Patriarchate News

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On Saturday 16, 2019, His Holiness Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem II received His Excellency Mr. Alexander Efimov, Russian Ambassador to Damascus, and a delegation from the Russian Embassy, at Mor Aphrem Monastery in Maarat Saydnaya – Rif Dimashq.

 
Their Eminences Mor Timotheos Matta Al-Khoury, Patriarchal Vicar in the Patriarchal Archdiocese of Damascus, and Mor Anthimos Jack Yakoub, Patriarchal Vicar for Youth Affairs and Religious Education, attended the meeting.
 
His Holiness welcomed his guest, and showed his happiness concerning the supporting position of Russia to Syria during the whole crisis, in face of terrorism and black political agendas. He spoke about the projects executed by the patriarchate to relief and help all who suffered in Syria regardless of their belief. He also assured that the Church seeks through these projects to strengthen the Christian presence in Syria, which is related to security and safety, yet also to having job vacancies and opportunities.
 
His Excellency thanked His Holiness for his welcome, and expressed his respect to the Syriac Orthodox Church, and his happiness to see the Church projects. He also stressed the significance of supporting Christians to remain fixed in the Middle East.
 
His Eminence Mor Timotheos Matta Al-Khoury, then, gave an overview of the work of St. Ephrem Patriarchal Development Committee (EPDC) throughout Syria, and the humanitarian projects of the patriarchate, especially Antioch Syrian University (ASU).
 
Later, His Eminence, His Excellency, and the delegation, made a tour in ASU where they were informed about the various academic programs offered.
 
At the end, His Holiness his esteemed guest for lunch.
 

On March 16, 2019, for the occasion of the Feast of Mor Aphrem and Mor Theodoros, His Holiness Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem II celebrated the Holy Qurobo at Mor Aphrem Church in Mor Aphrem Monastery in Maarat Saydnaya.
 
Their Eminences Mor Timotheos Matta Al-Khoury, Patriarchal Vicar in the Patriarchal Archdiocese of Damascus, and Mor Anthimos Jack Yakoub, Patriarchal Vicar for Youth Affairs and Religious Education, assisted His Holiness in the Holy Qurobo.
 
During the Qurobo, His Holiness ordained 7 subdeacons (Rami Malaab, Khalil Abdelnour, Gabriel Asmar, Basem Dalloul, Hanna Youssef, Vinicius Torres, and Matheus Luz) and a reader (Nasr Qoba).
 
At the end of the Qurobo, His Holiness congratulated the new ordained subdeacons and reader wishing them blessed devotional life for the Glory of God and the growth of His Holy Church.
 

On March 13, 2019, His Holiness presided over the official Holy Qurobo celebrated by His Eminence Mor Anthimos Jack Yakoub, Patriarchal Vicar for Youth Affairs and Religious Education, at St. Georges Cathedral in Bab Touma – Damascus.
 
The Holy Qurobo was attended by their Eminences: Mor Timotheos Matta Al-Khoury, Patriarchal Vicar in the Patriarchal Archdiocese of Damascus, Mor Dionysius Jean Kawak, Patriarchal Vicar for the Archdiocese of the Eastern United States of America, and Mor Maurice Amsih, Archbishop of Al-Jazeerah and Euphrates.
 
His Eminence Cardinal Mario Zenari, Apostolic Nuncio in Damascus, along with their Eminences and Excellencies Archbishops representatives of the various Churches in Damascus attended the Holy Qurobo.
 
In his sermon, His Eminence Mor Anthimos spoke about the verse “whatever He says to you, do it” (Jn. 2:5). He also prayed the Lord to strengthen him to minister to the youth of the Church with faithfulness and dedication. At the end of his sermon, he thanked His Holiness for his overwhelming love.
 
During the Qurobo, His Eminence Mor Timotheos Matta Al-Khoury congratulated the New Archbishop on behalf of the Patriarchal Archdiocese of Damascus wishing him fruitful service for the glory of God.
 
After the Qurobo, all who were present offered congratulations to His Eminence Mor Anthimos Jack Yakoub.
 

On March 10, 2019, His Holiness Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem II presided over the Holy Qurobo celebrated by the New Archbishop Mor Anthimos Jack Yakoub, Patriarchal Vicar for Youth Affairs and Religious Education, at St. Jacob Baradeus Church in Atchaneh – Lebanon, for the Sunday of Cana, which is the first Sunday of the Great Lent.
 
Their Eminences: Mor Athanasius Elia Bahi, Patriarchal Vicar in Canada, Mor Gregorius Malke Urek, Patriarchal Vicar in Adiyaman and its Environs, Mor Chrysostomos Mikhael Chamoun, Patriarchal Vicar and Director of the Patriarchal Benevolent Institutions in Atchaneh, Mor Nicodemus Daoud Sharaf, Archbishop of Mosul, Kirkuk, Kurdistan and Environs, Mor Maurice Amsih, Archbishop of Al-Jazeerah and Euphrates, and Mor Georges Kourieh, Patriarchal Vicar of Belgium, France and Luxemburg,attended the Holy Qurobo.
 
