Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Tuesday 28 September |
Saint of the Day: St. Wenceslaus
home iconSpirituality
line break icon

A Christmas Prayer for Syrian Refugees

James Gordon

Archbishop Samir Nassar - published on 12/12/13

The Infant Jesus does not lack companions in Syria; thousands of children who have lost their homes are living in tents as poor as the stable in Bethlehem.

This Christmas, it could be said that Syria best resembles a nativity scene: an open stable without a door, cold and destitute.

The Infant Jesus does not lack companions in Syria; thousands of children who have lost their homes are living in tents as poor as the stable in Bethlehem.

Jesus is not alone in his misery. Syria’s children, who have been abandoned and marked by scenes of violence, would still rather be in the place of Jesus: with loving parents to surround and cherish them. This bitterness is clearly visible in the eyes of Syria’s children, in their tears and silence.

Some envy the Divine Child because he found a stable in which to be born and sheltered, while some of these unfortunate Syrian children are born under falling bombs or on the road to exodus.

And despite her many struggles, Mary is not alone, either; many unfortunate less fortunate mothers live in extreme poverty and assume familial responsibilities without the help of their husbands. Even the precariousness of the manger of Bethlehem brings consolation to those poor mothers crushed by intractable problems and despair.

The reassuring presence of Joseph with the Holy Family is a source of jealousy for the thousands of families without a father – a deprivation that breeds fear, anxiety, and worry. Our unemployed envy Joseph the carpenter, who is able to provide for his family’s need.

The shepherds, who with their flocks approach the manger, talk about the many Syrian farmers who have lost 70 percent of their livestock in this war.

Nomadic life, which in this biblical land dates back to Abraham and even well before him, disappears abruptly along with its ancient customs of hospitality and traditional culture.

The shepherds’ dogs sympathize with the plight of their Syrian counterparts, who, ravaged by deadly violence, roam amidst the ruins and nourish themselves by eating corpses.

The infernal noise of war stifles the angels’ “Gloria.” This Christmas symphony for peace is instead obscured by hatred, division, and cruel atrocities.

May the three wise men bring to the manger of Syria the most precious gifts of Christmas – Peace, Forgiveness, and Reconciliation – so that the Star of Bethlehem might once again shine through the darkness of the night.

Lord, hear our prayer.

+Samir Nassar
Maronite Archbishop of Damascus

Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in seven languages: English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...

Top 10
The Sinai Peninsula and the Dead Sea Rift
J-P Mauro
Experts now believe Sodom was destroyed by a meteor
J-P Mauro
Chicago architect models Vatican City from 67,000 LEGO bricks
Fr. Michael Rennier
The purpose of life according to J.R.R. Tolkien
Giovanna Binci
He’s autistic, she has Down syndrome, and they’re wonderfully hap...
crisis man
Marzena Devoud
Advice from 3 monks for overcoming acedia
Bret Thoman, OFS
Exclusive photos: Meet Padre Pio and the place he lived
Christ and the woman taken in adultery
Daniel Esparza
What Jesus wrote
See More
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.