Skip to content
Deacon Keith Fournier Hi reader, it seems you use Catholic Online a lot; that's great! It's a little awkward to ask, but we need your help. If you have already donated, we sincerely thank you. We're not salespeople, but we depend on donations averaging $14.76 and fewer than 1% of readers give. If you donate just $5.00, the price of your coffee, Catholic Online School could keep thriving. Thank you. Help Now >

Your prayers make a difference - Nuns report Christian appreciation in Aleppo

Free World Class Education
FREE Catholic Classes

By María Ximena Rondón (CNA/EWTN News)
4/7/2017 (2 years ago)
Catholic Online (https://www.catholic.org)

'They really appreciate that and they feel protected by the prayers of Christians.'

The attitude of Christians in Aleppo seems to have improved since Syrian government forces re-took the city, and they believe the prayers of Christians abroad have helped them, one religious sister reports.

Christians in Aleppo find comfort in the prayers streaming in from around the world.

Christians in Aleppo find comfort in the prayers streaming in from around the world.

Highlights

By María Ximena Rondón (CNA/EWTN News)
Catholic Online (https://www.catholic.org)
4/7/2017 (2 years ago)

Published in Middle East

Keywords: Sleppo, Christians, protection, prayer


Aleppo, Syria (CNA/EWTN News) - Sister Maria Sponsa Iusti Ioseph, a native of Peru, told CNA that the Christians in Aleppo have received with love the words of Pope Francis.

When government forces took the city from rebels in December, the sisters told the faithful "that the Holy Father is praying for us and a lot of people in the world are too."


"They really appreciate that and they feel protected by the prayers of Christians," Sister Maria Sponsa said. "At the same time they feel very happy because they know that their suffering is not in vain, but it helps the people in the West. If they know that there are conversions because of that offering, that gives them a lot of strength to go on."

The sister is a religious of the Institute of the Incarnate Word who lives in the city of Aleppo, which was taken from rebels in December 2016. She recounted how Christians have lived in the last four months.

The Christians in Aleppo attend Mass frequently. Before Mass, they pray a Rosary for peace.

"Once a month a Eucharist is celebrated for the deceased in the Cathedral of the Child Jesus," Sister Maria Sponsa said. "Now thanks be to God, the Christian cemetery has been recovered-it was controlled by the rebels. Christians can visit their dead again and bring over bodies interred elsewhere for burial there."

Sister María Sponsa said that the people's attitude has improved since the government's capture of the city. This change was noticeable during Christmas.

"We saw that people were walking happily down the street. Their faces were completely changed," she said. "Even though they are usually very cheerful, you could notice another kind of joy. It was like a respite."

"Some of the window lights were lit up and the churches had also decorated their domes with lights. They even set up a Christmas tree in the street."

During previous Christmases since the civil war began, "there were no lights in the windows, nor were there churches decorated with lights, nor was there any Christmas atmosphere."

"When we visited the people we would ask them if they had set up a manger scene, but they didn't want to have one because it brought back memories for them," Sister Maria Sponsa reported. "Before the war they lived so happily, they shared the holidays with their families. And so it was depressing for them to put out those things that represented those memories in the midst of a difficult situation."

However, for the 2016 holidays some people put out their decorations again.

The religious sister also stressed that the suffering caused by shortages in the city, such as water, food and shelter, has resulted in Christian and Muslim neighbors working together to survive.

Guardian angels protect us.

Guardian angels protect us (Thomas Blackshear II).


"Today we all share the same lot. Everyone is suffering because of this situation. They help each other out. The people of Aleppo are very respectful and very open, thanks be to God," she said. "That makes it easier for good relationships among everyone."

Sister María Sponsa said that the home of the Incarnate Word sisters in Aleppo is open to anyone who wants to visit them.

"People like to come to the house. And so we have little get-togethers, have a little coffee," she said. "We even have coffee with the people after Sunday Mass. They enjoy it. They talk with us and get a little relief from the situation they're going through."

For Sister Maria Sponsa, Syrians "express affection very differently from Latinos."

"It seems to me they're much warmer," she said. "For example after five minutes they say 'I miss you.' When they know you well they call you and ask how you're doing."

