'We feel a terrible storm around us', Maronite archbishop says in prayers

Archbishop Samir Nassar, the Maronite Archbishop of Damascus, will consecrate Syria to the Immaculate Heart of Mary today.

The archbishop will pray this evening at 6pm (4pm GMT) at the Maronite cathedral in Damascus, following evening mass.

In his text Archbishop Nassar, whose church is in full communion with Rome, will ask Our Lady “and in an act of filial ‘homage’ of faith, love and trust – to solemnly consecrate the Syrian nation to your Immaculate Heart. Take it from our fragile hands into Your own; defend it and guard it as Your own property; make Jesus reign, conquer and rule in it. Outside of Him there is no salvation…”

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“We, the bishops of your people, feel a terrible storm raging round us, threatening to disperse and destroy the faithful flock of those who bless You because You are the Mother of Jesus. Afflicted, we stretch out our suppliant hands towards Your Son, as we cry out ‘save us, O Lord, for we perish!’… Intercede for Syria, O Our Lady, in this grave hour when from all around blow furious winds, bringing cries of death against Your Son and against civilization founded on His teachings, deceiving minds, perverting hearts and lighting the fires of hatred and revolution in the world. Help of Christians, pray for us!”

On Palm Sunday Archbishop Nassar said that Christians in the country were facing “way of the cross”, saying that “We are abandoned to Providence”. Between 100,000 and 160,000 people have died since the start of the Syrian Civil War in March 2013.

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