I believe in one God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible;
And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the Only-begotten, Begotten of the Father before all worlds, Light of Light, Very God of Very God, Begotten, not made; of one essence with the Father, by whom all things were made:
Who for us men and for our salvation came down from heaven, and was incarnate of the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary, and was made man;
And was crucified also for us under Pontius Pilate, and suffered and was buried;
And the third day He rose again, according to the Sriptures;
And ascended in heaven, and sitteth at the right hand of the Father;
And He shall come again with glory to judge the quick and the dead, Whose kingdom shall have no end.
And I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord and Giver of Life, Who proceedeth from the Father, Who with the Father and the Son together is worshipped and glorified, Who spake by the Prophets;
And I believe in One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church.
I acknowledge one Baptism for the remission of sins.
I look for the Resurrection of the dead,
And the Life of the world to come. Amen.
The Council of Nicaea was convoked in A.D. 325 by Emperor Constantine I to stop the false teachings that were pulling people away from the Church. The Nicene Creed was adopted to protect true Christianity. Further clarification regarding the Holy Spirit was added in the Council of Constantinople in 381. The Creed is a summary of the entire Christian Faith, and is often called the "Symbol of Faith." We profess "The Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed" as it was given and inspired by the Holy Spirit to the Church at the Ecumenical Councils...without change or alteration!
Church & Authority...What Catholics Believe...
The Church is the "Kingdom of God on Earth"...not to be divided...
"While the bond of concord remains, and the undivided sacrament of the Catholic Church endures, every bishop disposes and directs his own acts, and will have to give an account of his purposes to the Lord." -- St. Cyprian in his Letter to Antonianus
"For neither does any of us set himself up as a bishop of bishops, nor by tyrannical terror does any compel his colleague to the necessity of obedience; since every bishop, according to the allowance of his liberty and power, has his own proper right of judgment, and can no more be judged by another than himself can judge another. But let us all wait for the judgment of our Lord Jesus Christ, who is the only one that has the power both of preferring us in the government of His Church, and of judging us in our conduct there." -- St. Cyprian in his Address to the Seventh Ecumenical Council
"Through the changes of time and successions, the ordering of bishops and the plan of the Church flow onwards; so that the Church is founded upon the bishops, and every act of the Church is controlled by these same rulers. Since this, then, is founded on the divine law, I marvel that some, with daring temerity, have chosen to write to me as if they wrote in the name of the Church." -- St. Cyprian to the Lapsed, Epistle XXVI
"...the Councils themselves, which are held in the several districts and provinces, must yield, beyond all possibility of doubt, to the authority of the Plenary (Ecumenical or General) Councils which are formed for the whole Christian world..." -- St. Augustine in his work 'On Baptism, Against the Donatists'
"...which by means of the Apostolis Sees, and the succession of bishops is spread abroad in an indisputably world-wide diffusion." -- St. Augustine in his Letter CCXXXII
"For on this very account the Lord said, 'On this rock I will build my Church,' because Peter had said, 'Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.' On this rock, therefore, He said, which thou hast confessed, I will build my Church. For the Rock (petra) was Christ; and on this foundation was Peter himself also built." -- St. Augustine of Hippo in his Tractate CXXIV, 'On the Gospel of John'
"Thou art therefore, saith He, Peter, and upon this Rock which thou hast confessed, upon this rock, which thou hast acknowledged, saying, 'Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God,' I will build my Church. Upon Me I will build thee, not Me upon thee." -- St. Augustine of Hippo in his Tractate CXXIV, On the Gospel of John'
"Where the bishop is to be seen, there let all his people be; just as wherever Jesus Christ is present, we have the Catholic Church." -- St. Ignatius of Antioch in his Letter to the Smyrnaeans
"It is not the case that there is one church at Rome and another in all the world beside. Gaul and Britain, Africa and Persia, India and the East worship one Christ and observe one rule of truth. If you ask for authority, the world outweighs its capital. Wherever there is a bishop, whether it be at Rome or at Engubium, whether it be Constantinople or at Rhegium, whether it be at Alexandria or at Zoan, his dignity is one and his priesthood is one. Neither the command or wealth nor the lowliness of poverty makes him more a bishop or less a bishop. All alike are successors of the apostles." St. Jerome in his Letter CXLVI to Evangelus
The East has always preserved the Cyprianic vision of the Early Church. St. Cyprian forefully preached that St. Peter's primacy is shared by all the bihsops and St. Augustine, Bishop of Hippo & Doctor of the Church in the West, unequivocally stated time & time again that supreme universal jurisdiction of the Church resides in its Ecumenical or General Councils and not in a single Apostolic See! St. Augustine had ample opportunity to express a belief in the supreme jurisdiction of the Roman Patriarchate...but he NEVER did so. From before the Third Century, the Church in Rome was accepted as "First Among Equals." The "Chair of Peter" was the Undivided Church and not the "See of Rome" by itself. St. Cyprian clearly taught St. Peter's primacy being perpetuated in ALL the canonical bishops of the Undivided Catholic Church. St. Cyprian's works pointedly exclude the notion of St. Peter's primacy being exercised by a single bishopto the exclusion of others.This form of Church government was the ONLY ONE recognized by the Seven Ecumenical Councils of the Undivided Church, as is preserved by the Eastern Churches today. It is this "pastoral conversion" of both the present day Papacy & Roman Curia that His Holiness Pope Francis is working to achieve! The Church must profess "Church and Authority" as it was given band inspired by the Holy Spirit to the Undivided Catholic Church at the Seven Ecumenical Councils...without any change or alteration!
