In Memoriam
His Beatitude Ignatios IV (Hazim)
Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch and All the East

On learning of the passing to the heavenly Father of His Beatitude Ignatios IV (Hazim) on 5 December 2012, His Beatitude Patriarch Gregorios III (Laham) immediately sent by telegram the following message to the Orthodox Holy Synod in Beirut:

With a deep feeling of pain and sadness we received the news of the death of our brother, His Beatitude Patriarch Ignatios IV, of Antioch and All the East of the Greek Orthodox Church.

On hearing the news we could not refrain from tears; our pen and tongue alike unable to express our sorrow.

In our name, and that of the Holy Synod of the Melkite Greek Catholic Church in the East and the diaspora, and also speaking as President of the Assembly of Catholic Hierarchy in Syria, we offer our sincere condolences to our beloved sister Church, through its Holy Synod.

We ask Christ, risen from the dead, to receive our brother in his heavenly dwelling-place together with all the children of the resurrection, the righteous and the saints.

Eternal memory!
With my sincere condolences and prayer

Gregorios III
Patriarch of Antioch and All the East
of Alexandria and of Jerusalem
for the Melkite Greek Catholic Church

On Saturday 8 December 2012 His Beatitude Gregorios III went to St Nicholas’ Cathedral in Beirut, to offer his condolences to the Locum tenens, Metropolitan Saba Esper, and participated in a service with Orthodox bishops around the coffin in which the Patriarch’s venerable remains were exposed.

On Sunday 9 December 2012, he went to the funeral of the late Patriarch in the same St Nicholas’ Cathedral, together with five Melkite Greek Catholic bishops, their Excellencies Salim Bustros, Ibrahim Nehmeh, George Haddad, Elias Rahhal, Michael Abrass and Archimandrites Nicholas Hakim, Superior of the Patriarchal Residence in Ain Traz, and Naim Gharbi, Rector of the Major Seminary of Saint Anna in Rabweh, seminarians and some priests from Beirut.

After the funeral in Beirut the body of the late Patriarch was transported to Damascus in a special convoy.

His Beatitude, accompanied by Mgr. Joseph Absi Vicar General in Damascus, and Mgr. Boulos Borkhosh, Metropolitan of Bosra and Arab Mountain (Houran, Syria) and some priests also went to Damascus for the funeral on Monday 10 December 2012 at 2p.m., in the Greek Orthodox Cathedral of the Dormition.

His Beatitude gave some accounts and interviews as follows in brief:

“We pay affectionate homage to a Syrian national, religious and world figure, a man of vision, sagacity, wisdom and a clear, vibrant voice in ecclesial and national dialogue.

“We share in the mourning of our sister Greek Orthodox Church of Antioch.

“Personally, I have lost a brother and friend whom I have known since 1964 (some 48 years): as priest, bishop, and (since 2000) Patriarch. He is a patron in heaven, where he re-joins his brother and friend the late Patriarch Maximos V (Hakim). They were real friends and companions.

“May God send our dear sister Church of Antioch, a good successor to this venerable predecessor!”

Source: Melkite Greek Catholic Patriarchate, Rabweh


Teachings of Christ

“Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” (John 4:13-14 ESV)

Entrance of the Mother of God into the Temple

Today is the prelude of the goodwill of God * and the heralding of the salvation of mankind; * the Virgin appears clearly in the temple of God * and foretells Christ to all. * Let us also with a mighty voice cry out to her: * “Rejoice, O Fulfillment of the Creator’s divine plan.” (Troparion - Tone 4)

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and to the ages of ages. Amen.

The most pure Temple of the Savior, * the most precious Bridal-Chamber and Virgin, the sacred Treasury of the glory of God, * is brought today into the house of the Lord, * bringing with her the grace that is in the Divine Spirit. * The angels of God praise her in song: * “She is the heavenly tabernacle.” (Kontakion - Tone 4)

(November 21st)

Random Proverb

"The wage of the righteous leads to life, the gain of the wicked to sin." (Proverbs 10:10 ESV)

Pray Without Ceasing

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

Long ago, the wily one cast his weapon and wounded Adam and killed him; Indeed, he completely destroyed the weak man. But now, even if he struck the bodies of the noble men, he did not destroy their spirits. He persuaded the first-created man to fall by words, but not even by deeds, the noble ones. Bewitching the former, he made promises; he made offers to the latter: For Adam, the making of a god; for the martyrs, honor. He offers what he does not have; he suggests bestowing things not in his authority. Therefore, saints, having shattered his scheme, You gained crowns. 

Kontakia of Romanos, On the Forty Martyrs of Sebasteia I.