KOCHI-INDIA, Sep. 20: His Holiness the Patriarch
of the Antioch
and all the East Mar Ignatius Zakka-I Iywas
arrived here on Monday on a seven-day visit to Kerala.
Amid high security, thousands
of devotees thronged the international airport at Ned-umbassery
to accord a tumultuous welcome to the supreme head of the Universal Syrian
Orthodox Church. Minister of Sate Mr. Dominic Presentation received the
visiting dignitary on behalf of the state government.
Thomas I and other bishops of the Jacobite Syrian Church
received the religious head and the bishops accompanying him.
Patriarchal Assistant to Malankara Mor Julius Kuriakose,
Synod secretary Mor Gregorios Joseph, Mor Philoxenos Yuhanon, Mor Thimotheos Thomas, Mor Ivanios
Mathews, Mor Theophilos Kuriakose,
Mor Miltheos Yuhanon, Mor
Mor Athanasius Geevarghese, Mor Dioscorus Kuriakose, Mor
Dionysius Geevarghese, the Church Priest Trustee
and Malankara Malpan
Very Rev Kurien Corepiscopa
Kaniamparambil, lay trusty George Mathew Thekkethalackal, Secretary Thambu
George Thukalan, Rambans,
Priests, Sisters and a large number of faithful came to welcome the
supreme pontiff of the Holy Church.
Apart from the Minister of
State, the Member of Parliament Lonappan Nambadan, U.D.F convener P.P. Thankachan,
Members of Legislative Assembly, T.M. Jacob, Saju
Paul, V.J Paulose, K. Babu,
P.J Joy, T.H Mustafa, M.A Chandrasekharan and
many other public dignitaries were also present at the Airport to receive
Though tired after a long
journey, His Holiness Zakka greeted the people at the airport and extended
blessings to the people of Kerala.
The Patriarch arrived by an
Emirates flight from Damascus via Dubai to attend a host of religious and public
functions during his third visit to the Malankara Church. H.H is accompanied by 12
member delegation, including Mor Athanasius Elia
Bahi (Patriarchal Assistant), Mor Silvanos Pathros (Homs), Mor Militius Malki (Australia)
and the Principal of St. Ephrem theological Seminary, Damascus.
He will be accorded a public
reception at Ernakulam on Tuesday marking the beginning
of year-long silver jubilee celebrations of his enthronement as the 122nd
successor to St Peter. The Patriarch, later, proceeded to a hotel in Ernakulam. He will have no major functions on Monday, church
Apart from the Episcopal Synod
of the Church at Karingachira on September 23, the
Patriarch will also attend the convention of Jacobite
Syrian Christian Association at Mulanthuruthy on
September 27, seen as a major event, as a visiting Patriarch is attending
the meeting for the first time since 1876.
Tight security had been thrown
in and around the airport for the Patriarch who arrived here as the State
The Patriarch addresses press conference
KOCHI, Sep. 20: The Patriarch of Antioch, Mor
Ignatius Zakka I, said here on Monday that Jacobites
are ready to hold talks with the Malankara
Orthodox Church on the basis of the 1995 Supreme Court verdict to foster
ties with the two Churches.
The Patriarch told mediapersons that Jacobites
did not want to fight but wanted to live in peace. “We want all the
members of the Malankara Syrian
Church to come
together and hold discussions to have peace, which is not practical in the
To a question on the possible
tie-up with the Malankara Orthodox faction, his
response was: “How can they come to me when they have filed a case
against my visit to prevent me from seeing the people of Kerala. India is a
great nation and it would not deny permission to the head of the Church to
see his people.”
Elaborating on his moves to
bring about a settlement, the Patriarch said: “The initiative to end
the dispute was taken several times by the Jacobite
faction and we waited for seven years before anointing Catholicos
Baselios Thomas I as the head of the Jacobite
even in these circumstances, were ready for discussions on the basis of the
1995 Supreme Court verdict, he added.
When asked about the Church's
stand if metropolitans who left the Jacobite Church after the Supreme Court
verdict were willing to come back, the Patriarch said if such a thing
happened, the Church would discuss it.
Referring to the activities of
the World Ecumenical Movement, he said that the movement does not have any
powers and it could only give advice on issues. The Patriarch is one of the
presidents of the World Council of Churches.
About the role of Christians
in India, he said India is a
democratic country and Christians have their own role to play and that they
should be proud of their nation. Asked about religious conversions
snowballing into political issues, he said the Syrian Church
did not have such a practice.
