CWN - Greek Orthodox Patriarch Ignatius IV of Antioch, honored as the third-ranking prelate within Eastern Orthodoxy after the Patriarchs of Constantinople and Alexandria, has died at the age of 91.

Born in Syria as Habib Hazim, he was consecrated a bishop in 1961 and was enthroned as patriarch in 1979. The patriarchate, which is one of 14 autocephalous Orthodox churches and is based in Damascus, has 750,000 members, principally in Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, Kuwait, Iran, Australia, Europe, and the Americas, including 250 parishes and missions in the United States and Canada.

Patriarch Ignatius IV promoted frequent Holy Communion and, in the words of L’Osservatore Romano, “launched numerous appeals for peace in Syria and, alongside the Catholic bishops and Muslim religious leaders, was deeply committed to encouraging reconciliation in the region.”

There are four other Patriarchs of Antioch. The heads of the Syriac Catholic Church, the Maronite Catholic Church, and the Melkite Greek Catholic Church are all in full communion with the Holy See and follow the Antiochene, Maronite, and Byzantine liturgical traditions respectively. The head of the Syrian Orthodox Church ceased to be in full communion with the Holy See following the Council of Chalcedon in 451 and is the head of one of the six Oriental Orthodox churches.

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Christ is Risen!

Christ is risen from the dead, trampling down death by death, and to those in the tombs bestowing life! (Troparion)

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

Although You descended into the tomb, O Immortal One, * You destroyed the power of Hades; * You arose as the victor, O Christ God, * proclaiming to the myrrh-bearing women: “Rejoice!” * and granting peace to Your Apostles, * O, You, Who gives resurrection to the fallen. (Kontakion)

Teachings of Christ

“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly." (John 10:10 ESV)

Random Proverb

"My son, do not despise the Lord's discipline or be weary of his reproof, for the Lord reproves him whom he loves, as a father the son in whom he delights." (Proverbs 3:11,12 ESV)

Pray Without Ceasing

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

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

There was a man who ate a lot and was still hungry, and another who ate little and was satisfied. The one who ate a lot and was still hungry received a greater reward than he who ate little and was satisfied.

Apophthegmata Patrum