Patriarchate News

On April 21, 2019, the eve of the Passion Week, His Holiness Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem II celebrated the special service of the Nahire (Lights) at St. Georges Patriarchal Cathedral in Damascus.
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 prayer.
 
All the lights of the church were turned off and the faithful, deacons and clergy held candles in a procession followed by special prayers of the rite of the Nahire.
 
At the end of the rite, His Holiness cried out thrice: O Lord, O Lord, O Lord, open to us thy door; during which he asked forgiveness for all the congregation.
 
Then, His Eminence Mor Anthimos Jack Yakoub gave a spiritual sermon in which he spoke about enlightement and repentance. He also talked about the difference between the wise and foolish ones.
 

On April 21, 2019, His Holiness Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem II celebrated the Holy Qurobo on the occasion of Palms Sunday at St. Georges Patriarchal Cathedral in Bab Touma, Damascus.
 
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 during the Holy Qurobo.
 
In his sermon, His Holiness considered that our Lord Jesus Christ – Who is the Prince of Peace and King of Kings – came to the Jews to fulfill the law, yet they rejected Him; He came to stand in the face of exploiting the poor and the widows, yet they hated Him; He came to make it clear that God does not care for appearances but for the salvation of mankind, yet they persecuted Him and laid hands on Him and arrested Him; He is the Messiah Whom they waited for centuries, yet when He came they despised Him. As if Jesus was asking them: Until when will you remain hardhearted and non-believers? Until when you reject the Grace of God and His salvation? Yet, they did not believe in Him despite their knowledge that He has fulfilled all the prophecies.
 
His Holiness invited the faithful to be like the children who were shouting and glorifying God; he said: Let us have the courage of those little children, so that we declare God as King of our lives, and follow Him to the Golgotha, that we may reach His Resurrection.
 
At the end of His sermon, His Holiness prayed for peace to reign all over the world; he prayed for the freedom of the two abducted archbishops of Aleppo Boulos Yaziji and Mor Gregorius Youhanna Ibrahim, who were kidnapped six years ago.
 
During the Qurobo, His Holiness presided over the special procession and rite for the occasion.
 
At the end of the Holy Qurobo, the band of the Syriac Patriarchal Scouts of Damascus performed beautiful Syriac songs and hymns.
 

On April 19, 2019, His Holiness Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem II participated in the staged play “The Bridge”, organized by the Patriarchal Center for Christian Education, on the occasion of the 38th anniversary of the Center.

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 Affair and Religious Education, and Very Rev. Raban Joseph Bali, Patriarchal Secretary and Media Office Director.

The play was attended by the reverend priests, representatives of the Church organizations in the Patriarchal Vicariate of Damascus, as well as a large crowd of people, including the parents of the children of youth of the Center.

The play was about optimism in life, and having faith in the Lord, and being certain that all things work together for good to them that love God (Romans 8: 28). The play included various performances including acting, singing, playing music, and dancing, put altogether in a play written, prepared, directed, and presented by the servants and members of all ages in the Center.

At the end, Miss Lina Shlon gave a word in which she presented the success of this work for the glory of God. She spoke about the work of the center over the past 38 years.

Finally, His Holiness spoke to the children and youth who partook in the play; he congratulated them for the very nice work they presented. He emphasized that their talents are gifts from God, and they should only use them for the glory of God, and the growth of His Holy Church. His Holiness considered that being part of the Center is a great grace and blessing for the lives of the children and the youth, for they learn about our Lord Jesus, and the Holy Syriac Church. He then thanked the parents for raising their children to love the Lord and lead a life of holiness. He also expressed his great love towards all the servants at the Center for their devotion in ministering to the children and the youth. At the end, His Holiness wished the Center years of blessings and prosperity to come for the glory of God, and the service of the Church.

Click to view slideshow.
 

On April 16, 2019, His Holiness Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem II presided over the meeting of the general assembly of Antioch Syrian University, at Sayfo Hall at the Patriarchate Headquarters in Bab Touma – Damascus.

The meeting was attended by their Eminences: Mor Selwanos Boutros Al-Nemeh, Archbishop of Homs, Hama, Tartous and Environs, Mor Maurice Amsih, Archbishop of Al-Jazeerah and Euphrates, Dr. Rakan Razzouk, President of ASU, as well as the members of the assembly.