Joseph Mar Gregorios,
the Synod Secretary and Kochi
diocese Metropolitan, said "both the Kerala High Court and the Supreme
Court have accepted our stand. We have a rightful claim to carry on the age-old
Syrian tradition. The other Orthodox faction claims to be part of the
Church, but resorts to one litigation after the
other and take over (individual) churches. We can accept them on the basis
of ecumenism, since we do not want any more cases". He also added that
the Government should come out with a formula to end the dispute over some
of the churches in Kerala. The Government can take over the property of
the disputed churches even while allowing believers to worship in these
churches, he added. (The Indian Express)
Silver Jubilee of H.H. Patriarch's enthronement
About 2,00,000 people attended
the jubilee inauguration
Sep. 21: The grand
celebrations marking the silver jubilee year of the enthronement of the
Patriarch of Antioch, Moran Mor Ignatius Zakka I, began in Kochi today at 5.00 pm. About 2,00,000
people participated in the marvelous function
held at the (late) Mor Baselios Paulose II Catholicos Nagar
in Marine drive ground, Cochin. 50,000 chairs with two large screens and
many close-circuited TV's were arranged at the venue. The pandal itself was 1.5 lakh sq.ft. which is the largest erected temporary structure in the
place. The Marine drive ground and the nearby city roads were overflowing
with the faithful who came from all over the state. Even three hours before
the meeting had started, the seats were full. As the Marine drive ground
became insufficient to accommodate all, the faithful had to spill over to
the nearby city roads as well.
At 5.00 pm His Holiness
accompanied by the Catholicos Mor Baselios Thomas I came to the venue in an open Jeep. It
passed through the specially arranged path in the centre of the ground. The
over joyous crowd waved at His Holiness. The Patriarchal flags were seen
everywhere. People were shouting Long Live Patriarch, Long Live Catholicos, Long Live Antioch-Malankara
link !! The Police officers and organizers found
it very difficult to control the people as they were so enthusiastic to
come near the Patriarch. It was one of the biggest crowd
the city has seen for many years.
The public meeting started
soon after His Holiness reached the dais. The function which was presided
by the Catholicos Aboon
Mor Baselios Thomas I, started
with the welcome address by the Holy Episcopal Synod President Mor Gregorios Joseph followed by the presidential address
of His Beatitude the Catholicos.
At 5.30 pm the Chief Minister
of Kerala Mr. Oommen Chandy
inaugurated the silver jubilee celebrations of the enthronement of Moran
Mor Ignatius Zakka I Iywas to the Holy Apostolic
throne of St Peter, the Patriarchate of Antioch and all
the East. Speaking on the occasion, Chandy
applauded His Holiness the Patriarch for his great contribution in the
Christian Ecumenical world. He hoped that the Patriarch's visit would bring
prosperity to the Church and the Nation. Chandy
also tried to bring into the attention that Kerala was a role model for other
states with regard to religious amity.
Delivering the keynote address,
Cardinal Mar Varkey Vithayathil,
the head of the Syro-Malabar
Church in India stressed the role of Antioch and the Patriarchs in Church
history. He also recalled the warm relations existing between Rome and Antioch.
The bilateral agreement signed between Rome
in 1984 was a milestone in Church unity. The relations between Rome and Antioch were
so warm that Rome invited Mor Ignatius Zakka
(when he was only the Metropolitan in charge of Mosul diocese) as an observer in the Second
Vatican council, the Cardinal said. The Cardinal also recalled the visit of
the Patriarch Ignatius Zakka I Iwas to Rome
in 1984 and the Pope John Paul II's visit to the
Patriarch at Damascus
Church supreme head Philippose Mar Chrisostem
said that "Correction in the historic process is inevitable for all
social movements.'' He wanted the Church leadership to make the silver
jubilee celebrations of the enthronement of the Patriarch an occasion to
recover humanity's love and righteousness. Mar Chrisostem
hoped that the Patriarch's Kerala visit would accentuate the ongoing
ecumenical movement in India.
Former Church of South India
Moderator Bishop K J Samuel also spoke. He
hoped that the Kerala visit of the Patriarch would be an impetus to the
ecumenical movements in the country.
