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On January 29, 2012, an aggression was committed against the Convent of Our Lady of Saydnaya, a spiritual shrine of the Patriarchate of Antioch in which the miracle-working icon of Our Lady painted by St. Luke has been kept for many centuries. According to the Patriarchal Press Service, on the Sunday, when many worshippers including pilgrims come to the convent, extremists shot at the old cloister from a portable gun. But the Lord and His Most Holy Mother disgraced the sacrilegers as the shell which hit a wall of the convent failed to explode.

It is the second attack committed against Christians in Syria comitted in the recent days. Fr. Basil Nassar of the Antiochean Orthodox diocese of Epiphany was shot down by bandits on January 26 at the town of Ham while giving aid to the wounded.

Archimandrite Alexander Yelisov, Moscow Patriarchate’s representative to the Patriarch of Antioch, called to the head of the Orthodox Church of Antioch, who is on a visit to Lebanon at present. Fr. Alexander shared with His Beatitude Ignatios IV, Patriarch of Great Antioch and All the East, his concern and assured him of the prayerful support of the Russian Orthodox Church in the hardships experienced by the church people in Syria today.

DECR Communication Service