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The Passing of a Spiritual Father and Leader in Critical Times

His Beatitude Ignatius IV Patriarch of Antioch

INTRODUCTORY REMARKS – A PERSONAL REFLECTION

It almost seems like yesterday when I was residing in Damascus, and conversing with His Beatitude Patriarch Ignatius IV (Hazim) of Antioch after the conclusion of small vespers at the Patriarchal Cathedral in Bab-Touma on a very cold winter evening. I recall that at the time, His Beatitude was gravely ill and could not find the strength to conduct the service himself, but still insisted on being present by sitting on an old rickety chair with a lectern from which he could chant and recite the various readings for the vespers. The chair would be placed amongst the small congregation that had gathered, while the chief chanter, Ilyaz and his wife assisted the Patriarch in the chanting and readings of the services. The thing that often struck a person when observing His Beatitude during these times of chanting and reading, was the immense serenity and peace that appeared upon a face that showed signs of immense illness, pain, tiredness and burdened by worry.

As he struggled through the various services he attended, the faithful knew that their great spiritual father in Christ had fought for their cause before despots, tyrants, other Christians seeking to destroy or convert them, and the misanthropic machinations of Jihadists and other Islamist extremists in the lands that the Church of Antioch presided over, which included parts of south-east Turkey, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and Iran. He sought to navigate between the rocks and obstacles that discrimination, persecution, war, economic upheaval and tyranny threw before the ancient See of Antioch, whose first bishop was the Apostle Peter. And it was Antioch where one of the largest refugee communities of Nazarenes (Jewish followers of Christ) was established in Apostolic times, where the word “Christian” was first coined to refer to the Gentile converts who confessed faith in Christ (as mentioned within Scripture), it was from Antioch that served as the initial base for St Paul’s ministry and evangelisation, as it did for other Apostles of Christ. It was the same Church which bestowed so many great Christian figures, martyrs, saints and theologians, as well as heretics who tested the strength and resilience of the multitude of diverse multicultural and multiethnic faithful to whom the Patriarchate of Antioch administered to. It was where greatness and division found their most extreme expressions, while still weathering the onslaught of the Caliphate and Crusaders who sought to pursue their agendas with vehemence.

It was to all this and much more that our beloved spiritual father sought to preserve and perpetuate for the posterity of humankind, and as a treasure and historical witness for all Christians, in the hope that it would help bring about reconciliation via the rediscovery of Christianity’s roots. His particular promotion and continued support of the Orthodox youth movement under his tenure, built upon the work of his predecessors. Yet to many of the faithful, as well as to myself, what Patriarch Ignatius will always be remembered for, is the simple and congenial manner in which he carried himself, his approachability even when ill, the small conversations that he would have with the laity after church services, and the steadfast and calm advocacy for peace and love to which he preached and firmly believed.

Amongst the faithful in Syria and Iraq, he will be remembered for the many intercessions that he made for clemency, fair treatment and freedom before the Assad and Hussein regimes. Yet his final legacy prior to his death, together with the dedication of the Holy Synod of Antioch, was to make the call for calm against sectarianism and the civil strife created by foreign, western backed Jihadists, while coordinating relief operations for Syrian civilians and refugees of all religious backgrounds, despite enduring his own ongoing illness. Therefore the faithful, particularly in Syria at this moment of crisis, the passing of their spiritual father, advocate and spokesman is a great loss and pain for them to bear because they have been orphaned in their hour of need, while the world turns a blind eye to their plight and the so-called defenders of “democracy” perpetuate and support those who afflict them!

PATRIARCH IGNATIUS OF ANTIOCH PASSES AWAY

Patriarch Ignatios Hazim of Antioch

Memory Eternal!!!

His Beatitude Ignatius IV (1920-2012), Patriarch of Antioch and All the East, fell asleep in the Lord today, December 5th, 2012, at St. George Orthodox Hospital in Beirut Lebanon, after having suffered a stroke earlier this week. 