The veteran communist and
leader of the opposition front in the Kerala Assembly V.S Achuthanandan, Union Minister of State for Power P.M. Sayed, former Union Ministers O. Rajagopal
and P C Thomas, Ministers of State P K Kunjalikutty
and Dominic Presentation, UDF Convener P P Thankachen, former State Ministers T M Jacob and K V
Thomas, SNDP Yogam general secretary Vellappalli Natesan, Member
of Parliament Sebastian Paul, Press Trust Chairman Philip Mathew were among
others who spoke. Various other Religious and socio-political heads were
also present during the function.
The Patriarch in the end, addressing
the mammoth gathering, said the relationship with the Syrian Orthodox
Church in India
and the Patriarchate of Antioch started in the early Christian century and
was conformed in the council of Nicea in AD 325. 'We
are glad to note that this ancient tradition is still kept alive. (Indian
Express, The Hindu)
According to press reports
this was the biggest crowd assembled at cochin in the near past. The meeting
concluded at 8.15 pm.
Patriarchal address at the public meeting in Cochin
(September 21, 2004) We are
extremely delighted to be here this evening with you all. It is always a
great joy to visit India,
the great nation of sages and saints, this beautiful state Kerala, "Gods
own country", and particularly our church here in India.
We remember with much
gratitude, the warm reception we received from the general public, the
previous times we visited India.
We still cherish the fond memories of those visits. We wish to once again
thank the honourable governments, both at the centre and here in Kerala for
their kind hospitality. We are happy that the same spirit has been shown to
us even this time.
When we see this great crowd
here, we marvel at the love that you show to the Holy throne of Antioch. We can only
talk about our church in India
with mixed feelings. On the one hand, we are extremely happy to see the
progress our church has made under the efficient leadership of our
spiritual brother in Christ His Beatitude Baselios
Thomas 1st, the Catholicos and Metropolitan
Trustee. His Beatitude is a born leader. God has bestowed many good
qualities upon him. In times of crises he will never waiver. His loyalty to
the Holy throne of Antioch
is unflinching. He will never compromise aspects of true faith and
traditions. He will always walk ahead and with his people. In His Beatitude
you have a great leader whom you can always trust and look upon. He will
stay like a rock when it comes to matters of faith. We remember with
gratitude the great sacrifices of Late Lamented His Beatitude Mor Baselios Paulose IInd along with the late Lamented Mor Gregorios Geevarghese made
for this church. We want to appreciate the leadership of His Beatitude Baselios Thomas Ist at this
time and thank him for the same. May God grand him good health and long
life. We also would like to acknowledge the services of all our Archbishops
who stood with His Beatitude and the faithful, especially during the time
of crisis. We urge all of you to continue to extend your prayerful support
to His Beatitude Baselios Thomas Ist and to the Holy Episcopal Synod.
Christianity in India is as
old as the beginning of the Christian Church. India had the great fortune of
having received the gospel of Christ in the first century itself through
Apostle St. Thomas. The relationship with the Syrian Orthodox Church in India and
the Patriarchate of Antioch started in the first Christian century, was confirmed in the council of Nicea in AD 325. We are glad to note that this ancient
tradition is still kept alive. While we rejoice in this, as the spiritual
head of the church, we are equally saddened that a group has gone astride
from the mother church. Unfortunately, this rift has lead to many court
cases in India, which
has become a disgrace to the entire Christian community in India. As
the Supreme head of the church, we have always stood for making peace in the
church. In fact, the 1995 verdict of the Honourable Supreme Court of India
provided us with an excellent opportunity for peace and unity in the both
fractions here. However, we missed the opportunity because the other
faction was not willing to accept the challenge. We tried our level best to
make an amicable settlement on the basis of the honourable Supreme Court
Judgment and waited seven years for unity and peace in the church. That was
not to be. It was in this context and on the request of our faithful here
that we decided to consecrate His Beatitude Baselios
Thomas Ist as the Catholicos
of our church here. Today when I see this crowd, I am more than convinced
that we made a correct decision and a correct choice. May our church
continue to prosper under the spiritual leadership of His Beatitude Baselios Thomas Ist and our
Holy Episcopal Synod in India.
At this time, we also would
like to appreciate the Government of Kerala of its positive role and
approach in our church affairs. The state government knew that our cause
was just. We wish to record our gratitude and thanks for the Honourable
Government for their care. Our particular thanks to the former Chief
Ministers Mr. K. Karunakaran, late Mr. E.K. Nayanar, Mr. A.K. Antony and his council of ministers
and his successor Mr. Oommen Chandy
for their constant support and cooperation. Our sister churches and their
leaders also expressed their concerns and extended their help in hands for
reconciliation through mediation. Also the contributions of the cultural
leaders of Kerala are worthy to be mentioned.
