Patriarchate News

His Holiness Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem II attended an event organized by the nuns of Mor Jacob Baradeus Monastery on the occasion of the 28th anniversary of their sisterhood.
The event took place at Mor Jacob Baradeus Monastery in Atchaneh, Bekfaya – Lebanon, and was attended by their Eminences Mor Philoxenus Matta Chamoun, and Mor Chrysostomos Mikhael Chamoun, Patriarchal Vicar and Director of the Patriarchal Benevolent Institutions in Atchaneh, and Very Rev. Raban Joseph Bali, Patriarchal Secretary and Media Office Director, as well as the sisters of Mor Jacob’s order, and a crowd of faithful.
Sister Theodora gave a speech in which she spoke about the feast of the Annunciation, listing the characters of the Virgin Mary Mother of God. Sister Theodora, then, spoke about the order of Mor Jacob Baradeus and its establishment in the year 1990, as well as the phases that the sisterhood has undergone in the past 28 years. At the end of her speech, she thanked His Holiness Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem II, on behalf of all the sisters in the order, for his overwhelming love and spiritual guidance.
Then, a meditation about the Annunciation from Mor Jacob of Serugh was presented by sisters Rafqa and Philoxena.
A small play for the occasion followed and was presented by the children who attend the Holy Qurobo in Atchaneh. The play portrayed the story of annunciation and how children should always follow the commands of God and their parents.
In his speech, His Holiness expressed his tremendous joy to attend this very nice program, and to see the purity of children in acting and expressing what’s in their pure hearts; he said that “We felt that we are in heaven; this is the way to the kingdom of God: humility and love. Indeed, we will not enter the kingdom of God if we do not return and become like children.” He added that “to be like God, we need to see things His way not in worldly ways as do the non-believers.”
His Holiness then spoke about the humility and meekness of the Virgin Mary who gives us a vivid example in how we can live our lives and become like children. He also emphasized the fact that the Virgin Mary devoted her life to God on the day of Annunciation; and so do the nuns of Mor Jacob’s order. He prayed for the continuous progress of the sisterhood for the glory of God and the growth of His Holy Church.

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His Holiness Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem II received His Excellency Hon. Raed Ishak, Member of the Iraqi Parliament, at the Patriarchal Residence in Atchaneh – Lebanon.
His Excellency gave an overview of the recent developments in Iraq.
His Holiness discussed with Hon. Ishak the different ways to help the suffering Christians who fled Iraq and are currently in Lebanon.
His Eminence Mor Philoxenus Matta Chamoun, 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 celebrated the Holy Qurobo on the occasion of the Feast of the Annunciation at Mor Jacoub Baradeus Church in Atchaneh – Lebanon.
His Holiness was assisted by His Eminences Mor Chrysostomos Mikhael Chamoun, Patriarchal Vicar and Director of the Patriarchal Benevolent Institutions in Atchaneh, in the presence of His Eminence Mor Philoxenus Matta Shamoun.
In his sermon, His Holiness spoke about the humble character of the Virgin Mary and how God chooses the meek in heart and raises them. He also spoke about the challenges that we face when we follow the Lord and walk in His footsteps.
His Holiness remembered the founding of the sisterhood by late Patriarch Mor Ignatius Zakka I Iwas, of blessed memory for the service of the Church by praying, teaching and serving in different ways. He prayed asking the Lord to bless their work for the good of the Church.
During the Qurobo His Holiness held a special service (teshmeshto d-Kumre) for the departed patriarchs for the 4 years memorial of late Patriarch Zakka.

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On the occasion of the 4 years memorial of the departure of the Late Patriarch Mor Ignatius Zakka I Iwas (March 21, 2014), His Holiness Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem II presided over Morning Prayer at Mor Aphrem Monastery in Maarat Saydnaya.
His Eminence Mor Timotheos Matthew, Patriarchal Secretary for Indian Affairs, as well as Monks and seminarians attended the prayer.
At the end of the prayer, His Holiness held a special service (teshmeshto d-Kumre) for the departed patriarchs at the tombs of the patriarchs in the Monastery.
 

Last November, Dayroyto Theodora Baraya from the sisterhood of Mor Jacob Baradeus completed her higher education and attained a doctorate degree in Theology with summa cum laude distinction, after she defended her PhD dissertation entitled: “Moses Bar Kifa as an Exegete of the New Testament”, at the Department of Theology in the Faculty of Theology at the University of Athens.

During a meeting with the nuns of Mor Jacob Baradeus, Dayroyto Theodora presented a copy of her dissertation to His Holiness Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem II asking his blessing.

His Holiness congratulated Sister Theodora and the order of Mor Jacob Baradeus, and stressed the importance of education on the personal level as well as for the benefit of the Holy Church.