During the Qurobo, the Patriarchal Encyclical for the Great Lent was read, according to the tradition of the Syriac Orthodox Church of Antioch.
 

On March 9, 2019, His Holiness Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem II attended the Holy Qurobo celebrated by His Beatitude Mor Ignatius Joseph III Younan, Syriac Catholic Patriarch of Antioch, at the Lady of Annunciation Cathedral in Beirut, for the occasion of the feast of Mor Aphrem the Syriac according to the Syriac Catholic Calendar.
 
The Qurobo was also attended by their Beatitudes Cardinal Mor Bechara Boutros Rai, Maronite Patriarch of Antioch and All the East, and Joseph Absi, Greek-Melkite Patriarch of Antioch and All the East, Alexandria, and Jerusalem, as well as Their Excellencies Mgr Joseph Spiteri, Apostolic Nuncio in Lebanon, and Archbishop Makar Ashkarian on behalf of His Holiness Catholicos Aram I of the Great House of Cilicia.
 
Their Excellencies: Minister of Displaced Ghassan Atallah, Member of the Parliament Antoine Pano, and Dr. Daoud Sayegh, on behalf of their Excellencies: General Michel Aoun, President of the Lebanese Republic, Nabih Berri, Speaker of the parliament of Lebanon, and Saad Hariri, Lebanese Prime Minister, respectively.
 
His Holiness was accompanied by their Eminences Mor Theophilus Georges Saliba, Archbishop of Mount Lebanon and Tripoli, and Mor Maurice Amsih, Archbishop of Al Jazeerah and Euphrates, as well as Very Rev. Raban Joseph Bali, Patriarchal Secretary and Media Office Director.
 
At the end of the Qurobo, His Holiness offered greetings to His Beatitude Patriarch Younan for the occasion, and asked the intercession of Mor Aphrem the Syriac for the Holy Church of God.
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On Saturday 9, 2019, His Holiness Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem II presided over an advisory session concerning the situation of our church in India and the situation of the Knanaya Archdiocese, at the Patriarchal Residence in Atchaneh, Bikfaya – Lebanon.

Their Eminences  who were present in the episcopal consecration of Mor Anthimos Jack Yacoub, namely:  Mor Theophilus Georges Saliba, Archbishop of Mount Lebanon and Tripoli, Mor Dioscoros Benjamin Atas, Patriarchal Vicar in Sweden, Mor Selwanos Boutros Al-Nemeh, Archbishop of Homs, Hama, Tartous and Environs, Mor Athanasius Elia Bahi, Patriarchal Vicar in Canada, Mor Justinos Boulos Safar, Patriarchal Vicar in Zahleh and Bekaa, Mor Gregorius Malke Urek, Patriarchal Vicar in Adiyaman and its Environs, Mor Clemis Daniel Kourieh, Archbishop of Beirut, Mor Dionysius Jean Kawak, Patriarchal Vicar for the Archdiocese of the Eastern United States of America, Mor Chrysostomos Mikhael Chamoun, Patriarchal Vicar and Director of the Patriarchal Benevolent Institutions in Atchaneh, Mor Nicodemus Daoud Sharaf, Archbishop of Mosul, Kirkuk, Kurdistan and Environs, Mor Timotheos Matta Al-Khoury, Patriarchal Vicar in the Patriarchal Archdiocese of Damascus, Mor Timotheos Matthew, Mor Georges Kourieh, Patriarchal Vicar of Belgium, France and Luxemburg, Mor Maurice Amsih, Archbishop of Al-Jazeerah and Euphrates, participated in the session.

His Holiness inaugurated the session with a prayer in which he asked the guidance of the Holy Spirit for the fathers. The Church Fathers discussed the situation in the Church in India, especially the recent developments in the Knanaya Archdiocese.

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On March 9, 2019, His Holiness Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem II celebrated the Holy Qurobo at Mor Severus Church in the Patriarchal Residence in Atchaneh – Bikfaya, Lebanon.

During the Qurobo, His Holiness consecrated Very Rev. Raban Jack Yakoub as Archbishop, Patriarchal Vicar for the Youth affairs and Religious Education.

His Holiness was assisted in the Qurobo by their Eminences: Mor Dioscoros Benjamin Atas, Patriarchal Vicar in Sweden, Mor Athanasius Elia Bahi, Patriarchal Vicar in Canada, Mor Nicodemus Daoud Sharaf, Archbishop of Mosul, Kirkuk, Kurdistan and Environs, and Mor Timotheos Matta Al-Khoury, Patriarchal Vicar in the Patriarchal Archdiocese of Damascus.

