be removed from our souls.
Let the eye fast by not looking with lust; rather, let it gaze upwards to heaven.
Let the ear fast from hearing vain voices; rather, let it listen to the sound of the divine commandments.
Let the sense of smell fast from the smells of slackness; rather, let it smell the sweet fragrance of divinity.
Let the mouth fast from excess food and give praise in holiness with the spiritual beings.
Let the hands give alms in the lent so that it may be a pleasing lent to God.
Let the feet fast from stumbling; rather, let them walk through the great gate of the house of God.
Let the whole soul, body, spirit and mind fast the lent that is entirely cleansed from all evil.
You who fasts carefully preserve your tongue from ugly thoughts and deeds.
You fasted from bread, let your tongue fast from evil so that your fasting may not be despised and unaccepted.
Purify your heart, mind and thoughts from all evil which will condemn you before justice.
During lent, become a good and diligent worker, so that you are rewarded on the last day.
Distribute your alms on the poor when you fast, so that the Good One will make you recline at His table which is full of delights.
Through Lent, obtain meekness and tranquillity, so that you are raised to the high rank of the perfect ones.
Clothe the naked who comes to you, so that the Good One clothes you with the robe of glory in the kingdom.
Invite the widow and fill her pouch with your food, so that the Good Lord will reward you as He promised.
Support the poor and clothe the orphans and naked, and receive with Lazarus the kingdom of heaven as a reward.
Do not kill the body with fasting and the soul with sins; rather, let the body, soul and tongue fast together.
Make us worthy, our Lord, to hold wisely to the lent, with which You put to shame the enemy who put to shame Adam.
Make us worthy, our Lord, to hold diligently to the lent, with which You condemned the evil one who condemned our Father Adam.
Make us worthy, our Lord, to tenderly fast the lent, with which You destroyed the evil one who destroyed our Father Adam.
Make us worthy, our Lord, to lovingly carry your yoke and be armed with it against the evil one who fights us.
Make us worthy, our Lord, to straightforwardly follow You and, with Your help, defeat the power of the enemy.
Through our lent, make us worthy, our Lord, to overcome passions, love of money, greed and gluttony
Through our lent, make us worthy, our Lord, to cast away from us the bodily desires and delights.
Through our lent, make us worthy, our Lord, to throw away from us the vain glory, conceit and pride.
Through our lent, make us worthy, our Lord, to drive away from us all the bodily and earthly burdens.
Make us all worthy, our Lord, to fast in holiness a pure lent with which Your divinity is pleased.
Grant us, our Lord, to triumph over the desires through fasting and make our mouth fast from evil as well as from bread.
To those who seek refuge in You through pure fasting, hasten to enrich them with all blessings.
Exalt Your church and protect her children from harm, let Your peace shield the world from the opponents.
Through Your mercies, may the evil one who fights us be defeated, blessed are You from all because You are the giver of all good things.”
(Mimro 133 – On Lent)
May the Lord bless your fasting and accept your prayers, alms and repentance. May He make us worthy to joyfully celebrate the Feast of the Resurrection. May God protect you all from all sicknesses and diseases, grant full and speedy recovery to those who are infected by this virus and pour His abundant mercies on the souls of the departed faithfull, through the intercession of the Virgin Mary, Mother of God, St. Peter the Chief of the Apostles, and all the martyrs and saints. ܘܐܒܘܢ ܕܒܫܡܝܐ ܘܫܪܟܐ
Issued at our Patriarchate in Damascus, Syria
On the 12th of March 2021,
Which is the Seventh Year of our Patriarchate