His Holiness presented an overview about the strategic plan of ASU, its vision, mission, and values. Dr. Razzouk also talked about the stages that ASU passed through since its establishment, as well as its relation and collaboration with other local and international universities. He also spoke about the Academic programs of ASU and future plans. Members of the assembly discussed then the agenda of the meeting.

Click to view slideshow.
 

On April 14, 2019, His Holiness Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem II met with the High Presidential Commission for Church Affairs in Palestine headed by Dr. Ramzi Khoury, at the Patriarchate Headquarters in Bab Touma – Damascus.
 
The meeting was attended by His Eminence Mor Maurice Amsih, Archbishop of Al-Jazerah and Euphrates, and Very Rev. Raban Joseph Bali, Patriarchal Secretary and Media Office Director.
 
The Commission congratulated His Holiness for the occasion of the coming feasts, as well as for the consecration of new Archbishop Patriarchal Vicar in Jerusalem, Jordan, and the Holy Lands. Speaking about the situations in Palestine, members of the Commission considered that there is a plan to weaken the presence of Christians, as well as Muslims, in the country. They wished that the Churches would raise their voices once again for Jerusalem.
 
His Holiness expressed his happiness for the consecration of a new Archbishop Patriarchal Vicar in Jerusalem, Jordan, and the Holy Lands. He reassured the Church’s clear stand by the side of the liberation of Palestine. He emphasized the necessity to support the cause of Palestine and preserve the presence of Christians in the Holy Lands.
 

On April 11, 2019, His Holiness Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem II visited Umm el-Jimal archeological town in Jordan. He was accompanied by their Eminences the Archbishops.
The village is known for the very old Churches that were present in it, especially Syriac Orthodox Churches.
 
His Holiness prayed the Services (Teshmeshto) of the Virgin Mary and the Saints, in the place.Click to view slideshow.

 

On April 10, 2019, His Holiness Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem II celebrated the Holy Qurobo at Mor Aphrem Cathderal in Amman – Jordan.
 
During the Qurobo, His Holiness consecrated Very Rev. Raban Gabriel Dahho as Archbishop, Patriarchal Vicar in Jerusalem, Jordan, and the Holy Lands.
 
His Holiness was assisted in the Qurobo by their Eminences: Mor Theophilos George Saliba, Archbishop of Mount Lebanon and Tripoli, Mor Dioscoros Benjamin Atas, Patriarchal Vicar in Sweden, Mor Dionysius Issa Gurbuz, Patriarchal Vicar in Switzerland and Austria, Mor Selwanos Boutros Al-Nemeh, Archbishop of Homs, Hama, Tartous and Environs, Mor Theethose Yeldo, Metropolitan of the Malankara Archdiocese of North America, Mor Philoxenus Mattias Nayis, Patriarchal Vicar in Germany, Mor Clemis Daniel Kourieh, Archbishop of Beirut, Mor Dionysius Jean Kawak, Patriarchal Vicar for the Archdiocese of the Eastern United States of America, Mor Timotheos Matta Al-Khoury, Patriarchal Vicar in the Patriarchal Archdiocese of Damascus, Mor Maurice Amsih, Archbishop of Al-Jazeerah and Euphrates, and Mor Anthimos Jack Yakoub, Patriarchal Vicar for Youth Affairs and Religious Education.
 
Representatives of the various Churches in Jordan, as well as a crowd of the reverend priests, monks, nuns, deacons, and faithful, attended the Qurobo and ordination.
 
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 Gabriel and ordained him as an archbishop.
 
Then, His Holiness gave the new bishop his fatherly name (Gabriel), 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 continued the celebration of the Holy Qurobo, the new archbishop Mor Gabriel Dahho, then gave a word titled “the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve” (Matthew 20:28), in which he said: “You entrust to me – Your Holiness – the diocese on whose territory our Incarnate God lived, where the passion of the Christ and His victory over death, and His resurrection from the dead on the third day according to His will.” He added “Here is revealed the truth of carrying the yoke of the cross and following the steps of the Lord towards the Golgotha; there, I meditate him walking in the Holy city of Jerusalem, and get to know the challenges and pains of service; however, I shall never go back, but move forward and bear all difficulties, keeping in mind that, if I seek the strength of resurrection, I have to pass the valley of the shadow of death.”
 
