The occasional, often ill-considered thoughts of a Roman Catholic permanent deacon who is ever grateful to God for his existence. Despite the strangeness we encounter in this life, all the suffering we witness and endure, being is good, so good I am sometimes unable to contain my joy. Deo gratias!


Saturday, November 3, 2012

Heroines Today

After posting the story earlier today about the French Trappist monks who sacrificed their lives in Algeria in 1996, I thought it might be uplifting to hear about another group of Trappists, in this instance a small group of Italian nuns, who live in a monastery in the western Syrian village of Azeir.
Cistercian Nuns in front of their monastery in Azeir, Syria

Like Algeria in the 1990s, Syria today is suffering from the effects of a gruesome civil war, a war in which both sides have been guilty of horrible atrocities. Although the majority of these atrocities have been committed by the regime of President Bashar al-Assad, the rebel forces have become increasingly brutal as more and more Islamist extremists join their ranks. In the midst of all this violence and chaos, five Cistercian nuns carry on at their small Monastery of Valserena, determined to remain as a sign of Christ's presence. As their superior, Sister Monica, stated, "...we are part of this community and cannot leave at a time of trial. Its fate is our fate...Christians are called to bear witness to it [Christian hope] in the world. Since we have been called to Syria, why leave?"

The nuns ask us all to pray for the people of Syria who have experienced so much tragedy in their lives since the civil war began early last year.  Pray too for these courageous women.

Read more here and here.

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