Patriarchate News

On September 17, 2019, His Holiness Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem II offered his condolences to His Brother in Christ His Holiness Catholicos Aram I, Armenian Orthodox Catholicos of the Great House of Cilicia, on the passing away of his mother Late Lousine Keshishian, at the Summer Headquarters of the Catholicosate in Bikfaya – Lebanon.
 
His Holiness was accompanied by His Eminence Mor Gregorius Joseph, Metropolitan Trustee of the Syrian Jacobite Church in India, as well as Very Rev. Raban Joseph Bali, Patriarchal Secretary and Media Office Director, and Very Rev. Fr. Markose Abraham, Patriarchal Secretary for the Affairs of the Church in India.
 
His Holiness held there the special service for the departed (teshmeshto d-‘Anide) for the repose of the soul of the late Lousine.
Click to view slideshow.
 

On September 17, 2019, His Holiness Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem II received a delegation from the National Lebanese Committee for Organ Donation and Transplant, at the Patriarchal Residence in Atchaneh – Lebanon.
 
The delegation was led by Dr. Antoine Estephan, Vice President of the Committee, Mrs. Farida Younan, General Coordinator of the Committee, and Mrs. Hayfa Sadeq, Director of the Awareness Program.
 
The delegation informed His Holiness about the programs and works of the committee. His Holiness expressed his views on organ donation as the great giving that a person can offer to other people after his death, enabling some to live and survive. He also commended the work of the committee and encouraged them to continue their efforts to raise awareness on organ donation and transplant.
 
The meeting was attended by Very Rev. Raban Joseph Bali, Patriarchal Secretary and Media Office Director.
Click to view slideshow.
 

On September 17, 2019, His Holiness Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem II received His Excellency Mr. Johnson Siyawish, former Minister of Public Transport and Communication in Kurdistan – Iraq, at the Patriarchal Residence in Atchaneh – Lebanon.

His Holiness and His Excellency discussed the current situation in Iraq and in the Middle East.

Very Rev. Raban Joseph Bali, Patriarchal Secretary and Media Office Director, attended the meeting.

Click to view slideshow.
 

On September 17, 2019, His Holiness Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem II received His Eminence Mor Gregorius Joseph, Metropolitan-Trustee of the Syrian Orthodox Jacobite Church in India, at the Patriarchal Residence in Atchaneh – Lebanon.
 
His Holiness and His Eminence discussed general Indian Church matters.
 
Very Rev. Fr. Markose Abraham also attended the meeting.
Click to view slideshow.
 

On September 16, 2019, His Holiness Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem II presided over the Holy Qurobo celebrated by His Eminence Mor Clemis Daniel Kourieh, Archbishop of Beirut, at Mor Jacob of Serugh Cathedral in Bauchrieh.
 
The Holy Qurobo was offered for the repose of the soul of the late Abdulmasih Gawro Saliba, the brother of His Eminence Mor Theophilos Georges Saliba, Archbishop of Mount Lebanon and Tripoli.
 
During the Holy Qurobo, the letter of condolences that His Holiness sent to the members of the family of the late Abdulmasih was read. Then His Eminence Mor Clemis Daniel Kourieh delivered a sermon in which he spoke about the meaning of the cross as a sign of life and victory over death. He also gave a concise eulogy of the departed.
 
His Holiness prayed the service (teshmeshto) of the departed and offered his condolences to His Eminence Archbishop Mor Theophilus Georges Saliba.
Click to view slideshow.
 

On September 15, 2019, His Holiness Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem II received His Excellency Hans-Peter Glanzer, Charge d’Affaires of the Austrian Embassy in Damascus, at the Patriarchate headquarters in Bab Touma – Damascus.
During the meeting, His Holiness discussed with His Excellency the general situation in Syria and the different projects that the church is doing to help in the relief and development.
The meeting was attended by His Eminence Mor Timotheos Matta Al-Khoury, Patriarchal Vicar of the Patriarchal Archdiocese of Damascus and Very Rev. Raban Joseph Bali, Patriarchal Secretary, and Media Office Director.
Click to view slideshow.
 

On September 14, 2019, His Holiness Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem II celebrated the Holy Qurobo at St. Peter and St. Paul Cathedral in Mor Aphrem Monastery in Maarat Saydnaya.
 
He was assisted by their Eminences: Mor Timotheos Matta Al-Khoury, Patriarchal Vicar in the Patriarchal Archdiocese of Damascus, Mor Selwanos Boutros Al-Nehmeh, Archbishop of Homs, Hama, Tartous and Environs, Mor Justinos Boulos Safar, Patriarchal Vicar in Zahleh and Beqaa, Mor Maurice Amsih, Archbishop of Jazeera and Euphrates and Mor Anthimos Jack Yakoub, Patriarchal Vicar for the Youth Affairs and Christian Education.
 
In his sermon, His Holiness spoke about the symbols of the cross as a sign of victory and salvation.
 
During the Holy Qurobo, His Holiness ordained Rev. Deacon Monk Benyamen Al-Abboud to be a priest in the Holy Cross Monastery in Saydnaya.
 
At the end of the ordination, His Holiness celebrated the special service (teshmeshto) for the Feast of the Discovery of the Holy Cross.
Click to view slideshow.
 

On September 11th, 2019, His Holiness Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem II participated in a Q&A session at the Fourth Suryoyo Youth General Gathering in Syria (SYGG-Syria 2019), at Mor Aphrem Monastery in Maarat Saydnaya – Syria.

