Patriarchate News

His Holiness Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem II received Her Excellency Dr. Bouthaina Shaaban, Political and Media Adviser to the Syrian Presidency, at the Patriarchate in Bab Touma – Damascus.

Her Excellency was accompanied by Mr. Moussa Al-Khoury, Executive Director of “Wathiqat Watan” association, and Mr. Saher Al-Hasheem, General Director of the International Civilization Center.

During the meeting, Her Excellency introduced to His Holiness the “Wathiqat Watan” Organization and its work in the preservation and documentation the Syrian culture. The organization’s field of work include three major projects, one of which is the documentation of the Syriac culture and language.

The meeting was attended by their Eminences Mor Timotheos Matta Al-Khoury, Patriarchal Vicar of the Patriarchal Archdiocese in Damascus, and Mor Maurice Amsih, Archbishop of Jazeera and Euphrates, as well as Very Rev. Raban Joseph Bali, Patriarchal Secretary and Media Office Director, and Deacon Imad Syryany.

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His Holiness Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem II received His Excellency Mr. Saiid Zakhia, Lebanese Ambassador to Syria, at the patriarchate in Bab Touma – Damascus.

His Excellency’s visit is the first to His Holiness after assuming his office in Syria. During the meeting, His Excellency offered Christmas greetings to His Holiness. they discussed issues related to the situation in Syria and Lebanon, and the relation between the two countries, as well as the role of the church in promoting peace and love in the societies.

The meeting was attended by their Eminences Mor Timotheos Matta Al-Khoury, Patriarchal Vicar of the Patriarchal Archdiocese in Damascus, and Mor Maurice Amsih, Archbishop of Jazeera and Euphrates, as well as Very Rev. Raban Joseph Bali, Patriarchal Secretary and Media Office Director, and Deacon Imad Syryany.

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His Holiness Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem II received His Excellency Sayyed Abu’l Fadl Tabtabaei, representative of Al Imam Sayyed Ali Khamenei in Damascus, at the Patriarchate in Bab Touma – Damascus.

His Excellency offered Christmas greetings to His Holiness.

They discussed the historical role of Christians in Syria, Iran and throughout the Middle East.

They also spoke about the current situation in Syria, especially the relief work and different projects that are executed by the church to help the Syrian people affected by the crisis.

Their Eminences Mor Timotheos Matta Al-Khouri, Patriarchal Vicar for the Patriarchal Archdiocese of Damascus, and Mor Maurice Amsih, Archbishop of Jazeera and Euphrates, as well as Very Rev. Raban Joseph Bali, Patriarchal Secretary and Media Office Director, attended the meeting.

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His Holiness Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem II received His Excellency Raeed Mehko, Newly appointed Consul of Syria in Canada. His Excellency is from Hassaka, and is a member of our Syriac Orthodox Church.

His Holiness congratulated His Excellency for his new office and wished him all the best. In turn, His Excellency thanked His Holiness for his support and prayers.

His Eminence Mor Maurice Amsih, Archbishop of Jazeera and Euphrates, Very Rev. Raban Joseph Bali, Patriarchal Secretary and Media Office Director, and Very Rev. Raban Jack Yakoub, Director of the Suryoyo Patriarchal Youth Department, attended the meeting.

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His Holiness Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem II holds a meeting for the Syriac Orthodox Archbishops of Syria: Mor Selwanos Petros Al-Nemeh, Archbishop of Homs and Hama, Mor Timotheos Matta Al-Khouri, Patriarchal Vicar for the Patriarchal Archdiocese of Damascus, and Mor Maurice Amsih, Archbishop of Jazeera and Euphrates, and Very Rev. Raban Boutros Kassis, Patriarchal Delegate of the Archdiocese of Aleppo and Environs, Patriarchal Delegate to Aleppo.
During the meeting, His Holiness discussed with their Eminences matters related to the Syriac Church in Syria and how to provide the best service possible for the faithful.
 

His Holiness Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem II received His Eminence Archbishop Isaac Barakat, Metropolitan of Germany and Central Europe for the Greek Orthodox Church of Antioch.
Their Eminences Mor Selwanos Petros Al-Nemeh, Archbishop of Homs and Hama, Mor Timotheos Matta Al-Khouri, Patriarchal Vicar for the Patriarchal Archdiocese of Damascus, and Mor Maurice Amsih, Archbishop of Jazeera and Euphrates, and Very Rev. Raban Jospeh, Patriarchal Secretary and Media Office Director.
His Eminence Barakat offered greetings to His Holiness on the occasion of Christmas and New Year.
 

His Holiness Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem II celebrated the Holy Qurobo of the second Sunday after Epiphany, at St. Georges Patriarchal Cathedral in Bab Touma – Damscus.

He was assisted by their Eminences: Mor Selwanos Petros Al-Nemeh, Archbishop of Homs and Hama, Mor Timotheos Matta Al-Khouri, Patriarchal Vicar for the Patriarchal Archdiocese of Damascus, and Mor Maurice Amsih, Archbishop of Jazeera and Euphrates, in the presence of the monks and deacons of the patriarchate as well as the faithful of the parish.

In his sermon, His Holiness spoke about the mysteries of the lamb, which depicts the image of our Lord Jesus Christ – the Lamb of Truth – in whom all mysteries came to completion. He also spoke about Jesus choosing the disciples to preach the Gospel.