Biography

His Beatitude Patriarch Ignatius IV (Hazim) of Antioch and All the East was born in 1920 in the village of Muharda, near the city of Hama Syria. In 1936, he moved to Beirut, where he became an altar server. Years later, upon taking monastic vows, he became a hierodeacon. In 1945 he graduated from the American University of Beirut, and from 1949 to 1953 studied at the Saint Sergius Theological Institute in Paris. On his return to Lebanon, the young theologian with a master’s degree was ordained hieromonk. In 1942, he became one of the founders of the influential Orthodox Youth Movement in Lebanon and Syria, which has done much to renew youthful participation in Church life. In 1953, His Beatitude became one of the organizers of Syndesmos the worldwide Brotherhood of Orthodox Youth. In 1961 he was ordained Bishop of Palmyra and Patriarchal Vicar, and in the following year, he was sent to the monastery of Balamand as superior and as dean of the Theological Seminary founded, which in 1988 was transformed into an Orthodox University, the first in the Middle East. He has published a series of theological books and numerous articles. His Beatitude is an honorary doctor of Sorbonne and Saint-Petersburg (1981) and Minsk (2003) Theological Academies. In 1970, the future Patriarch was appointed Metropolitan of Latakia (Laodicea). On 2 July 1979, he was elected Primate of the Church of Antioch and enthroned on 8 July of the same year.

Patriarch Ignatius Hazim’s funeral will be held Sunday at 12 p.m at Mariameh Cathedral and Patriarchate Cemetery, Damascus.

FUNERAL OF PATRIARCH IGNATIUS OF ANTIOCH

Patriarch Ignatios Hazim of Antioch02

On Sunday, December 9, 2012, His All-Holiness presided over the funeral service for Patriarch Ignatius IV of Antioch and All the East at the Saint Nicholas Orthodox Cathedral in Beirut. Participating clergy included the First Hierarchs of Autocephalous Orthodox Churches, Archbishop Chrysostomos II of Cyprus and Archbishop Anastasios of Tirana and All Albania, as well as bishops of the Antiochian Orthodox Church and representatives of Orthodox churches from throughout the world. The late Patriarch Ignatius (Hazim) passed away on December 5, at the age of 92.

Funeral of Patriarch Ignatios Hazim01

Funeral of Patriarch Ignatios Hazim02

Funeral of Patriarch Ignatios Hazim03

PATRIARCH IGNATIUS IV HAZIM LAID TO REST IN DAMASCUS

(By Naharnet Newsdesk – 11 December 2012)

In the Old City district of Damascus, the Greek Orthodox Church of Syria held a funeral on Monday for Ignatius IV Hazim, patriarch of Antioch and All the East.

The ceremony was attended by a large number of religious leaders of several faiths, including Catholic Patriarch Gregory III Laham, as well as government officials.

Hazim was 92 when he died in Beirut on Wednesday following a stroke. His body was transferred to Damascus on Sunday.

A farewell mass was held at noon on Sunday at Saint Nicholas Cathedral in Beirut’s Ashrafiyeh district and attended by a number of politicians, including President Michel Suleiman and Prime Minister Najib Miqati.

On Sunday and Monday morning, Christian schoolchildren paid their respects at Saint Mary’s Cathedral, where the funeral was held.

At the end of the funeral ceremony, religious dignitaries accompanied by young scouts carried Hazim’s coffin to the Cave of the Patriarchs, which is situated in the cathedral. The patriarch was buried there.

Syria’s parliament speaker Jihad Lahham attended the ceremony alongside several ministers.

In a statement to Syrian state television, Information Minister Omran Zohbi paid homage to the patriarch, describing him as a man of importance to Syria and the world. “His death is a loss for humanity,” he said.

Born in 1920 in Mharde, near the central Syrian province of Hama, Hazim studied philosophy at the American University of Beirut, Lebanon.

He then traveled to France in 1949, where he studied liturgy.

On returning to Lebanon, he founded the University of Balamand in the north of the Mediterranean country.

He was consecrated as a bishop in 1962, and chosen to become Antioch’s 157th patriarch on July 2, 1979.

In March 2012, a year on from the outbreak of a popular revolt against President Bashar Assad, Hazim was quoted by pro-regime Syrian daily Al-Watan as warning against any foreign intervention in Syria, saying it would be bad for “both Christians and Muslims.”

The Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch and All the East is one of 14 autocephalous churches under the Orthodox communion. It counts around a million members, the majority of them Christians in Syria.

Source: Agence France Presse: Lebanon-Syria

SYRIA-RELIGION-CHRISTIAN-IGNATIUS IV

ON THE PASSING OF PATRIARCH IGNATIUS IV

(Source: The Daily Star – Lebanon News – www.dailystar.com.lb)

BEIRUT: Greek Orthodox Patriarch Ignatius IV Hazim passed away Wednesday morning at a Beirut hospital after suffering a stroke a day earlier. He was 92.

