Peace of Christ! Welcome to the Monastery of Saint James the Persian (Mar Yakub in Arabic). We are a Greek Melkite Catholic community living in a glorious Monastery dating from the sixth century in Qara, Syria - a town once visited by St Paul and St Helen. The name of our order is "The Unity of Antioch", we are of the Carmelite tradition and in full communion with the pope. At our monastery we seek to worship God with all lovers of Christ, welcome unity and build bridges between Protestant, Orthodox, Catholics - and with a loving attitude towards our Muslim brothers. Our Lord said: "May all be one as I and the Father are one... that the world might believe!" (John 17:21). To know more? Click here. Please send us your prayer requests by clicking on the logo on the left.
St Elian of Homs, a Great Saint of the 3rd century was resting peacefully in the monastery dedicated to his name in Al Qaryatain, near Homs (see photos below). That monastery has been completely destroyed by ISIS-bulldozers after they arrived in the town in August 2015. A week ago AFP contacted Mother Agnes Mariam, superior of our Monastery, to tell her that the remains of the Great martyr were uncovered. She then acted quickly to to save the remains and to return them to the Syrian Catholic community. The following is the account of this story.
Discover here some positive aspects of the Synod on the family which took place last month, written by Father Daniel. He exposes the leading culture of death and aims for a culture of life and of
love in Jesus Christ! Glory to the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, in which image we are created!
In this first part on our series on Christian contemplation Mother Agnes goes through the Bible to explain the relationship God desires to have with man in silence - in contemplation; consider the following excerpt: "After Moses came Elijah, John the Baptist, and John the Beloved. You have a path, an interior path—coming from the beginning and passing down to us, where there is a reciprocal attraction between God and men. He attracts us because He loves us. And surely God would have desired that Adam would have eaten from the tree of life. But it seems difficult to just eat from the tree of life because we have so many things to do. We are seduced by so many things.. Clilck on "read more" to continue reading.
Mother Agnes: “Many prophets and saints over time have been grappling in the depths of the mystery of unity with God [which is the goal of the contemplative]. All of them found out that only through Jesus Christ, the path is secure. There is no contemplation without the coverage of the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. Any contemplation conducted outside of the coverage of His name will lead us to a false spirit. [The Devil] is so intelligent that he will make us feel very good while he’s leading us astray from the path of life. We are called to eat from the tree of life. We are called to live in the intimacy of the Lord, inside the Trinity.
People often tell us, ‘Read the Bible’. But how to start; with which book should we begin? What would be the proper inner attitude to have towards the Holy writ? A lot of things are hard to understand or just don’t make any sense. I remember I had difficulties reading through the Bible from cover to cover the first time: the laws, the prophets, I couldn’t make much of it. So we need a guide. And that guide is unmistakably the Holy Spirit. The words of the Lord are life and Spirit, they nourish us. But let’s listen to what Mother Agnes Mariam has to say on how to read the Word of God.