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His Holiness Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem II, Patriarch of Antioch and all the East, and Supreme Head of the Universal Syriac Orthodox Church, hosted an official reception in honor of His Excellency Mr. Hammouda Sabbagh, Speaker of the Syrian Parliament, who is the first Syriac Orthodox, and the first Christian to hold the post since the 1940s.
The reception was held in the Patriarchate headquarters in Bab Touma in Damascus, and was attended by: His Beatitude Joseph Absi, Greek Catholic Melkite Patriarch of Antioch and All the East, His Grace the Grand Mufti of Syria Dr. Ahmad Badreddine Hassoun, Her Excellency Dr. Bouthaina Shaaban, Political and Media Adviser to the Syrian Presidency, His Excellency Advisor Dr. Iskandar Luqa, their Eminences and Excellences bishops of Damascus, a number of priests and monks, their Excellences Syrian Ministers: Dr. Rima al-Qadiri, Minister of Social Affairs, Dr. Atef Naddaf, Minister of Higher Education, Dr. Abdullah al-Gharbi, Minister of Internal Trade and Consumer Protection, Dr. Faisal Mekdad, Syrian Deputy-Foreign Minister, as well as several members of the Syrian Parliament. His Excellency Mr. Jayez Al-Moussa, Governor of Hassakeh, also attended the reception.
From our Syriac Orthodox Church, their Eminences: Mor Selwanos Petros Al-Nemeh, Archbishop of Homs and Hama, Mor Timotheos Matta Al-Khouri, Patriarchal Vicar for the Patriarchal Archdiocese of Damascus, Mor Timotheos Matthew, Patriarchal Secretary for Indian Affairs, and Mor Maurice Amsih, Archbishop of Jazeera and Euphrates, and Very Rev. Raban Boutros Kassis, Patriarchal Delegate of the Archdiocese of Aleppo and Environs, Patriarchal Delegate to Aleppo, as well as monks and deacons of the patriarchate attended the reception.
His Holiness welcomed his guests at the Syriac Patriarchate. He then spoke about the significance of electing a Christian to head the Syrian Parliament. His Holiness said that this assures the harmonious nature of the Syrian Society, which lived a unique experience for thousands of years, for it has welcomed people from different races, and become a beautiful rich and harmonious painting. This is what gave it strength to resist this global war that is set against us and that uses terrorism and religion trying to destroy our country”. His Holiness added that “this step is a confirmation of the role of Christians in the society that is of a Muslim majority; it is possible for all talented and experienced people to serve this dear country”. His Holiness considered the election of a Christian to this office as a sign of intellectual and political maturity because the colleagues consider the interest of the country before any other consideration. His Holiness spoke about the family of Mr. Sabbagh who come from a noble Syriac background and is known for its nationalistic role in the Syrian Jazirah as well as in Damascus.
Then, His Excellency the Grand Mufti of Syria Dr. Ahmad Badreddine Hassoun spoke about the role of the Christians in Syria and considered Syria to be the model for a country where everyone can live despite their differences. His Excellency pointed out that, in Syria, offices are not given according to denominations but according to abilities, because Syria is a country where all citizens are equal. He gave the example of the election of a Christian to the office of the Speaker of the Syrian Parliament because of his talent and ability. He called to the love of God and country and to be attached to the roots. His Excellency thanked His Holiness for this welcoming reception and wished Mr. Hammouda a fruitful and successful mission.
In turn, His Excellency Mr. Sabbagh, Speaker of the Syrian Parliament, thanked His Holiness for this honorary reception and expressed his pride to be a member of the Syriac Orthodox Church. He also expressed his pride and honor to be given this trust from the President of the Syrian Arab Republic, His Excellency Dr. Bashar Assad. He added that we were brought up in this country where the people are one; this is shown by the unity despite the crisis which lasted 7 years but could not destroy Syria. The conspiracy may be great, but our determination to resist it is greater”. Mr. Sabbagh hoped that the year 2018 is the year of complete victory which “can be celebrated in the squares of Damascus and throughout the country”.
Then, the guests were seated to a banquet in honor of Mr. Sabbagh.

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Since his installation as Patriarch of Antioch and All the East, and Supreme Head of the Universal Syriac Orthodox Church, His Holiness Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem II has considered opening a Patriarchal Office in North America to facilitate the communication between the different Archdioceses and parishes and the Patriarchate, and to better serve the faithful there.
His Holiness has recently appointed Very Rev. Raban Augeen Benyamen as Director of the Patriarchal Office in North America. Very Rev. Fr. Augeen will receive correspondence from the faithful of the Syriac Orthodox Church in North America in matters directly related to the Patriarchate. He will relay all communications directly to the Patriarchal Office in Damascus to be dealt with promptly.
 

His Holiness Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem II presided over the Epiphany (Denho) Holy Qurobo in St. Jacob Baradaeus in Jaramana – Damascus.

His Eminence Mor Timotheos Matta Al-Khoury, Patriarchal Vicar in the Patriarhal Archdiocese of Damascus, celebrated the Holy Qurobo, which was attended by Very Rev. Fr. Patrick who comes from Barnabas Fund Organization, along with the monks of the patriarchate, the deacons and the faithful of the parish.

In his sermon, His Eminence spoke about the baptism of our Lord Jesus, Who gave us an example, and opened for us the way to life. He then talked about the martyrdom of John the Baptist and Stephan, head of the deacons and the first martyr.

At the end of his sermon, His Eminence thanked His Holiness, on behalf of Very Rev. Raban Barsoum Kando, parish priest, and all the parish, for always being among his spiritual children.

During the Qurobo, His Holiness presided over the rite of blessing the water, special for Epiphany feast.

At the end of the Qurobo, His Holiness greeted the parishioners and expressed his great joy to be among. He also welcomed Father Patrick, his wife, and his assistant, who are on a visit to the patriarchate.

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