Their Eminences Archbishops: Mor Anthimos Jack Yakoub, Patriarchal Vicar for Youth Affairs and Religious Education, Mor Maurice Amsih, Archbishop of Al-Jazeerah and Euphrates, and Mor Gabriel Dahho, Patriarchal Vicar in Jerusalem, Jordan, and the Holy Lands, as well as the monks of Mor Aphrem Monastery were also present in this session.

The youth asked about the way the church can be closer to them and how they can better serve it. They also asked the guidance of His Holiness in applying the Christian values which can be seen as against the world. His Holiness explained that the church should take the Lord Jesus Christ as her model and follow His lead to be available for all and to reach out for the marginalized and the despaired. He especially explained the role of the clergy in being close to the people. He added that spirituality is not in conflict with social life and the challenge of the Christian life is to remain rooted in Christ Who strengthens us and keep us steadfast in this world.

The Syriac youth were also interested to hear about the different projects that the church is doing, especially in relation to the Syriac language. His Holiness pointed out that Antioch Syrian University is a purposeful educational project that the Patriarchate is doing to encourage the youth to invest their talents in higher education. He announced that Syriac language will be introduced in its curriculum soon and that the Syriac Institute in Damascus will also open soon and will be a place to host international conferences and give courses on the Syriac language and heritage.

Questions on abortion, euthanasia, organ donation, etc… were asked and His Holiness explained the official stand of the church on these issues related to ethics. The church supports the human life and refuses all forms of killing; this is the general principle by which the church is the guardian of human life and dignity.

At the end of the session, His Holiness blessed the participants of SYGG Syria 2019 and encouraged them to offer their lives for the service of the church by answering the Lord’s calling for them, each in their own way.

Click to view slideshow.
 

On September 10th, 2019, His Holiness Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem II inaugurated the Fourth Suryoyo Youth General Gathering in Syria (SYGG-Syria 2019), at Mor Aphrem Monastery in Maarat Saydnaya – Syria.

Their Eminences Archbishops: Mor Anthimos Jack Yakoub, Patriarchal Vicar for Youth Affairs and Religious Education, Mor Selwanos Boutros Al-Nehmeh, Archbishop of Homs, Hama, Tartous and Environs, Mor Timotheos Matta Al-Khoury, Patriarchal Vicar for the Patriarchal Archdiocese of Damascus,  Mor Maurice Amsih, Archbishop of Al-Jazeerah and Euphrates, and Mor Gabriel Dahho, Patriarchal Vicar in Jerusalem, Jordan, and the Holy Lands, as well as the monks of Mor Aphrem Monastery attended the opening.

The Syriac Patriarchal Scout of Damascus performed a beautiful parade at the beginning of the opening of SYGG-Syria 2019. It was followed by St. Aphrem Patriarchal Choir performing hymns and Syriac chants.

His Eminence Mor Anthimos Jack Yacoub spoke about the joy to meet together again in one spirit, united by the love of the church and by the one Syriac language. He said that Syria unites the youth who love it and live under its sky. He thanked His Holiness who sows the love of Christ in the hearts of the youth and leads them to discover their calling to serve the church in what pleases the Lord and according to His will. He promised that, at the end of the SYGG-Syria, the youth will have gained new spiritual experiences and be more rooted in Christ.

In his inaugural speech, His Holiness spoke about the meaning of true discipleship and how to follow Christ. He encouraged the youth to get to deepen their knowledge of their roots and to learn more about the history of the church and its current life. After declaring the official opening of the Fourth Syrian Youth General Gathering, His Holiness assured that the Christians in Syria are firmly attached to their country and are rooted in it because it was blessed when the Lord Jesus walked on its soil and lived in it. He reminded the youth that Antioch, our eternal capital, will remain the birthplace of Christianity and of Christian missions. He expressed his joy to gather the youth who are the present and the future of the church, and to teach them the purity of the faith. He concluded his speech by inviting the Christian youth from all over Syria to be rooted in Christ who should be the center of our lives.

Click to view slideshow.
 

On September 10th, 2019, His Holiness Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem II received their Excellencies: Member of Parliament of India P Binoy Viswam, Ex Member of the Legislative Assembly in Kerala Mr. P. Raju, and Secretary of the AITUC (Kerala) Ms. Kavitha Rajan, at Mor Aphrem Monastery in Maarat Saydnaya – Syria.

Their Eminences Archbishops: Mor Selwanos Boutros Al-Nehmeh, Archbishop of Homs, Hama, Tartous and Environs, Mor Maurice Amsih, Archbishop of Al-Jazeerah and Euphrates, and Mor Gabriel Dahho, Patriarchal Vicar in Jerusalem, Jordan, and the Holy Lands, Very Rev. Markose Abraham, Patriarchal Secretary for Indian Affairs, and Very Rev. Raban Joseph Bali, Patriarchal Secretary and Media Office Director, were also present.

His Holiness welcomed the members of the delegation expressing his joy to receive them at the patriarchate, especially that they are coming to visit Syria to see the real situation. His Holiness wished that more delegations will come to have a better and more complete idea of what is going on in Syria. He encouraged them to inspire others to come and explore Syria which is rich in its history and civilization.

The members of the group thanked His Holiness and spoke about their joy to see that Syria is on the way to recover from the crisis that affected its people. They also were happy to learn that the church is always helping all the needy and those who were affected by the crisis, irrespective of the confessional background or affiliations.

Click to view slideshow.