Patriarchate News

On May 10, 2019, His Holiness Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem II arrived at Armenia for an official visit to the sister Armenian Orthodox Church, upon the invitation of his brother in Christ His Holiness Catholicose Karekin II, Catholicose-Patriarch of All Armenians.
 
His Holiness Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem II was warmly received by His Holiness Catholicose Karekin II at the Holy Mother of Etchmiadzin in Armenia, along with a number of their Eminences Archbishops of the sister Armenian Orthodox Church.
 
His Holiness is accompanied by their Eminences: Mor Theethose Yeldo, Metropolitan of the Malankara Archdiocese of North America, Mor Dionysius Jean Kawak, Patriarchal Vicar for the Archdiocese of the Eastern United States of America, and Mor Timotheos Matta Al-Khoury, Patriarchal Vicar for the Patriarchal Archdiocese of Damascus.
 

On May 10, 2019, His Holiness Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem II celebrated the Holy Qurobo at St. Georges Patriarchal Cathedral, in Bab Touma – Damascus.

He was assisted by 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.

During the Qurobo, children from St. Aphrem Center for Religious Education – Tabbale, Damascus, participated in the ceremonial communion.

In his sermon, His Holiness commented on the reading from the Holy Gospel, where the Lord Jesus says: “I am the Bread of life”. His Holiness explained what our Lord meant, and spoke about the Holy Communion in the tradition of the Syriac Orthodox Church of Antioch; he reassured that this is a ceremonial communion, for a child partakes of the Holy Mysteries right after Baptism and Confirmation. He also added that one who approaches to partake of the Holy Mysteries should approach readily, and in due manner.

Finally, the Children and all who were present partook of the Holy Mysteries.

Click to view slideshow.

 

On May 6, 2019, His Holiness Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem II received a group from the Patriarchal Vicariate of Germany, at the Patriarchal Residence in Atchaneh – Lebanon.
 
The delegation was led by His Eminence Mor Philoxenus Mattias Nayis, Patriarchal Vicar in Germany, and consisted of adults and youth who are on a pilgrimage trip to Lebanon.
 
First, His Holiness presided over Ramsho (evening) prayer at Mor Severus Church in the Patriarchal Residence, in the presence of His Eminence and the delegation.
 
At the end of the prayer, the group took the blessings of the relics of Mor Severus kept in the Church.
 
During his meeting with them, His Holiness welcomed the group and spoke to them about the Church, and the importance of staying firm in their faith and serving the Holy Church. He then answered the questions of the group.
 

On May 6, 2019, His Holiness Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem II celebrated the Holy Qurobo at St. Georges Patriarchal Cathedral, for the Commemoration of St. Georges, Patron Saint of the Cathedral, and the ceremonial communion of children from the Patriarchal Center for Religious Education – Bab Touma, Damascus.

 
He was assisted by 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.
 
In his sermon, His Holiness recalled the martyrdom of St. Georges, and asked the intercession of the Great Martyr. He then spoke about the Holy Communion in the tradition of the Syriac Orthodox Church of Antioch; he assured that this is a ceremonial communion, for a child partakes of the Holy Mysteries right after Baptism and Confirmation.
 
His Holiness spoke about the meaning of communion and how Bread and Wine become the Body and Blood of Christ by the act of the Holy Spirit Whom the priest invokes during the Qurobo.
 
His Holiness added that he who approaches to partake of the Holy Mysteries should approach readily, in due manner, and with humbleness. He then congratulated the Children, their parents, the Patriarchal Center for Religious Education, for this occasion. He finally concluded by commanding the Children to be disciples for the Lord, listen to His words, and always do what pleases Him.
 
During the Qurobo, His Holiness presided over the Service (Teshmeshto) of the Martyrs before the icon of St. Georges in the Cathedral.
 
Finally, the Children and all who were present partook of the Holy Mysteries.
 

On May 2nd, 2019, His Holiness Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem II received His Excellency Adel al-Albi, Governor of Damascus, and Mr. Husam Al-Samman, Secretary of the Baath Party in Damascus, at the Patriarchate Headquarters in Bab Touma – Damascus.

The meeting was attended by His Eminence Mor Timotheos Matta Al-Khoury, Patriarchal Vicar in the Patriarchal Archdiocese of Damascus.

Click to view slideshow.
 

On May 2, 2019, His Holiness Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem II met with a delegation from St. Ephrem Patriarchal Development Committee (EPDC), at the Patriarchate Headquarters in Bab Touma – Damascus.
 
The delegation was headed by Mr. Shadi Sarweh, Executive Director of EPDC, and consisted of workers and volunteers.
 
His Eminence Mor Timotheos Matta Al-Khoury, Patriarchal Vicar in the Patriarchal Archdiocese of Damascus and General Manager of EPDC, was present.
 
The delegation offered greetings to His Holiness on the occasion of the feast of Resurrection, and informed him about its programs and projects.
 
His Holiness welcomed the delegation and expressed his happiness about the great service that EPDC is providing to the Syrian Society, through the various projects and initiatives executed for the relief and development of all who are affected by the Syrian crisis.
 
