You may remember that I received a kind note in March from Maronite Archbishop Samir Nassar of Damascus. He sent me his Easter letter a few days ago, which noted the particular tragedy that struck Damascus during Holy Week, when a shell fell on school children:
Everyone ran to carry these little ones to St. Louis hospital, the nearest place where the struggling Daughters of Charity and the medical staff treat the wounded to save the lives of these angels caught up in senseless violence that strikes Syria in this fourth year. The emergency room was crammed; some students were transferred to other hospitals. Some of these children will become disabled for life bearing the signs of hatred on their bodies.
Tertullian in the second century said: “The blood of martyrs is the seed of Christians.”
And he concluded with a handwritten personal message, which touched me deeply:
Thank you, dear monsignor, for all that CNEWA did for our poor refugees…
We continue to lift up in prayer all those who are struggling through this nightmare, especially the very young. Please join me in praying for their safety and their healing. And, if you can, please support them with a gift. Any amount you can offer will give hope in a place of despair and bring consolation to those facing sorrow and fear.
On this Feast of St. Joseph the Worker (old/broken link: https://www.americancatholic.org/features/saints/saint.aspx?id=1370), I pray in a special way that the saint who worked so diligently to bring shelter and protection to the Holy Family will also shelter and protect the most vulnerable and needy in our suffering world.
St. Joseph, pray for us!