Once again we are so glad we
could come to India,
which is the largest democracy in the world. You have yet again proved
through the recent elections that the roots of democracy here are, indeed, strong.
Everyone can be proud of these traditions of democracy and secularism in India. We
remember with great respect Mahatma Gandhi, the father of the Nation. This
land is the cradle of the rich and ancient culture and civilization. Kerala
has been home to people of all faiths and nationalities. When religious
fundamentalism and conflicts are destroying nations, Kerala has stood as a
model for all nations to learn from. Here, people of all religion live in
harmony. We have experienced this during all our visits to India. Minority
religions such as Christianity have received royal patronage from the
Hindu rulers in the past. Our own church, the Syrian Orthodox Church, has
been a beneficiary of this generous attitude of Hindu brothers and
sisters. Our Syrian community, in turn has accommodated many aspects of
Hindu culture in their social and religious life. We are happy to note that
our church has been able to maintain a cordial relationship with all
religions here. It is our responsibility to be faithful to our own
religious traditions and to be open to others and to respect the faith of
the brothers and sisters of other religious traditions. We urge to
continue this spirit of cooperation and to take a stronger role in nation
building. The church is the extension of God's incarnation in Jesus Christ.
Our mission in India
is to share the immense joy of Gospel, not forceful conversion. Gospel is
to be shared not to be imposed and our challenge is to witness the love of
God through our lives. It is our calling to be the voice of the voiceless, the
poor and marginalized. We should never entertain a minority complex; rather
we should continue to be part and parcel of the national life in India.
We take this opportunity to
thank you all for the preparation of the Patriarchal Silver Jubilee
celebrations of enthronement to the Holy Throne of St. Peter and for the
good words. Let me thank Oommen Chandy, the Chief Minister of Kerala and his cabinet
ministers for making my visit possible and all the facilities provided as
a state guest and for his personal presence here. I thank Cardinal Varkey Vithayathil and all
the leaders of the sister churches who were here and the social, cultural
and political dignitaries present here.
We expect that you all pray
for us to continue our efforts to glorify our Lord Jesus Christ through the
years to come.
We wish you all the best and
thank you. May God Bless you.
Kerala famous for religious amity: Chief Minister Oommen Chandy
Kochi: Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy has said Kerala
was famous for its religious amity and has maintained the tradition of
religious harmony successfully. Addressing a mammoth public meeting after
inaugurating the silver jubilee celebrations of Patriarch of Antioch and
all the East, Moran Mor Ignatius Zakka Iwas, enthronement to the Holy
Apostolic throne of St Peter, Chandy said Kerala
was a role model for other states with regard to religious amity.
The Patriarch, in his address,
said the relationship with the Syrian Orthodox Church in India and
the Patriarchate of Antioch which started in the first Christian century
was conformed in the council of Nicea in AD 325. 'We
are glad to note that this ancient tradition is still kept alive.
While we rejoice in this, as
the supreme spiritual Head of the Church, we are equally saddened that a
group had gone astride from the mother church', he said apparently
referring to the orthodox faction of the Malankara
church. 'Unfortunately, this rift had lead to many court cases in India, which
has become a disgrace to the entire Christian community in India', the
Patriarch said adding as the supreme head of the church, we have always
stood for making peace in the church.
Union Minister Ram Vilas Paswan visits His
KOCHI: Union Minister for Chemicals and
Fertilisers Ram Vilas Paswan met the Patriarch
of Antioch and all the East, Ignatius Zakka Iwas, here on Tuesday.
Jacobite church sources described the
visit as a "courtsey call." The head of
the Jacobite Syrian church in Kerala, Catholicos Baselious Thomas I
was also present.
Moran Mor Ignatius Zakka I
Iwas, the supreme head of the Universal
Church, reached here
on Monday on a seven-day visit to Kerala. Paswan
later left for Thiruvalla. (Indian Express)
The Patriarch offers prayers at Mor Clemis’
CHINGAVANAM, Sep. 22: Thousands of faithful
thronged the St John’s
Dayara Church on Wednesday to have a
glimpse of Patriarch of Antioch, Ignatius Zakka I, as he came to offer
prayers at the tomb of the late Knanaya Jacobite Church Metropolitan Abraham Mar Clemis.