Hazim, who served as the head of the Greek Orthodox Patriarch of the Levant and Antioch for 33 years, was admitted to Saint George hospital in Ashrafieh Tuesday after suffering a stroke, sources told The Daily Star.

Following news of his death, churches in the northern region of Koura tolled their bells as Lebanese officials arrived at St. Nicholas Church in Beirut to offer condolences.

Hazim’s funeral will be held Sunday at 12 p.m. at St. Nicolas Church while an acting patriarch will be nominated Thursday.

Lebanese leaders described Hazim’s passing as a loss for Lebanon and the region and praised his role as a religious leader who believed in the principle of coexistence.

Prime Minister Najib Mikati announced that the day of Hazim’s funeral would be a national day for mourning and praised the late patriarch for the role he played in the region.

The absence of Hazim represents a great loss not only for the Orthodox Church and the sects in Lebanon and the world but also for the Lebanese, the Arabs and the Eastern churches,” Mikati said in a statement.

He also described Hazim as a role model for “spiritual, humanitarian and social work.”

With the passing of Hazim, Lebanon and the Arab world loses a man of moderation and consensus who believed in inter-faith and inter-sect dialogue as well as coexistence rather than extremism and isolation,” Mikati said.

The prime minister, who is currently in Italy, also praised Hazim’s role in defending the Palestinian cause and their right for an independent state with Jerusalem as its capital, saying that his struggle for such an issue made him deserve the title of “the patriarch of the Arabs.”

During a ceremony at St. Nicholas Church, a group of priests carried Hazim’s coffin and lowered it near the alter at around 3:30 p.m. Beirut Metropolitan Orthodox Archbishop Elias Audi took part in the ceremony where the prelates paid their respect.

President Michel Sleiman, in a statement, offered his condolences to the Orthodox Church in Lebanon and Syria.

[Hazim] is a loss not only for his sect but also for Lebanon and the Arabs given his wisdom, courage and repeated calls for dialogue,” he said, according to the president’s press office.

Born in the village of Mhardey near Hama in Syria in 1920, Hazim was the son of an Arab Orthodox family and was attracted to Church service from an early age.

After finishing school in Hama, Syria, Hazim moved to Beirut where he studied literature and started serving the Orthodox Church in Lebanon.

Hazim helped found the global Society of Orthodox Youth Organizations and he became a member of the Sacred Convention of Orthodox Patriarchs in 1961 and in 1971 he was appointed Orthodox Metropolitan of the Syrian city of Lattakia.

Deputy Parliament Speaker Farid Makari described Hazim Wednesday as a historic figure who led the Orthodox community through a difficult time in the region.

The Orthodox community has lost a great, historic man who led his people with great wisdom in a difficult phase of the region’s history,” Makari said in a statement.

We assure him that his community will be fine …and its role will remain one that is primarily aimed at building a new, democratic Syria and in strengthening stability in Lebanon and nation-building,” he added.

Meanwhile, former Prime Minister Saad Hariri said the passing of Hazim represented the loss of a national and spiritual pillar of Lebanon.

Lebanese, with the loss of Patriarch Hazim, have lost a great, national and spiritual pillar as they look forward for the Greek Orthodox Church to remain a source of giving and love and which can remain loyal to its heritage in the Arab world,” Hariri said in a statement.

Hariri, the head of the Future Movement, added that Hazim confronted several challenges in the region with a solid stance aimed at preserving the principles of coexistence, moderation and openness.

PATRIARCH IGNATIUS IV – THE FUNERAL AT THE MERIAMIAH CHURCH IN THE SYRIAN CAPITAL DAMASCUS

Monday 10 December 2012

Patriarch Ignatios Funeral Procession01

In the Old City district of Damascus, the Greek Orthodox Church of Syria held a funeral on Monday for Ignatius IV Hazim, patriarch of Antioch and All the East.

The ceremony was attended by a large number of religious leaders of several faiths, including Catholic Patriarch Gregory III Laham, as well as government officials.

Hazim was 92 when he died in Beirut on Wednesday following a stroke. His body was transferred to Damascus on Sunday.

On Sunday and Monday morning, Christian schoolchildren paid their respects at Saint Mary’s Cathedral, where the funeral was held.

At the end of the funeral ceremony, religious dignitaries accompanied by young scouts carried Hazim’s coffin to the Cave of the Patriarchs, which is situated in the cathedral. The patriarch was buried there.