The workers and volunteers shared with His Holiness their experiences and stories, and showed the great positive effect of EPDC on their lives, and the lives of those whom they serve.
 
At the end, the committee celebrated the birthday of His Eminence Mor Timotheos Matta Al-Khoury, General Manager of EPDC.
 

On May 1st, 2019, His Holiness Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem II inaugurated the Round Sixteen of the Antioch Cup Championship organized by the Suryoyo Patriarchal Youth Department (SPYD) at Saydnaya playground in Rif-Dimashq.
 
He was accompanied by 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.
 
His Eminence Mor Anthimos welcomed His Holiness and thanked him for blessing the championship by his personal presence. He also welcomed the various qualified teams participating in the championship from all the Syriac Orthodox Archdioceses in Syria. He also spoke about the goals of the championship, mainly strengthening the love and respect bonds between children of the church.
 
In his word, His Holiness expressed his joy to be among his spiritual children who gather for the opening of the Round Sixteen of Antioch Cup Championship. He praised the high organization of the cup, and spoke about the importance of sports in keeping our bodies – which are temples of the Holy Spirit – in shape.
 
During the opening, the Cup of the Friendly Football Championship organized by SPYD in 2018, and won by Don Bosco team, was presented by the winners to Saydnaya Team, who lost Rami – a member of the team last year. Sydnaya team, in turn, presented the cup to the father of Rami.
 
The Final Match in the championship will take place on May 6, 2019.
 

On April 1st 2019, for the occasion of the International Labor Day, His Holiness Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem II invited the sanitary workers in Old Damascus for an honorary banquet at the Patriarchate Headquarters in Bab Touma – Damascus.
 
Their Eminences Mor Timotheos Matta Al-Khoury, Patriarchal Vicar in the Patriarchal Archdiocese, and Mor Anthimos Jack Yakoub, Patriarchal Vicar for Youth Affairs and Religious Education, also attended.
 
His Holiness expressed his gratitude to the workers for they have protected the city from many diseases during the long years of war. Some of them have made the ultimate sacrifice, they were martyred while on their job.
 
The workers then shared their stories and experiences.
 

On May 1st, 2019, His Holiness Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem II received a delegation from Um Al-Zunnar Scouts (Lady of the Girdle) from Homs, at the Patriarchate Headquarters in Bab Touma – Damascus.

The meeting was attended by 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.
The delegation offered His Holiness greetings on the occasion of the feast of the Resurrection.
His Holiness expressed his joy to be informed about the activities of the scouts in Homs, and gave them his instructions for their spiritual lives and for their service as scouts.
 

On April 28, 2019, His Holiness Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem II celebrated the Holy Qurobo on Easter Sunday at St. Georges Patriarchal Cathedral in Bab Touma Damascus.
 
Their Eminences Archbishop Mor Timotheos Matta Al-Khoury, Patriarchal Vicar in the Patriarchal Archdiocese of Damascus, and Archbishop Armash Nalbandian, Armenian Orthodox Archbishop of Damascus, assisted His Holiness in the Holy Qurobo.
 
His Excellency Mr. Hammouda Sabbagh, Speaker of the Syrian Parliament, attended the Qurobo along with his family.
 
In his sermon, His Holiness assured that we who believe that our Lord is Risen from the dead, should live accordingly, and thus be new creation in the Spirit and the truth. He considered that “the evil, destruction, wars, famine, disasters, are all a sign of our weak faith in God and in His resurrection, and of not leading a life that pleases the Risen Son”. He added: “if all humans believe in His resurrection, our world would have been a better place where peace, love, and serenity reign”.
 
His Holiness also considered that the life of our Lord Jesus between us did not come to an end on the cross, but found its completion when He rose from the dead. His life is a life of love, for He said: for God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. His Holiness illustrated: “Each one of us is deer to our Lord Jesus Christ, not only those of us who believe in Him, but all humans, for He wants that all of us repent and be saved”. He added: “we have never heard of a god who came to death on behalf of the world, and not only for those who love him, but also for the non believers. Only our true Lord and God Whom we worship came to death for us that we may not die”.
 
His Holiness continued: “today is the Feast of Resurrection; today is a day in which we renew our lives in Christ; a day in which we become new in Spirit and truth, and accept the new law of the Lord Jesus Christ, thus love our enemies and pray for those who persecute us”.
 
About the situation in Syria, His Holiness said: “We have appealed, and continue to appeal to those countries and powers that have imposed illegal, unjust, and unilateral sanctions on us, to lift them; for no one deserves to be deprived of his basic human rights”. His Holiness prayed for all those doing evil to Syria, that the Lord may enlighten them and bring them towards the truth. He prayed for Iraq, Lebanon, and the region.
 
He also greeted his spiritual children faithful of the Syriac Orthodox Church of Antioch, and to all Christians. He concluded: “we pray that our world becomes consecrated to the Lord God. Christ is Risen, truly Risen”.
 
At the end of his sermon, His Holiness also prayed for peace in Syria and in the Middle East.
 
During the Holy Qurobo, His Holiness led the procession of the Cross as well as the special prayers for the Resurrection.