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, His Eminence the New Archbishop, and all their Eminences, entered the 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.
 

On April 10, 2019, His Holiness Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem II met with His Royal Highness Prince El-Hassan Bin Talal, in Amman – Jordan.

Their Eminences: Mor Theophilos George Saliba, Archbishop of Mount Lebanon and Tripoli, Mor Dionysius Issa Gurbuz, Patriarchal Vicar in Switzerland and Austria, Mor Clemis Daniel Kourieh, Archbishop of Beirut, as well as Very Rev. Raban Joseph Bali, Patriarchal Secretary and Media Office Director, and a number of the members of the Church Council in Amman, accompanied His Holiness.

His Holiness praised the role of Jordan in protecting the Church properties especially in Jerusalem. He stressed the importance of preserving the presence of Christians in the Middle East. His Holiness also raised the case of the two abducted Archbishops of Aleppo Mor Gregorius Youhanna Ibrahim and Boulos Yaziji.

In turn, His Royal Highness assured the importance of respecting diversity in the region, and the significance of dialogue in protecting human’s dignity.

Click to view slideshow.
 

On Tuesday 9, 2019, His Holiness Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem II presided over Sutoro (Compline) Prayer at St. Aphrem Cathedral in Amman, Jordan.
 
Their Eminences: Mor Dioscoros Benjamin Atas, Patriarchal Vicar in Sweden, Mor Selwanos Boutros Al-Nemeh, Archbishop of Homs, Hama, Tartous and Environs, Mor Theethose Yeldo, Metropolitan of the Malankara Archdiocese of North America, Mor Clemis Daniel Kourieh, Archbishop of Beirut, Mor Maurice Amsih, Archbishop of Al-Jazeerah and Euphrates, and Mor Anthimos Jack Yakoub, Patriarchal Vicar for Youth Affairs and Religious Education, as well as Very Rev. Raban Gabriel Dahho, Patriarchal Vicar in Jerusalem, Jordan, and the Holy Lands, and the reverend priests, deacons, and crowd of faithful, attended the prayer.
 
At the end, His Holiness expressed his happiness to meet his spiritual children in Jordan once again, and congratulated them for their new bishop who will be ordained tomorrow. He spoke about the service which should accompany the bishop, as well as humility and cooperation between him and the flock.
 
Finally, His Holiness blessed all who were present.
 

On April 9, 2019, His Holiness Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem II met His Majesty King Abdullah II, King of Jordan, at the Royal Palace in Amman.

He was accompanied by their Eminences Mor Selwanos Boutros Al-Nemeh, Archbishop of Homs, Hama, Tartous and Environs, Mor Maurice Amsih, Archbishop of Al-Jazeerah and Euphrates, as well as Very Rev. Raban Gabriel Dahho, Patriarchal Vicar in Jerusalem, Jordan, and the Holy Lands, and Very Rev. Raban Joseph Bali, Patriarchal Secretary and Media Office Director.

His Holiness thanked His Majesty for supporting the Churches and the Christian presence in the region, remarking the situation in Syria and Iraq. His Holiness expressed his happiness with regards to the positive developments in Syria.

However, he denounced the ambiguity surrounding the case of the two abducted Archbishops of Aleppo Mor Gregorius Youhanna Ibrahim and Boulos Yaziji, and asked the help of His Majesty to bring the case to a good end.

His Holiness also spoke about the Syriac Orthodox Church to be built on the Jordan River side in the near future, and introduced to His Majesty Very Rev. Raban Gabriel Dahho, whom he will ordain Archbishop, Patriarchal Vicar in Jerusalem, Jordan, and the Holy Lands, tomorrow Wednesday.

His Majesty King Abdullah welcomed His Holiness and assured him that Christians are a major component of the region and that Jordan will continue to defend the properties of the Churches especially in Jerusalem, and will not stop supporting the Christian presence in the Middle East, especially in Jordan.

The meeting was also attended by His Royal Highness Prince Ghazi bin Muhammad bin Talal, chief adviser to the King for Religious and Cultural Affairs and the King’s Personal Envoy, Royal Court Chief, the King’s Advisor, and Director of the King’s Office.

Click to view slideshow.