Patriarchate News

His Holiness Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem II presided over the opening prayer of MECC Executive Committee session at the Antonine University in Baabda – Lebanon.
His Holiness then lead the closing session of the Executive Committe in which various topics of common concern between the churches as well as matters that are in the scope of the MECC work were discussed.
 

His Holiness Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem II received Rev. Fr. Pablo Neves from Brazil, at the Patriarchal Residence in Atchaneh – Lebanon.

During their meeting, Fr. Pablo submitted to His Holiness a copy of his new book for children in Portuguese.

His Holiness congratulated Fr. Pablo for his work, and encouraged him to continue working on such projects that can bring children closer to God and the Holy Church and teach them the principles of Christian life.

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His Holiness Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem II participated in the meeting of MECC Executive Committee at the Antonine University in Baabda – Lebanon.

During the meeting, the participants election of Dr. Thuraya Bachaalani as Acting General Secretary for MECC.

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As President of the Middle East Council of Churches (MECC) for the Oriental Orthodox Churches Family, His Holiness Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem II presided over the opening session of the MECC Executive Committee held at the Antonine University in Baabda, Lebanon.
His Beatitude Mar Louis Rafael I Sako, Chaldean Patriarch of Babylon, and Rev. Dr. Habib Badr participated as presidents of their Church families.
His Eminence Mor Theophilus Georges Saliba, Archbishop of Mount Lebanon and Tripoli, represented the Syriac Orthodox Church of Antioch in the Executive Committee. Rev. Fr. Jimmy Danho participated as the Associate General Secretary of MECC for the Oriental Orthodox Churches Family.
His Holiness was accompanied by Very Rev. Raban Joseph Bali, Patriarchal Secretary and Media Office Director.
 

His Holiness Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem II inaugurated “Patriarch Zakka I Iwas Dialysis Center” in Dwelaa – Damascus.

The center is a project lead by St. Ephrem Patriarchal Development Committee (EPDC), and aims at offering free services to patients with kidney failure and in need of dialysis, thus giving them a chance to live productive lives.

His Holiness prayed at the center that it may be a place of healing to those in pain.

Their Eminences: Mor Nicodemus Daoud Sharaf, Metropolitan of Mosul, Kurdistan and their Environs, Mor Timotheos Matta Al-Khouri, Patriarchal Vicar for the Patriarchal Archdiocese of Damascus, and Mor Maurice Amsih, Archbishop of Jazeera and Euphrates were present.

After the inauguration, His Holiness attended a formal reception organized by EPDC in honor of the doctors who volunteer or help the committee in all its relief programs.

His Excellency Mario Cardinal Zenari, Apostolic Nuncio in Damascus, as well as other church leaders from Damascus attended the reception.

During the reception, a short movie about EPDC projects and work was presented.

In his word, His Holiness emphasized that the role of the church is to serve the world and make it a holy place. He said that we as humans need each other, and should work together to reduce the pains and sufferings of one another. He added that the church tries always to follow the commandments of our Lord in all what she’s doing, keeping in mind that “‘We are unprofitable servants. We have done what was our duty to do.” (Luke 17:10). Moreover, the church tries her best to keep human’s dignity which is being lost due to the crises. In addition, His Holiness stressed the fact that our role as Christians, along with other religions, is to spread the culture of peace.

At the end of his word, His Holiness explained the goals of opening a dialysis center as well as naming it after the late Patriarch Zakka I Iwas of blessed memory.

His Eminence Mor Timotheos Matta Al-Khoury talked then about the various fields of service of EPDC and thanked all those who are volunteering and helping all the suffering people.

During the event, His Holiness honored the doctors offering services to EPDC with tokens of appreciation.

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On the occasion of the new year 2018, His Holiness Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem II invited their Excellencies the Ambassadors, Charge d’Affaires and Diplomatic Representatives to a Formal Reception at the Patriarchate in Bab Touma.

The reception was attended by His Excellency Mario Cardinal Zenari, Apostolic Nuncio in Damascus, His Excellency Dr. Faisal Mekdad, Syrian Deputy-Foreign Minister, as well as the ambassadors or heads of missions of various countries.

His Holiness Patriarch Aphrem II welcomed their Excellencies and spoke about the current situation in Syria. He expressed his sorrows that the year 2017 was not good for the Syrian people, for it was a painful year full of sufferings; He hoped that in the new year 2018 peace will prevail in the country and all over the world. His Holiness urged the international communities to promote peaceful resolution in Syria. He also thanked the ambassadors and their respective governments for their solidarity with Syria, especially expressed by the presence of diplomatic representation and cooperation in Syria.

His Excellency Cardinal Zenari gave then a speech in which he emphasized the role of the church in rebuilding Syria, especially in building the hearts of Syrian brothers and sisters.

Another speech was then conveyed by His Excellency Dr. Mekdad who reassured the fact that Syrians have equal rights and duties. He then spoke to the ambassadors saying that their presence means a lot for they are witnesses to what is happening in Syria.

Their Excellencies then expressed their joy to be united at the Syriac Orthodox Patriarchate and they felt this reception to truly reflect the image of the Syriac Orthodox Church and the Syrian hospitality.

Their Eminences Mor Timotheos Matta Al-Khoury, Patriarchal Vicar in the Patriarchal Archdiocese of Damascus, Mor Timotheos Matthew, Patriarchal Secretary for Indian Affairs, and Mor Maurice Amsih, Archbishop of Jazeera and Euphrates, as well as the monks of the patriarchate also attended the reception.

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His Holiness Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem II celebrated the Holy Qurobo of the third Sunday after Epiphany, at St. Georges Patriarchal Cathedral in Bab Touma – Damascus.
His Eminence Mor Maurice Amsih, Archbishop of Jazeera and Euphrates, assisted His Holiness in the Qurobo.
In his sermon, His Holiness talked about discipleship and how a person should be born from above. He also spoke about Nicodemus who came in the dark fearing to follow Jesus explicitly, and how we as Christians should not be afraid of declaring our faith, but boast, instead, in the Lord.
 

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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