On 16 March, 2011, Patriarch Gregorios III of the Melkite Greek Catholic Church led a delegation of several bishops, with other clergy and lay-people, on a visit to Bkerkeh  (Lebanon) to congratulate newly elected Patriarch Beshara Boutros (al Rai) of the Maronite Church.

Patriarch Gregorios III brought greetings and congratulations from the Melkite Greek Catholic Church of which he is father and head, and from the Assembly of Catholic Hierarchs in Syria of which he is president, from the Council of Eastern Catholic Patriarchs, from the Assembly for Catholic Patriarchs and Bishops in Lebanon (APECL) and from the Middle East Council of Churches (MECC.)

Commenting on the meaning of the name of the new Patriarch, which means Annunciation in Arabic, His Beatitude expressed the wish that his tenure would be “good news” for the Christian world. He assured him that he and his Church would continue to enjoy communion in love with the Melkite Greek Catholic Church, and that in their prayers all Syria’s Christians were all wishing the new Maronite Patriarch many years of fruitful service.

Patriarch Beshara himself expressed the wish to pay a visit to Syria this year for religious purposes and to further friendship between Lebanese and Syrian faithful.

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)