“I am praying, in fact I am screaming at God to send his holy angels to protect the city. I rail at Him to please intervene”. So read an urgent appeal for prayer for the people of Aleppo, which I received yesterday. How timely as the Church keeps the Feast of St. Michael and All Angels this day.
Accordingly, I am calling our Church to prayer for this ancient and once beautiful city, now besieged and lying in ruins.
Hundreds of people have been killed in the relentless bombing of public buildings including hospitals and entire neighbourhoods. Hundreds lie buried in the rubble and many will likely die there. In their efforts to tend those hauled from the rubble medical teams are hampered by the instability of the very buildings in which they are working.
Emergency aid teams are frustrated in their efforts to deliver urgently needed food, water, and medical supplies. Tragically some aid convoys have been the targets of mercenary attacks in recent weeks by those bent on obliterating this city and its peoples.
For many the atrocities in Aleppo are but another chapter in the horrible war that has ravaged Syria for the last five years.
For many others, especially those with family ties in the area, this is a very frightening time. Is it any wonder that they are “screaming to God to send his holy angels to protect the city”?
On this day when we think of all those angels of whom we read in the Scriptures- all those who bow down before God in everlasting praise of his glory and then at his bidding come to the aid of those who call upon his mercy and justice, let us pray for the people of Aleppo.
Pray that legions of angels come to their protection and aid.
Pray for those struggling to provide relief- for they themselves are angels working in the midst of great danger.
Pray for those responsible for the horrific crimes against humanity for which this awful war is known and condemned by the United Nations. Pray that by a visitation of angels their hearts be turned.
Pray for those who struggle to negotiating peace for this land and its innocent peoples so traumatized by the horrors they have witnessed.
Pray for that day when, as the prophet says,
“Violence shall no longer be heard in your land, devastation within your borders. You shall call your walls Salvation and your gates Praise”. (Isaiah 60:18)
Archbishop Fred Hiltz
September 29th, 2016
St Michael and All Angels.
 The Primate received an urgent plea – from which this line was taken – to speak out against the atrocities being carried out in Syria and in Aleppo. This is his response.
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