"There, you hardly come into a house and they don't ask you if you're going to have coffee. They say, 'with or without sugar?'  They talk with you for five minutes and then they give you the coffee," she commented.

The Franciscans and the Salesians usually prepare the Christian children, youths and adults to receive the sacraments for the first time.

The religious  sister said that every Thursday the sisters get together with the young college students they welcome into their home.

"We talk, we give them a little doctrine, sometimes we watch movies and play board games," she said. "For them it's a time of fun and distraction. They're always waiting for it to be Thursday so we can get together."

They also organize a co-ed gathering once a month, since the men live with the priests of the same institute.


"When we can take a little walk, we go to the park, although it's not that safe. We watch movies with them or we invite them."

The Syrian civil war began in March 2011 with demonstrations against the nation's president, Bashar al-Assad. The war has claimed the lives of more than 320,000 people, and forced 4.8 million to become refugees. Another 8 million Syrians are believed to have been internally displaced by the violence.

---


'Help Give every Student and Teacher FREE resources for a world-class Moral Catholic Education'


Copyright 2019 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK


Comments


More Middle East

South Asia floods: 'Everything is coming to a complete standstill' Watch

Image of

Catholic Relief Services is working with local partners to provide aid amid severe flooding and landslides in parts of India, Nepal, and ... continue reading


Amid political uncertainty, Haitian bishops announce year of prayer Watch

Image of

The Catholic bishops of Haiti have announced a year of prayer and adoration for the country, which continues to face heightened tensions ... continue reading



Chile ends statute of limitations for sex crimes with underage victims Watch

Image of

Chile has removed the statute of limitation on sex crimes against children and adolescents, though the new law is not retroactive. The move ... continue reading


Ecuador march protests abortion, gay marriage Watch

Image of

Tens of thousands took to the streets of Guayaquil, Ecuador on June 22 in support of life, marriage, conscience protections, and parental ... continue reading


Kenyan court rules that rape victims have right to abortion Watch

Image of

 Kenya's High Court ruled Wednesday that rape victims whose pregnancy threatens their life or health have a right to procure abortion. ... continue reading


Deacon Keith Fournier Hi readers, it seems you use Catholic Online a lot; that's great! It's a little awkward to ask, but we need your help. If you have already donated, we sincerely thank you. We're not salespeople, but we depend on donations averaging $14.76 and fewer than 1% of readers give. If you donate just $5.00, the price of your coffee, Catholic Online School could keep thriving. Thank you. Help Now >

Never Miss any Updates!

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers.

Information
Learn about Catholic world

Catholic Online
Inform - Inspire - Ignite

Catholic Online Saints
Your saints explained

Catholic Online Prayers
Prayers for every need

Catholic Online Bible
Complete bible online

Catholic Online News
Your news Catholic eye

Daily Reading
Today's bible reading

Lent / Easter
Death & resurrection of Jesus

Advent / Christmas
Birth of Jesus

Rest of Catholic Online
All Catholic world we offer

Services
Products and services we offer

Catholic Online Shopping
Catholic medals, gifts & books

Advertise on Catholic Online
Your ads on catholic.org

Catholic Online Email
Email with Catholic feel

Education
Learn the Catholic way

Catholic Online School
Free Catholic education for all

Student Classes
K-12 & Adult Education Classes

Support Free Education
Tax deductible support Free education

Socials
Connect with us online

Catholic Online on Facebook
Catholic social network

Catholic Online on Twitter
Catholic Tweets

Catholic Online on YouTube
Enjoy our videos

Catholic Online on Instagram
Shared Catholic moments

Catholic Online on Pinterest
Catholic ideas style inspiration

Catholic Online Logo

Copyright 2019 Catholic Online. All materials contained on this site, whether written, audible or visual are the exclusive property of Catholic Online and are protected under U.S. and International copyright laws, © Copyright 2019 Catholic Online. Any unauthorized use, without prior written consent of Catholic Online is strictly forbidden and prohibited.

Catholic Online is a Project of Your Catholic Voice Foundation, a Not-for-Profit Corporation. Your Catholic Voice Foundation has been granted a recognition of tax exemption under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Federal Tax Identification Number: 81-0596847. Your gift is tax-deductible as allowed by law.