Our Blessed Mother speaks...What Catholics Believe...
A correct understanding of Early Church Teachings...for UNITY!
"My children, remember God. God is with us. Repent and have faith. Announce my Son, the Emmanuel. He, who announces Him, is saved, he who does not announce Him, his faith is vain. Love one another." -- The Undivided Catholic Church, East & West Tegether, must profess Our Lord & Saviour Jesus Christ, "GOD WITH US," to all people...so they will know we are Christians by our love...a UNIFIED WITNESS to the world!
"I am not asking for money to give to churches, nor for money to distribute to the poor. I am asking for love. Those who distribute their money to the poor and to churches without love, those are nothing." -- The Church is built by FAITH & LOVE that must be put into action...like Pope Francis...by our fruits they will know us.
"I shall visit the homes more, because those who go to church sometimes, do not go there to pray. I, myself, am not asking you to build me a church but a place of prayer. Found a church. I did not say: build a church. The Church that Jesus has adopted, is one and same Church, because Jesus is one." -- There is only ONE Church and it is not determined on the size of a building or the size of its congregation...but on its Catholic Faith.
"The Church is the Kingdom of Heaven on earth. He who divided it has sinned, and he who rejoices in its division has also sinned. Jesus built it; it was very small. And, when it grew, it became divided. He who divided it, bears ho love in him." -- Both East & West must correct their faults, overlook their political differences, forgive historical faults and strive for UNITY...especially for the common celebration date of Pascha/Easter...return to being the Unidivided "One, Holy, Catholic & Apostolic" Church of the Apostles holding the authentic Deposit of Faith.
"Gather. I tell you: pray, pray and pray. How beautiful are my children when they kneel down, imploring. Do not be fragmented as your superiors are. You, you will teach the generations the word of UNITY, LOVE and FAITH. Pray for the inhabitants of earth and heaven. I have not come to separate. Your married life will remain as it." -- All are welcome before God and His Holy Mother...ORTHODOX, CATHOLIC, PROTESTANT, JEW, MUSLIM, ETC...we cannot turn anyone away; and, we will experience true ecumenism at the "grassroots" level.
The Catholic Church must be "Orthodox"
Meaning "straight belief" or "rightly believing"...
WITNESS OF THE EAST: Christ founded His Church in the East, it is fully "orthodox" in Faith, it is the One, Holy, Catholic & Apostolic Church in which resides the fllness of Christian Truth. It is "Holy" because its head, the Lord Jesus Christ, is holy and has made it the unique vehicle of sanctification; it is "Catholic" because it knows no limitation of time or place and encompasses within itself the entirety of Christ's Church; and it is "Apostolic" because it has maintained, with unbroken continuity & without any alteration, the "Deposit of Faith," passed down from the Apostles, through the ages. The original & authentic spiritual life of the Early Undivided Catholic Church is the splendid and moving worship of the Eastern Churches.
The Eastern Church is where Christianity and "church" began: evangelical, but not Protestant; orthodox but not Jewish; catholic but not Roman. It the UNDIVIDED Catholic Church that has believed, taught, preserved, defended and died for the Faith of the Apostles since the Day of Pentecost 2000 years ago.
The Catholic Church began and must remain on that ORTHODOX "straight path" of belief from the day of Pentecost...she is the One, Holy, Apostolic & CATHOLIC CHURCH - embracing all mankind...maintaining a mystical approach to theology, declarng that certain things are above human reason.
The Catholic Church in the East keeps things a "mystery"...she veils and covers what the Catholic Church in the West lays open and exhibits. She feels reluctant to regulate the approach to the Holy Mysteries by precise disciplinary canons and to utter too detailed statements on their nature.