Syria’s parliament speaker Jihad Lahham attended the ceremony alongside several ministers.

In a statement to Syrian state television, Information Minister Omran Zohbi paid homage to the patriarch, describing him as a man of importance to Syria and the world. “His death is a loss for humanity,” he said.

SYRIA-RELIGION-CHRISTIAN-IGNATIUS IV

Born in 1920 in Mharde, near the central Syrian province of Hama, Hazim studied philosophy at the American University of Beirut, Lebanon.

He then travelled to France in 1949, where he studied liturgy.

On returning to Lebanon, he founded the University of Balamand in the north of the Mediterranean country.

He was consecrated as a bishop in 1962, and chosen to become Antioch’s 157th patriarch on July 2, 1979.

In March 2012, a year on from the outbreak of a popular revolt against President Bashar al-Assad, Hazim was quoted by pro-regime Syrian daily Al-Watan as warning against any foreign intervention in Syria, saying it would be bad for “both Christians and Muslims.”

The Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch and All the East is one of 14 autocephalous churches under the Orthodox communion. It counts around a million members, the majority of them Christians in Syria.

 

PATRIARCH HAZIM, ‘MAN OF MODERATION,’ DIES AT 92

Author: Hussein Dakroub
(Source: The Daily Star – Lebanon News – http://www.dailystar.com.lb)

BEIRUT: Lebanese political and religious leaders Wednesday lamented the death of Greek Orthodox Patriarch Ignatius IV Hazim as a great loss for Lebanon and the Arab world, praising him as “a man of moderation, dialogue and reconciliation” who defended Muslim-Christian coexistence.

Hazim died at a Beirut hospital Wednesday morning, a day after suffering a stroke. He was 92.

Hazim, who served as the head of the Greek Orthodox Patriarch of the Levant and Antioch for 33 years, was admitted to Saint George Hospital in Ashrafieh Tuesday with a cerebral failure.

Soon after news of Hazim’s death spread, churches in the northern region of Koura tolled their bells as Lebanese officials, including President Michel Sleiman, visited St. Nicolas Church in Beirut to offer condolences. An acting Greek Orthodox patriarch will be nominated Thursday.

Funeral services for Hazim will be held at noon Sunday at St. Nicolas Church in Ashrafieh before the casket is transported to the Mariamite Cathedral in Damascus.

Hazim’s funeral will be held at the Mariamite Cathedral at 2 p.m. Monday after which he will be laid to rest at the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate’s cemetery in Damascus, according to a statement released by the institution.

Prime Minister Najib Mikati issued instructions declaring the day of the funeral as a national day of mourning.

Sleiman said in a statement that Hazim’s death was “a loss not only for his sect, but also for Lebanon and the Arabs given his wisdom, courage and repeated calls for dialogue.”

He later visited St. Nicolas Church to offer condolences. With Hazim’s death, “a glorious page of the life of a man of faith, dialogue and knowledge has been turned,” Sleiman wrote in the golden condolences book.

Mikati said Hazim’s death was “a great loss” not only for the Greek Orthodox Church, but also for all of the Lebanese, the Arabs and the Eastern churches.

Describing Hazim as an example to be followed in spiritual, humanitarian and social work, Mikati said in a statement released by his office: “With the passing of Patriarch Hazim, Lebanon and the Arab world have lost a man of moderation and reconciliation, who had always believed in dialogue among all sects, religions and civilizations as well as in [sectarian] coexistence away from fanaticism and isolation.”

Mikati, who is currently in Italy, also praised Hazim’s role in defending the Arab causes, particularly the cause of the Palestinians and their right to an independent state with Jerusalem as its capital, saying that his struggle for such an issue made him deserve the title of “the patriarch of the Arabs.”

Former Prime Minister Saad Hariri lauded Hazim as a man who called for an inter-Lebanese dialogue, safeguarding unity and renouncing violence.

“With the loss of Patriarch Hazim, the Lebanese have lost a great, national and spiritual pillar. They look forward to the Greek Orthodox Church to remain a source of giving and love and faithful to its heritage in this Arab East,” Hariri said in a statement released by his office.

The head of the Future Movement said Hazim confronted several challenges in Lebanon and the region with “solid stances that safeguarded the values of [sectarian] coexistence, moderation and openness.” Former Prime Minister Fouad Siniora, head of the Future parliamentary bloc, said with Hazim’s death, Lebanon and the Arab world have lost “a major pillar of moderation and wisdom.”

