Syria: Archbishop and sisters survive as cathedral is shelled

The Maronite Archbishop of Damascus, Most Rev Samir Nassar, had a narrow escape at 1.20pm Monday afternoon, when a shell crashed through his bed - seconds before he was going to take a nap. He writes in a message: "Providence watches over his poor servant.. I am exiled like the 12 million Syrians who have done nothing."

Archbishop Nassar said the latest shelling also caused serious damage to his cathedral. More than 43 windows and doors need to be replaced and fuels and water tanks need repairing.

"The violence continues and innocents die every day" he writes.

After Monday's onslaught the Archbishop said the cathedral priests feared the worst and cried with joy when they saw him walking out alive through the smoke and rubble. Bishop Nassar concluded his message: "In prayer union in front of Our Lady of Peace."

Supporter Antonia Moffat writes: "Sr Annie Demerijan her sisters and girls also in Damascus all had a narrow escape. They are all living in desperate fear as they do not know what may happen next. Please increase your prayers for Syria."

Many thanks to Antonia for sharing this news with us.

The original message, in French from Archbishop Nassar follows below.

Merci de votre proximité de nos
souffrances..Un obus est tombé sur mon lit lundi 8 janvier
à 13h20 au moment de s'apprêter à prendre une petite sieste
quelques secondes au lavabo m'ont sauvé la vie..
La Providence veille sur son pauvre serviteur..
Je suis exilé comme les 12 millions de Syriens qui n'ont
plus riens..Les dégats sont assez importants..les portes
de la Cathédrale et plus de 43 fenêtres et portes sont à remplacer
des trous à boucher et les citernes de fuel et de l'eau à réparer.
La violence continue et les innocents meurent chaque jour..
Les prêtres gardent le moral..ilsont pleuré de joie en me voyant sortir
vivant de la fumée et des décombres..
En union de prière devant Notre Dame de la Paix
+ Samir NASSAR

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