After a rousing reception at
the church in the morning, the Patriarch offered ‘dhoopa
prarthana’ at the tomb. Knanaya
Metropolitan Kuriakose Mar Sevarios
presided over the function.
Referring to the tirade
against the visiting Patriarch by the Orthodox faction, Catholicos
Baselios Thomas I of the Jacobite Church felt that the reactions of
the opposite sect were borne out of an ‘unsound state of mind.’
He also charged the rival faction with torpedoing peace efforts in the Malankara
The Patriarch also addressed Knanaya Association members. His visit turned out to
be a joyous occasion for the Knanaya Jacobite Church
since it was the first after the consecration of Kuriakose
Mar Sevarios as the new Metropolitan. The
Patriarch had been to the church in 2000 to participate in the golden
jubilee episcopacy fete of former Metropolitan Abraham Mar Clemis. The Patriarch left for Manjanikkara
by 4 p.m. to offer prayers at the tomb of the late Benyamin Mar Osthathios. (The Indian Express)
Rousing reception to H.H. Patriarch at Manjanikkara
PATHANAMTHITTA, Sep. 22: The head of the Universal
Syrian Orthodox Church and Patriarch of Antioch and all the East, Ignatius
Zakka-I Iywas, was given a grand reception at Manjanikkara Dayro when His
Holiness came to pray at the tomb of Patriarch St. Elias III and other
Metropolitans entombed here. Thousands of faithful were present there to
receive His Holiness.
Speaking after the reception
accorded to him by the Kollam, Niranom and Thumpamon
dioceses of the Church at Manjanikkara Mor
Ignatius Dayara at Omallur,
the Patriarch said that the mission of his visit was to acknowledge the
love bestowed on him by the faithful. The Patriarch lauded the contribution
of Mor Yulios, Yakob
Mor Yulios and Benyamin Mor Osthatheos.
The public meeting held at the
Manjanikara school grounds was presided by the Catholicos Mor Baselius
Thomas-I. Metropolitans Mor Athanasius Elias Bahi
of Damascus, Pathrose
Mor Silvanos of Homs
and Malki Mor Milithios
accompanied the Patriarch to the venue.
The Metropolitans of the
Church, Youhanon Mor Peelexinos,
Kuriakose Mor Eulios, Geevarghese Mor Athanaseus, Markose Mor Koorilos, Gevarghese Mor Divanasios, were
among the speakers.
Yuhannon Mor Milithios,
Joseph Mor Gregorios, Mathews Mor Ivanios, Kuriakose Mor Yulios, Geevarghese Mar
Athanasius, Kuriakose Mor Diascorus,
Kuriakose Mor Theophilos
and Kuriakose Mor Severius
were also present at the meeting.
Earlier, the believers
accorded a rousing reception to the Patriarch at the St. George Jacobite Church in Thiruvalla.
He was received at the Omalloor Cross situated
on the way to Dayro when he, escorted by a motorcade,
reached there around 5-30 p.m. Malankara Malpan Very Rev. Kurien Cor-Episcopa Kaniamparampil
garlanded the Patriarch and he was escorted to the Manjanikkara
Dayro by the Metropolitans, Markose
Mar Koorilos and Youhanon
Mar Militheos, later.
the Patriarch was accorded a reception under the leadership of Kuriakose Mor Yulios and Geevarghese Mor Dionysius. The Patriarch offered
prayers at the tombs of Mor Yulios, Yacob Mor Yulios and Benyamin
Mor Osthatheos. The Patriarch also said prayers
at the nearby Mor
Express, The Hindu).
The book titled 'The Syrian Orthodox Church Calendar'
released by His Holiness
Manjanikkara, Sep. 22: His Holiness the Patriarch
today released the book titled "The Syrian Orthodox Church Calendar"
by accepting the first copy from His Beatitude the Catholicos
at the public meeting held at Manjanikkara. This
book compiled and edited by Fr. (Dr.) Mani Rajan,
contains the dates of feasts of the saints, fasts and festivals of the
Church, dates of movable feats for the 21st century as per Julian and
Gregorian Calendars and articles related to the origin and evolution of
the Church Calendar.
The main source of the saints
list included in this book is the manuscript of the Church Calendar revised
by the monk-priest Saliba bar Khayrun
of Hah (+1340), which was made available to the publishers by His Eminence
Mor Julius Kuriakose Metropolitan, the first
secretary to His Holiness the Patriarch. The feast dates and the list of
saints in this book has been updated as of today. