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Message for Great and Holy Friday 2003




Message from the Metropolitan for Great and Holy Friday 2003

Beloved faithful of our Archdiocese:

I cannot help but think of the suffering of tens of thou-sands of Iraqi children who have been victimized by war.

We thank God that the people of this Archdiocese have responded generously in the past to all social and natural disasters, whether in America, Mexico, Latin America, Africa, Eastern Europe or the Middle East. The scenes of suffering Iraqi children break one’s heart. Suffering has no nationality and no boundaries. We recall the words of our Lord in Matthew: “Whatever you have done to the least of these, my brethren, you have done it unto me.”

As you know, we have an Antiochian Orthodox Archdiocese of Baghdad under the omophorion of our beloved brother, Metropolitan Constantine Pappastephanou, and this Archdiocese is a part of the Patriarchate of Antioch.

I am appealing to you, beloved children, as you commemorate the agony of our Lord on the cross on Great Friday, to take a collection to help save some of the children in Iraq. Please give generously to this worthy cause; and immediately send your checks to the Archdiocese marked “Iraqi Children.”

May the Eternal Light of the empty tomb, which cannot be overcome by darkness, shine in your hearts and in the hearts of people everywhere.

Yours in the Risen Lord,

Metropolitan Philip
Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese
of North America