“Patriarch Hazim was a keystone of openness and coexistence in Lebanon and the Arab world,” Siniora said in a statement. “He was also a fundamental sponsor and guarantor of [inter-Lebanese] reconciliation. His stances were based on reason, sought calm and stability and were committed to the Arab and Lebanese interest.”

Maronite Patriarch Beshara Rai offered condolences over Hazim’s death, saying in a telegram that the late patriarch had led his church with “much enthusiasm, dedication and wisdom.”

Grand Mufti Sheikh Mohammad Rashid Qabbani expressed deep regret over Hazim’s death, saying the late patriarch was “one of the great religious and Arab symbols in Lebanon and the world.”

He described Hazim as “a man of moderation, openness, dialogue, love and coexistence between Muslims and Christians.” Qabbani called Beirut Metropolitan Greek Orthodox Archbishop Elias Audi to offer condolences.

Sheikh Abdel-Amir Qabalan, deputy head of the Higher Shiite Council, and Druze spiritual leader Sheikh Naim Hasan also called Audi to offer condolences over Hazim’s death.

Deputy Parliament Speaker Farid Makari described Hazim as “a great man” who led the Greek Orthodox community through a difficult time in the region. He said Hazim had always called for unity and dialogue and was the “resounding voice of freedom.”

Born in the village of Mhardeh near Hama in Syria in 1920, Hazim was the son of an Arab Orthodox family.

After finishing school in Hama, Syria, Hazim moved to Beirut where he studied literature and started serving the Orthodox Church in Lebanon. Hazim founded the University of Balamand in Lebanon which he then served for many years as dean.

In 1971 he was appointed Orthodox Metropolitan of the Syrian city of Latakia. He was appointed Greek Orthodox Patriarch of the Levant and Antioch in 1979.

GREEK ORTHODOX PATRIARCH OF SYRIA IGNATIUS IV DIES

(Source: World BBC)

Patriarch Ignatius was born in 1920 in the village of Murhada, near the city of Hama

The Greek Orthodox patriarch of Syria, Ignatius IV (Hazim), has died in neighbouring Lebanon at the age of 92.

Syria’s state news agency, Sana, reported that Patriarch Ignatius died in Beirut’s St George’s hospital on Wednesday after suffering a stroke.

His remains would be brought from Lebanon to Syria for burial, it added.

Ignatius had led the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch and All The East, the largest Arab Christian Church in the Middle East, since 1979.

There are believed to be about a million members, the majority of whom are Syrians.

The Church is one of 14 autocephalous (ecclesiastically independent) Eastern Orthodox patriarchates, third in honorific rank after the churches of Constantinople and Alexandria.

Since the 14th Century, the patriarch has resided in Damascus.

Patriarch Ignatius was born in 1920 in the village of Murhada, near Hama.

In 1961, he was ordained Bishop of Palmyra, in central Syria. Nine years later, he became Metropolitan of Latakia, on the Mediterranean coast.

Syria’s minority Christian community has not joined the revolt against President Bashar al-Assad. Many Christians are fearful for their future if the country’s majority Sunni Muslim community chooses an Islamist leadership to replace decades of secular rule.

METROPOLITAN ESPER NAMED INTERIM PATRIARCH

Date: 8 December 2012

(Source: The Daily Star)

Metropolitan Esper
BEIRUT: Metropolitan Saba Esper was elected Friday as temporary successor to the late Greek Orthodox Patriarch Ignatius IV Hazim.

The appointment came during a meeting at Balamand monastery in Koura, North Lebanon. Esper currently serves as the metropolitan of three southern provinces of Syria: Hawran, Jabal al-Arab and the Golan.

Hazim, who was born in the Syrian town of Maharde in Hama Province, died Wednesday at a Beirut hospital, one day after suffering a stroke. He was 92.

He served as the head of the Greek Orthodox Patriarch of the Levant and Antioch for 33 years.

Hazim’s funeral will be held Sunday at noon at St. Nicolas Church in Ashrafieh, Beirut.

Prime Minister Najib Mikati declared Sunday an official day of mourning over the patriarch’s death.

Lebanese leaders have described Hazim’s death as a loss for Lebanon and the region and praised his role as a religious leader who believed in the principle of coexistence.

