Syria: amidst the unceasing violence and human disaster, Mercy has knocked on Aleppo’s doors
The Jubilee of Mercy declared by Pope Francis has at last reached Syria. At the opening ceremony of the Holy Year all Oriental Bishops where present at St. Francis parish in Aleppo, toghether with hundreds of faithful. “All crammed into the Church, filled to capacity” as the Franciscan Friars of Aleppo, Father Ibrahim and Father Firas told us. Many Muslims where also attending the ceremony celebrated by Mons. Abou Khazen. This eventi s a small gesture of unity among those who would see only division. And it’s not so surprising “Because – says Father Ibrahim, the pearson – everyone needs mercy”.
The Friars though tell us that in Syria “the situation is hopeless and people cannot take it anymore: we haven’t had elctricity for 40 days and we are now without water. When needed we turn on the power generators that consume a lot of fuel: 2 amperes of electricity cost 20 euros, but they are sufficient to light only one bulb in the evening”.
The families in Aleppo have nothing. To keep on supporting the Syrian people in their concrete needs acquires a vital significance. The Friars tell us then that “with the aids that we recieved we managed to buy 200 lt of Gasoline for 600 families, for the power supply and heating. We also bought water, 200 barrels for 200 families and then we provided clothing for 200 children: underwear, shoes and winter clothing since it’s getting really cold here”.
For this reason the opening of the Door of Mercy, held on Saturday 12th of December, has had a vital significance for them. The official logo for the Jubilee “has a very particular significance – Father Ibrahim tells us – it pictures Christ who carries the wounded human being on his shoulders”. Just like the Christian men and women living in Syria and in the Holy Land: wounded, tired, helpless in front of all the violence. Starting from today though, a new picture shall light the hearts of those passing by the Church in Aleppo: it is the good picture of Jesus who will never abandon man on his own. Let us not forget them either, let us keep on suppurting this hope for Aleppo and the whole Syria!