Patriarchate News

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On March 23, 2019, His Holiness Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem II received their Excellencies: Mr. Paulo Cordeiro de Andrade Pinto, Ambassador of Brazil to Beirut, Mr. Fabio Vaz Pitaluga, Ambassador of Brazil to Damascus, and Mr. Jandyr Ferreira dos Santos Junior, Deputy Chief of Brazilian Mission, at the Patriarchate Headquarters in Bab Touma – Damascus.

 
His Holiness welcomed his guests and discussed with them the situations in Lebanon, Syria, and the Middle East. They also spoke about the presence and role of the Syriac Orthodox Church in Brazil. His Holiness and his guests assured the importance of helping Christians remain in the lands of the forefathers.
 
The meeting was attended by Very Rev. Raban Joseph Bali, Patriarchal Secretary and Media Office Director.
 

On March 21, 2019, for the occasion of the 5 years memorial of the departure of the Late Patriarch Mor Ignatius Zakka I Iwas (March 21, 2014), His Holiness Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem II presided over Evening Prayer at Mor Aphrem Monastery in Maarat Saydnaya.
 
Monks and seminarians of Mor Aphrem Seminary attended the prayer.
 
At the end of the prayer, His Holiness held a special service (teshmeshto d-Kumre) for the departed patriarchs at the tombs of the patriarchs in the Monastery.
 

On March 20, 2019, His Holiness Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem II attended the Festival of the Aramaic Language in the poems of George Rizkallah which was held at Dar El Assad Opera House in Damascus.
His Holiness was accompanied by Very. Rev. Raban Joseph Bali, Patriarchal Secretary and Media Office Director, and Rev. Dayroyo Boutros Dakermanji.
The festival included choirs who performed songs in Aramaic, especially from the town of Maaloula. 

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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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