METROPOLITAN GEORGE KHODR’S EULOGY FOR PATRIARCH IGNATIUS IV IN DAMASCUS

Metropolitan George Khodr

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

You go up from Antioch to the heaven that the righteous have chosen as their homeland. This is because you have gone from glory to glory, with what the Spirit, the Lord has brought you. I said the Spirit who descended upon your native intelligence and the intelligence that shined within you was a human ascent. But the Spirit came down upon you In Him you had rest and by His favor you reached high levels of knowledge, in depth and balance, and through it you revealed the Gospel to those who were prepared for it. He is avid for the souls who were entrusted into your care as as service to the great Shepherd of our souls.

By His grace you became bishop of Syria, if we can borrow the expression from your patron, who felt that he was called to look over the entire country. The country you are from was the heart of the Christian world for many centuries after the light of the Gospel dawned. Your Lord wanted you to bear the riches of Ignatius of Antioch, Romanos the Melodist, Elian of Homs, Chrysostom, the Damascene, and that great wonder, Maximus the Confessor, who was from Hauran.

As we now bid you farewell, we feel that in one way or another you come from them and that we want to come from them forever, and from you, in the measure that you are their inheritor. Over the course of many generations, master, Antioch was the primary theater for the Gospel and I do not exaggerate if I say that that Christian word, aside from a few lights in Alexandria, was spoken here and that the people tasted its crumbs in other regions.

The great Christian glow in this land  was brought to us by the Gospel, through the great men who sanctified this country. The Lord came to us through you after we came to know you as a servant of the Word.

You were not intoxicated by philosophy, which you learned well. You lived by the Gospel in every thought, to the point that it is possible for me to say that you did not stop at human opinion, since you knew that humans are temporary or transitory, just as you knew that we, the people of Antioch, do not subsist through our bodies, but through every word that comes from the mouth of God.

Indeed, we do not claim that our human aspect is something great. However, we contend that those lasting things within us have come to us from this Gospel that stands beyond the ages and that you yourself only wanted to serve it.

For this reason, from the time when you were teaching children and youth, you desired to focus all your intellectual effort on what God said in His good Book, since you were not patriarch of the Rum, but rather God’s patriarch for the Rum. Your Lord did not call them by this name, but rather He breathed this saying into the Book of Acts: “The disciples were first called Christians at Antioch.” These dear words mean that there is an unbreakable connection between Christianity and Antioch– intellectual heritage was trained in asceticism and keeping watch in exercises, day and night, so that your Lord might be glorified from the desert of Syria to our coasts. You watched over all this expanse. The Lord’s eyes were upon you and upon us, so that we might remain sincere bearers of the cross of glory toward each resurrection in the heart and mind, so that the face of Jesus may appear, and through it we might live unto ages of ages.

You were born of pure water and the Spirit and you grew up in Orthodox belief and worship such that you trained your taste to lead us in singing. When you came to Beirut as a teenager, you were one of the leaders because of this aspect of worship that was impressed upon your being, such that one can say that with your training in acquiring knowledge, people could discern in your thinking and your words the stamp of the Church.

You took up the clerical robe at the American University and you were distinguished in it and were insistent upon it when you went to France for theological instruction. Upon your return, you were entrusted with the Annunciation School in Beirut. It shined on account of you and you became known as an educator and administrator. This became clear to the spiritual leaders and they entrusted you with lofty responsibilities at the Monastery of Our Lady of Balamand until you were given authority over the Archdiocese of Lattakia and then sat upon the patriarchal throne, to shepherd all of Antioch. You lift us up to where you are seated now, in order to seriously follow the path you never strayed from at any stage of your life. Much seriousness comes from this mind, and your Shepherd Christ the Lord is the mind of the Father.

We hold on to everything you have given us, hoping that the Lord will keep us sincere. We shall meet with you, if the Lord desires to perfect us in mercy.

Amen.

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2 comments

  1. The passing of Patriarch Ignatius IV adds to the growing list of prominent Eastern Christian leaders who have departed this life over the last two years since the “Arab spring” and other similar movements which have taken place, amongst the departed are Patriarchs Shenouda of the Coptic Orthodox Church and Boulos of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church, thus ushering the end of an era for many Christians in both Africa and the Middle East. What lies ahead, no one really knows, but it seems that peace will elude the world for a very long time and for the Christians of these lands, it will mean continued hardships, while many governments enact policies geared towards instability and against the interests of their citizens….

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