The images and personal stories of the Turkish and Syrian who people who are living with great intensity the horrors of the 7.8 earthquake on February 6th are moving. There is at least one Melkite connection.

“In an interview with ACI Prensa, Bishop Chahda [Syro-Catholic archbishop of Aleppo] underlined that “unfortunately it was a terrible event. I am very sorry for the loss of the Melkite Greek-Catholic priest Fr. Imad Daher who died under a building where Archbishop Jean-Clément Jeanbart lived”. “Pray for us”, he exhorted.”

Archbishop Jean-Clément Jeanbart was next to Fr. Imad Daher inside the episcopal house which had collapsed due to the earthquake. More than seven thousand people are estimated to have died as a result of the earthquake.

The body of Fr. Imad Daher, priest of the Virgin Mary parish for the Melkite Greek Catholics in Aleppo, was found under the rubble.

May the Lord of Life strengthen people of Turkey living in the aftermath of the earthquake. Let’s share prayers for the comfort of Fr. Imad’s soul.

Let us pray.

O God, Great, Awesome and Wonderous, Majestic and True; Who works all things and transforms all things; Who looks on the earth and makes it to tremble; Who touches the mountains and they smoke; Who shakes all that is under the Heaven to their foundations and yet its pillars are not moved; Who strives against the foundations of the earth, yet at a gesture makes them firm; Who all things fear and tremble before the face of Thy might; for the wrath of Thy threatening which is upon us sinners is intolerable, yet unsearchable an immeasurable is the mercy of Thy promise: Do Thou thyself remember Thy compassions, O Lord, and grant us Thy mercies that are from everlasting.

Establish Thy creation, strengthen the earth, set aright its trembling, make firm the world that is shaking, and destroy us not on account of our sins, neither condemn us according to our iniquities to the vaults under the earth. For thou art our God, a God merciful and Who saves and unto Thee do we render glory: to the Father, and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit, both now and ever and unto ages of ages. Amen.