Their Eminences: Mor Theophilus Georges Saliba, Archbishop of Mount Lebanon and Tripoli, Mor Severius Malke Mourad, Patriarchal Vicar in Brazil, Mor Selwanos Boutros Al-Nemeh, Archbishop of Homs, Hama, Tartous and Environs, Mor Justinos Boulos Safar, Patriarchal Vicar in Zahleh and Bekaa, Mor Gregorius Malke Urek, Patriarchal Vicar in Adiyaman and its Environs, Mor Clemis Daniel Kourieh, Archbishop of Beirut, Mor Dionysius Jean Kawak, Patriarchal Vicar for the Archdiocese of the Eastern United States of America, Mor Chrysostomos Mikhael Chamoun, Patriarchal Vicar and Director of the Patriarchal Benevolent Institutions in Atchaneh, Mor Timotheos Matthew, Mor Georges Kourieh, Patriarchal Vicar of Belgium, France and Luxemburg, Mor Maurice Amsih, Archbishop of Al-Jazeerah and Euphrates, also assisted His Holiness in the consecration rite, in the presence of His Eminence Mor Philoxenus Matta Chamoun.

Their Beatitudes Mor Ignatius Joseph III Younan, Syriac Catholic Patriarch of Antioch, and Joseph Absi, Melkite-Greek Catholic Patriarch of Antioch and All the East, Alexandria, and Jerusalem, in addition to their Eminences and Excellencies Archbishops of the Christian Churches in Lebanon and Syria, and a crowd of the Very Rev. and Rev. priests, monks, nuns, deacons, and faithful.

In his sermon, His Holiness recalled the story of the Forty Martyrs of Sebastia, whom the Church commemorates today. He considered that Christianity is the most persecuted religion in the world. He added that each one of us is a martyr (witness) for Christ, some by blood, others by words or deeds. Speaking about the consecration of a new archbishop, His Holiness said that today the Church presents a new martyr (witness) for Christ. The way of martyrdom, His Holiness added, is full of spiritual joy even despite all the troubles and hardship. At the end, he congratulated the new archbishop wishing him a fruitful service for the church, especially the youth.

During the Qurobo, according to the rite of the Syriac Orthodox Church of Antioch, the new archbishop declared his Orthodox Faith and signed it before His Holiness the Patriarch. His Holiness prayed the prayer of the invocation of the Holy Spirit and the laying on of the hand. He laid on his right hand on the head of Raban Jack and ordained him as an archbishop.

Then, His Holiness gave the new bishop his fatherly name (Anthimos), and started to put on him the bishopric vestments. The new bishop sat on the bishopric chair; His Holiness placed his right hand over the archbishop’s shoulder and declared thrice: “Axios (worthy)”, while the crowd of faithful repeated the same each time. The new bishop was then carried on the chair so he reads the special reading from the Holy Bible. At the end, His Holiness gave him the crosier (pastoral staff).

Before he continues the celebration of the Holy Qurobo, the new archbishop Mor Anthimos Yakoub, then gave a word titled “And for their sakes I sanctify Myself, that they also may be sanctified by the truth” (John 17:19), in which he said: “today, as I receive by grace the holy episcopacy by the laying on of hands of Your Holiness, I become a Nazirite for the Lord, and continue to sanctify myself for the sake of sanctifying my brethren”. He added “This I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me… by doing this, I follow Your Holiness’ example, for you have established a special department for Syriac youth ministry, who you always cared for, because you believe they are presence and future of the Church.”

His Eminence then thanked His Holiness, their Eminences the Archbishops, the Reverend priests, monks, nuns, his family members, and all those who supported him through his life and church service.

After the Qurobo, His Holiness, their Beatitudes, His Eminence the New Archbishop, and all their Eminences, entered the Patriarchal Hall where His Holiness put on the new archbishop the turban and the black robe with red hems, and gave him the small staff. Congratulations were then offered to the new archbishop.

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On March 8, 2019, for the occasion of the sixty-years anniversary of devotional life of His Eminence Mor Theophilus Georges Saliba, Archbishop of Mount Lebanon and Tripoli, His Holiness Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem II presided over the Holy Qurobo, which was celebrated by His Eminence in Mor Jacob of Serugh Cathedral in Sabtieh, Mount Lebanon.

His Beatitude Mor Ignatius Joseph III Younan attended the Holy Qurobo along with their Eminences and Excellencies Archbishops representatives of the various Churches. His Excellency Amine Gemayel, Former Lebanese President, and their Excellencies Members of the Lebanese Parliament: Majed Eddy Abi Lama, Edgar Traboulsi, and Antoine Pano, as well as representatives of the formal body, and the Church organizations, in addition to a large crowd of faithful.

