On May 24, 2019, His Holiness Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem II arrived at Cochin International Airport for his third Apostolic Visit to the Jacobite Syrian Christian Church in India.
He is accompanied by their Eminences: Mor Clemis Daniel Kourieh, Archbishop of Beirut, Mor Timotheos Matta Al-Khoury, Patriarchal Vicar for the Patriarchal Archdiocese of Damascus, Mor Timotheos Matthew, Mor Anthimos Jack Yakoub, Patriarchal Vicar for Youth Affairs and Religious Education, as well as Very Rev. Raban Joseph Bali, Patriarchal Secretary and Media Office Director, and Rev. Fr. Markose, Patriarchal Secretary for Indian Affairs.
His Holiness and the accompanying delegation were received at the airport by His Beatitude Mor Baselios Thomas I, Catholicose of India, their Eminences Archbishops members of the regional episcopal synod in India, and a large crowd of clergy and faithful of the JSC in India.
On May 24, 2019, His Holiness Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem II presided over ramsho (evening) prayer at the Cathedral of Mor Ignatius Dayro in Manjinikara - India.
After the prayer, His Holiness addressed the faithful expressing his great joy to meet them for the third time, and congratulating them for the inauguration of the new residence of the Dayro.
His Holiness then spoke about the special situation of the Church in India, he said: "You are always in our prayers and in our mind; every single day we think of you and we ask the Lord to help us to find a solution for the problem that our Church is in".
His Holiness added: "No one can tell in whom you believe and to whom your loyalty should be; this is something personally between you and your God, between you and the great memory of your forefathers who taught you the faith and who entrusted to you this great jewel of faith and loyalty". He continued: "Of course we respect the court of this country and the legal system of this country, however courts and judges cannot judge the faith of people, they judge based on technicalities, they judge based in the facts presented to them and the information they were given, but they cannot judge your faith, your loyalty. It’s very obvious that we expect of you to respect and to obey the laws of these country; however, your faith, you decide it no one else."
His Holiness illustrated: "we tried, and we gave space and time for this to happen, we took many initiatives, we wrote, we received many people, mediators, tried to set up meetings and to discuss the issues of the church, but unfortunately all these did not work". However, His Holiness continued "we are praying and we are working for peace in our church, we want reconciliation, we want people to live in peace and harmony, to be able to worship their God and their Savior according to the age old traditions of their forefathers, we will do all that we can to bring peace and harmony to our church here".
On May 24, 2019, His Holiness Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem II held a prayer at the Tomb of the Thrice Blessed Saint Patriarch Mor Ignatius Elias II in Mor Ignatius Dayro in Manjinikara.
He then, presided over the inauguration prayer of the new residential building of the monastery.
The prayer and inauguration were attended by His Beatitude Catholicos Mor Baselios Thomas I, Catholicos of India, their Eminences Archbishops members of the accompanying delegation, and of the Regional Synod in India, as well as the Very Rev. and Rev. Frs., deacons, and a crowd of the faithful.
On May 25, 2019, His Holiness Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem II celebrated the Holy Qurobo at St Ignatius Nurono Cathedral in Manjinikara - India.
At the end, His Holiness addressed the faithful, commanding them to love God and their neighbor, for only this "brings to each of us peace and tranquility and therefore brings to the whole world peace." His Holiness added: "the true church of God is the Church that teaches love, peace and harmony; this is our commandment to you, that you love God, and your neighbor - and your neighbor is every human being."
His Holiness emphasized the importance of unceasing prayer in the life of the apostles and in the life of the whole Church, he said: "Prayers not only bring us closer to God, they teach us to be better Christians and to be good ambassadors and apostles of our Lord and Savior."
"Many of us think that having money will get us favorable solutions; having power on our side will make us win; having shrewdness and cunningness and cheating will help us achieve our goal.. that's not the case dearly children in christ."
"It's only through prayers", His Holiness illustrated, "prayers that perform miracles, we can stand in front of God asking to help us, and He will!"
His Holiness asked the faithful to pray "because I believe it is through prayer that God will help us to overcome our problems and to get out of this terrible situation that we are in; He told us to pray for those who hate us, who persecute us, and He also told us to come to Him - all those who have heavy ladens and who are troubled - to come and find peace and tranquility in Him."
On May 25, 2019, His Holiness Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem II arrived at the Patriarchal Center in Puthencruz.
His Holiness and the accompanying delegation were received at the center by His Beatitude Mor Baselios Thomas I, Catholicos of India, their Eminences Archbishops members of the regional episcopal synod in India, and a large crowd of clergy and faithful of the JSC in India.
After praying in St. Athanasius Church in the center, His Holiness presided over the regional synod of our Church in India, during which Church affairs were thoroughly studied and discussed.
Later, His Holiness met with the Working Committee, and then with the Managing Committee.
It was decided that the Committee of three archbishops assigned by His Holiness will continue to work as the Metropolitan Office. The Committee will choose one of their Eminences the archbishops to coordinate its work until the election of a new Metropolitan Trustee.
On the evening of May 25, 2019, His Holiness Patriarch arrived at Malecuriz in India.
He was accompanied by His Beatitude the Catholicos Mor Baselios Thomas I and their Eminences Archbishops members of the patriarchal delegation, and members of the regional synod in India.
His Holiness presided over ramsho (evening) prayer at St. Georges Church.
Then, he held the special prayer for the inauguration of the Khanema Hanna Home for Elders.
The house was constructed by a donation by Karim family in memory of their late mother Mrs. Khanema Hanna (mother of His Holiness).
On May 26, 2019, His Holiness Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem II celebrated the Holy Qurobo at St. Georges Church in Malecuriz Dayro in Puthencruz, India.
He was assisted by their Eminences: Mor Clemis Daniel Kourieh, Archbishop of Beirut, 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, in the presence of their Eminences Archbishops members of the Regional Synod in India, as well as the Very Rev. and Rev. fathers, nuns, deacons, and a large crowd of the faithful of our Church.
On May 26, 2019, His Holiness Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem II, met with His Excellency Mr. Oommen Chandy, Previous Chief Minister of Kerala. They spoke together about the third Apostolic visit of His Holiness to India.
On May 26, 2019, His Holiness Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem II consecrated St. George Syrian Simhasana Church in Pampra - India.
His Holiness was assisted by their Eminences: Mor Dioscoros Kuriakose, Metropolitan of the Simahasana Churches in the North of Kerala and Abbot of Malecuriz Dayro and Mor Anthimos Jack Yakoub, Patriarchal Vicar for Youth Affairs and Religious Education, in the presence of their Eminences Archbishops Members of the Patriarchal Delegation and of the Regional Synod in India.
At the end of the rite of the Consecration, His Holiness addressed the faithful saying: "My last word to you beloved children in the Lord [during this visit] is to pray and do not stop praying for the church, the spiritual fathers of the church, and every faithful, and for peace in our Church here in Malankara, that everyone may be able to worship freely, to declare his/her allegiance and loyalty to the Holy Throne, and that God may bring back peace and tranquility in our community here in Kerala".
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