This indefiniteness has a very simple explanation: The Eastern Church wants a "mystery" to remain a "mystery," and not to become a theorum or a juridical institution as has happened in the West.
CATHOLICS, EAST & WEST TOGETHER, MUST BELIEVE THIS TRUTH: in Apostolic Churches of the Valid Apostolic Succession, the same Blood of Jesus Christ flows through our veins from the Holy Eucharist! Hence, no decree from Patriarch or Pope...no Encyclical or Mandate...no Ecumenical Council...can UNITE us any more than what the Very Immaculate Body & Precious Blood of Our Blessed Lord has done already!
The CATHOLIC CHURCH, both East & West together, was founded by Our Blessed Lord & Saviour Jesus Christ and is the living manifestation of His presence in the history of mankind. Its origins extend directly back to Jesus and His Apostles through the unbroken Apostolic Succession. From the very beginning, the Church's doctrines were fully "ORTHODOX" and developed through the Seven Ecumenical Councils held between the 4th & 8th centuries. These Councils were convened out of necessity to thwart certain heresies that had developed such as Arianism, Nestorianism and Monothelitism. Toward the end of its first thousand years of existence, differences...both politial & jurisdictional...developed between the Eastern & Western Roman Empire that ultimately led to the Great Schism in 1054 A.D., sadly splitting Roman Catholics from Eastern Orthodox Christians. The One True Church that Jesus Christ founded has always been "orthodox" in Faith and "catholic" in Communion. Christ's Church is ONE, HOLY, CATHOLIC and APOSTOLIC!
The Eastern part of the UNDIVIDED Catholic Church created UNITY out of a diversity of nations through the efforts of brothers Sts. Cyril & Methodius. It brought the Slavs into the Byzantine world.
In Kyiv, Vladimir, Prince in that Mother of Russian cities, shopped about for a religion for his people. He sampled the Jewish, Roman and Islamic Faiths. He sent emissaries to Constantinople. Inspired by the resplendent Divine Liturgy in Hagia Sophia, they "knew not whether we were in Heaven or on earth. For on earth there is no such splendor...We only know that God dwells there among men..." Whereupon Prince Vladimir had his people Baptized in the Dnieper River and the entire Rus'-Ukraine became Orthodox.
The West transformed itself through the Renaissance, Reformation, Enlightenment and the rise of science into a dynamic society enshrining the individual and progress through free inquiry and experiment.
The East continues to see itself as a world not in process; it has arrived, its eternal order God-ordained.
The essence of the Church being "orthodox" is that it changes very little and "holds fast" to what Jesus Christ has taught...which, in all reality, is what the Catholic Church that Christ founded is all about!
Our Lady of Soufanieh is pointing us in the right direction to UNIFY Her Son's Holy Catholic Church...She is our Mother and our Guide.
Our Lady of Soufanieh is a "Pan-Orthodox" Mission Parish located in Central Ohio...working for UNITY...serving all Jurisdictions...welcoming all people...and spreading the messages of the "MIRACLE OF DAMASCUS"
“That all may be ONE, even as You, Father, in Me and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You have sent Me. And the glory you have given Me, I have given to Them, that they may be ONE, even as We are ONE: I in them and You in Me; that they may be perfected in UNITY, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and that You have loved them even as You love me.” (St. John Gospel 17:21-23)
OUR LADY OF SOUFANIEH - RECOGNIZED A MIRACLE BY:
The Antiochian Greek-Orthodox Patriarchate in Damascus, Syria
His Beatitude Patriarch IGNATIUS IV (Hazim)
The Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Patriarchate in Kyiv, Ukraine
His Beatitude Patriarch MOSES (Koulik)
Approbations and Testimonials by:
His Beatitude Patriarch ZAKKA I (Iwas) - Syrian Orthodox
His Beatitude Patriarch MAXIMOS (Hakim) - Melkite Greek-Catholic
His Beatitude Patriarch MOSES (Koulik) - Ukrainian Orthodox
His Beatitude Patriarch GREGORY III (Laham) - Melkite Greek-Catholic
Archbishop ISIDORE (Battikha) - Patriarchal Vicar in Damascus
Archbishop LUIGI (Accogli) - Apostolic Nuncio from The Vatican
Archbishop GEORGE (Garmo) - Chaldean Catholic
His Grace BOULOS (Pandeli) - Greek Orthodox
His Grace Bishop YOUSEF (Al-Mounayer) - Syrian Catholic
His Grace Bishop BOULOS (Coussa) - Armenian Catholic
The miracle "Fountain of Holy Oil" continues to be visited in Damascus and witnessed by tens of thousands of Clergy and Devoted Faithful throughout the Middle East, North America, Europe, etc...Greek Orthodox, Syrian Catholics, Roman Catholics, Greek Catholics, Romanian Catholics, Assyrians, Armenian Catholics, Maronites, Assurians, Muslims and Buddhists...devoted men, women & children from all denominations and confessions.
Our Lady of Soufanieh has appeared five times...the messages are in full harmony with Sacred Scripture through their deep spiritual meaning and their pressing appeal to faith, love, announcing the Immanuel, repentance, humility, joy in the Lord, mutual forgiveness and UNITY of The Catholic Church and for a common celebration date for the Feast of Holy Pascha/Easter. The Apparitions, Stigmata, Healings & Messages were all declared to be "Miraculous" by the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch & endorsed by Eastern Rite Catholic Patriarchates.
All apparitions have taken place at night, on the terrace of Myrna's residence. Only Myrna sees the Holy Virgin. An intense atmosphere of prayer and peace around her and throughout the house prevails during the apparitions. Myrna promotes the messages throughout the world.
The stigmata occur only during the common celebration of Holy Week and common date of Pascha/Easter when Orthdox Christians & Roman Catholics celebrate it together. In 2014 both East & West will celebrate the Resurrection of Christ...Pascha/Easter...on the same date!
So...what does the message of UNITY mean for a seemingly divided Church...why have messages NOT been promoted as asked for by Our Lady of Soufanieh...where do we go with this TRUTH...and, what is expected from us? Facts every Roman Catholic & Orthodox Christian need to know!
WHAT THIS "MIRACLE" MEANS TO US: In the modest district of Soufanieh in Damascus, Syria, near the heart of the place where St. Paul was struck down by a blinding light from heaven, and there converted and baptized, today in our own times as we see war & great religious unrest, new light is shining.
In this book, anthor, Father Robert J. Fox tells of marvels: exucations of "Holy Oil," apparitions, ecstasies, messages, visions, stigmata, bodily and spiritual cures, with doors of a family open to all. The story of Soufanieh has even been presented over the EWTN ministry of Mother Angelica.
A light from Heaven is shining again - calling all peoples of the world to UNITE as ONE in Jesus Christ. Father Fox relates the call of Heaven for UNITY, LOVE, HOLINESS in our families as a prerequisite for Christian UNITY. Light from the East has been shining in recent years even more brightly at Damascus, its Soufanieh Community at the Virgin's House and thoughout the world...even here in the USA you can see one of the Holy Icons exuding Holy Oil...see a "MIRACLE" with your own eyes!
There is a great need for both understanding and appreciation between the East and the West, between Orthodox Christians & Roman Catholics...that is what our Mission is all about.
"Light of the East - Miracles of Our Lady of Soufanieh" is available through: Fatima Family Apostolate, P.O. Box 269, Hanceville, Alabama 35077
Interestingly enough, these messages of UNITY were given to a Greek-Catholic wife & mother who is married to an Orthodox Christian...and, according to Canon Law, under the ecclesiastical jurisdiction of her husband, being Antiochian Greek-Orthodox...
One Kingdom on Earth...One Faith...One Belief...One Church!
"The Church that Jesus adopted is One Church, because Jesus is One. The Church is the Kingdom of Heaven on Earth. He who has divided it has sinned. And he who has rejoiced from its division has also sinned." (Message of the Blessed Virgin Mary the Mother of God - 24 March 1983)
"Hold the East in your hearts. From here a light emerged anew. You are its radiance in a world seduced by materialism, sensuality and fame, so much as to have almost lost its values...hold on to your Eastern identity. Do not allow your will, your freedom and your faith in this Orient to be taken away from you." - (Message of Our Lord Jesus Christ - Holy Saturday, 10 April 2004)
The "Symbol of Faith"...IS the key...and the "Real Presence" of Christ in the Holy Eucharist is the answer for UNITY...
In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit..."Most Holy Mother of God, Thou has come into the world; proclaiming words of love and faith and unity; A Fountain of Holy Oil to heal the infirmed, a 'New Light' illuminating from the East! O, Virgin Mary, Our Lady of Soufanieh, Intercede with Christ Our God; For He has saved us." ...Now and Ever and Unto Ages of Ages. Amen. (Troparion of Our Lady of Soufanieh)
The Holy Icon on the left is one of the more than 1,000 Icons throughout the world that is exuding Holy Oil...located in Chicago, Illinois.
This Roman Catholic Priest gives a complete history of the Miraculous events of Our Lady of Soufanieh. Complete with documentation from both Eastern & Western Sources. He presented Soufanieh on EWTN. (see below)
"...whatever He says to you, do it." (John 2:5)...Our Blessed Mother's plea to all her children