In his sermon, His Holiness considered that the best way to celebrate is by being gathered around the table of the Lord. He spoke about the life of consecration, considering that “consecration is submitting one’s self for the service of the Lord; in this is the greatness of the Lord revealed, in choosing a normal man and making him a shepherd for His flock, servant of His Holy Mysteries, and steward on His household”. He added: “His Eminence Mor Theophilus Georges Saliba has consecrated himself for the service of the Lord and that of man, for one cannot fulfill the first without completing the latter”. His Holiness then described His Eminence and his love for the Holy Church, and steadfast faith, and defending the Church against all offenders.

His Holiness then moved to talk about the leading role of His Eminence in Lebanon, especially during the Lebanese civil war, when His Eminence used to go to the streets to help the wounded regardless of their doctrine and faith. Speaking to His Eminence, His Holiness said: “The Lord God has sent you to this country and to this dear Archdiocese during days of hardship, where man was worth only one bullet, for He does not leave Himself without witnesses and faithful servants.”

His Holiness noted that Mor Theophilus Georges Saliba has made the commandment of the Lord his slogan: “that you shall love your Lord… and you shall love your neighbor as you love yourself.”

He concluded saying: “You are dear brother, whom we all love, their Eminences the Archbishops, and all the beloved ones. In the name of all of those, we congratulate you on this occasion, and thank God who gave your to the Church and to the country. We pray that you stay ministering to this dear archdiocese and to the Holy Church for long years to come.”

His Eminence Mor Theophilus Georges Saliba wrote a word for the occasion in which he spoke of his sixty years of Church service. He said: “I tried through these sixty years to work, teach, and learn; I failed sometimes yet succeeded others; I admit my weaknesses which are the orbit of my stay in this existence.”

His Eminence added: “I lived all these years aspiring the remaining city, heavenly Jerusalem, which is the desire of every true Christian. I thank and praise God for everything.” He continued: “I have never hesitated to do good, offer good counseling and generously give from the bottom of my heart, keeping in mind the saying of Solomon the Wise: ‘Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, When it is in the power of your hand to do so’ (Proverbs 3:27).”

He explained: “I did not withhold offering help to any needy or seeker, whether spiritually, morally, or materially. My motto has always been the commandment of the Lord Jesus: ‘Freely you have received, freely give’ (Matthew 10:8).”

Finally, His Eminence thanked His Holiness for his overwhelming love: “I pray the Lord God to keep His Holiness Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem II a Shepherd, primate, and wise father for our Church.” He also thanked all those who showed love to him, especially “the faithful of my beloved Archdiocese of Mount Lebanon and Tripoli, and all the friends and beloved.”

Their Eminences: Mor Theophilus Georges Saliba, Archbishop of Mount Lebanon and Tripoli, Mor Dioscoros Benjamin Atas, Patriarchal Vicar in Sweden, Mor Severius Malke Mourad, Patriarchal Vicar in Brazil, Mor Selwanos Boutros Al-Nemeh, Archbishop of Homs, Hama, Tartous and Environs, Mor Athanasius Elia Bahi, Patriarchal Vicar in Canada, Mor Justinos Boulos Safar, Patriarchal Vicar in Zahleh and Bekaa, Mor Gregorius Malke Urek, Patriarchal Vicar in Adiyaman and its Environs, Mor Clemis Daniel Kourieh, Archbishop of Beirut, Mor Dionysius Jean Kawak, Patriarchal Vicar for the Archdiocese of the Eastern United States of America, Mor Chrysostomos Mikhael Chamoun, Patriarchal Vicar and Director of the Patriarchal Benevolent Institutions in Atchaneh, Mor Nicodemus Daoud Sharaf, Archbishop of Mosul, Kirkuk, Kurdistan and Environs, and Mor Maurice Amsih, Archbishop of Al-Jazeerah and Euphrates, attended the Qurobo.

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On March 7, 2019, His Holiness Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem II received His Eminence Mor Severius Malke Mourad, Patriarchal Vicar in Brazil, at the Patriarchate Headquarters in Bab Touma – Damascus.

His Holiness and His Eminence discussed matters related to the Church in Brazil.

Their Eminences Mor Timotheos Matta Al-Khoury, Patriarchal Vicar in the Patriarchal Archdiocese of Damascus, and Mor Nicodemus Daoud Sharaf, Archbishop of Mosul, Kirkuk, Kurdistan and Environs, were also present.

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His Holiness Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem II received His Eminence Mor Nicodemus Daoud Sharaf, Archbishop of Mosul, Kirkuk, Kurdistan and Environs, at the Patriarchate Headquarters in Bab Touma – Damascus.
 
His Holiness and His Eminence discussed matters related to the Church in Iraq.
 
His Eminence Mor Timotheos Matta Al-Khoury, Patriarchal Vicar in the Patriarchal Archdiocese of Damascus, was also present.