Syria: Deeds of love in Aleppo

At the Sixth Station (Veronica wipes the face of Jesus) Saint John Paul II wrote: “On every deed of love, as on the face-cloth of Veronica, the Redeemer imprints the mark of his Countenance.” Such deeds of love are seen in Aleppo, where Jesuit Father Sami Hallak wants to restore what is left of Saint Wartan’s, the former Jesuit centre in this north Syrian city, making it a centre of peace as it was before. The building was on the front line of the conflict, as one can see from looking at it. But some of the rooms can be repaired, so that youth groups can study and stay overnight.

In their bombed-out home: Mary and her blind brother Sarkis live next door to the Jesuits.
In their bombed-out home: Mary and her blind brother Sarkis live next door to the Jesuits.

And a section of the garden can be restored to make a small rectangular park, where the poor local people can find a shady spot to shelter from the summer heat. The Jesuits will also give them a little bread to eat. Because most of them have neither food nor shelter from the weather in their bombed out houses. For the moment, this is all that can be done, since nobody knows how or when the rebuilding of the city will be carried out. But the poor of Aleppo need our love and care today. The young people, most of whom are Christians, also need a sign of our loving care – no matter how small, just like Veronica with her veil. We are helping with €30,000. For the restoration works on the centre and in the little Peace Park are deeds that bear the imprint of Christ’s face.

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