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His Holiness Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem II received at the Patriarchal Residence in Atchaneh His Eminence Mor Gregorius Joseph, Metropolitan of Kochi and Secretary of the Regional Synod of India, in the presence of His Eminence Mor Timotheos Matthew, Patriarchal Secretary for Indian Affairs.
During the meeting, His Holiness discussed with their Eminences recent developments with respect to the current situation of our church in India.
Very Rev. Raban Joseph Bali, Patriarchal Secretary and Media Office Director, was also present.
 

His Holiness Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem II received a delegation from Taizé Community in France, at the Patriarchal Residence in Atchaneh – Lebanon.
the delegation was accompanied by His Excellency Mgr. Toufic Bou Hadir, President of the Maronite Patriarchate’s Youth Department.
During the meeting, the delegation invited His Holiness to a global ecumenical youth gathering, organized by Taizé in Lebanon during 2019.
His Holiness blessed the efforts of the community in promoting ecumenism, and spoke about the significant role of youth in the daily life of the church.
The meeting was attended by Very Rev. Raban Joseph, Patriarchal Secretary and Media Office Director, and Very Rev. Raban Jack Yakoub, Director of the Suryoyo Patriarchal Youth Department.
 

His Holiness Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem II received, at the Patriarchal Residence in Atchaneh – Lebanon, His Excellency MP Ibrahim Kanaan, Secretary General of the Reform and Change Parliamentary Bloc, and Chair of the Finance and Budget Parliamentary commission at the Lebanese Parliament, as well as MR. Georges Jabbour, Mayor of Atchaneh, Mr. Paul Maarrawi, CEO of PMP for Contracting, and Mr. Charbel Khalil, CEO of Zerock Group.
His Holiness discussed with his guests issues related to Lebanon.
Very Rev. Raban Joseph Bali, Patriarchal Secretary and Media Office Director, and Very Rev. Raban Jack Yakoub, Director of Suryoyo Patriarchal Youth Department, also attended the meeting.
 

13 March 2018, Arusha, Tanzania: H.H. Moran Mor Ignatius Aphrem II, Patriarch of Antioch and all the Eaar, the supreme head of the Universal Syriac Orthodox Church speaks during the Embracing the Cross plenary. From 8-13 March 2018, the World Council of Churches organizes the Conference on World Mission and Evangelism in Arusha, Tanzania. The conference is themed “Moving in the Spirit: Called to Transforming Discipleship”, and is part of a long tradition of similar conferences, organized every decade.

His Holiness Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem II participated in the closing session at the Conference of “World Mission and Evangelism”, organized by World Council of Churches (WCC) in Arusha – TANZANIA.

During the session, His Holiness gave the Keynote Speech entitled: “Embracing the Cross.”

He emphasized that “the mission of the Church is the salvation of the souls. Therefore, the universal Church constantly seeks to spread the gospel of Christ among all the nations, in order for the world “to know Christ and the power of His resurrection” (Philippians 3: 10), so they may believe in Him as the Savior and Redeemer.”

His Holiness added that “in Christianity, “God is Love” (I John 4:8); therefore, Christians’ mission is to spread the culture of love among all those who are around them. It is the love for God, reflected in the love of the neighbor.” He said that “Christians are called to love their neighbor, without personal profit of any sort. It is the love based on self-sacrifice, emptying one’s self, and giving unconditionally […] Thus, we understand the mission of the Church to be that of ministering to the world in order to sanctify it.”

His Holiness then talked about discipleship, he said that “In Christianity, we are called to be true disciples of Christ” and that “we aspire to imitate the Lord.” He then drew the attention to the fact that “with witnessing to the Lord both in word and in deed, comes persecution and tribulation” and that “Christianity is not welcomed in the world because it puts people out of their comfort zone. It challenges their worldly philosophical convictions with the simplicity of faith.”

He then spoke about the many tribulations and genocides that the Syriac Orthodox Church faced throughout the centuries; “Some 100 years ago, a massive genocide took place in the Ottoman Empire aiming at eliminating Christianity from the land of its birthplace” he said, and continued “Today, we continue to suffer persecution at the hands of terrorist groups such as ISIS, Al-Nusra and others, who are targeting Christian congregations and completely destroyed many of our churches and other institutions.”

However, he said “the Syriac Orthodox Church, as a witness of Christ, along with the other sister churches, is trying to offer hope to all the victims of such barbaric behavior.”

His Holiness considered that “our presence is a necessity not only for Christianity to continue in the land where it was born, but also for the people of the area. Christians have always been an essential element of reconciliation and bridge building among different ethnic and religious components of the region.” He added, “We need to bring hope to our people that they still have a future in their homeland by tending to their needs, both in terms of security and financial help.”

At the end of his speech, His Holiness reassured that “the Church today is faithfully embracing the Cross of Christ, and follows Him to the Calvary trusting that, from death, life is given in Him.

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His Holiness Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem II presided over a session for the leaders, representatives and participants from the Orthodox Churches in the World Council of Churches (WCC) conference on World Mission and Evangelism in Tanzania.

During the session, participants discussed the role of the Orthodox Churches worldwide, and their participation in the WCC, as well as their interaction together with the other churches.

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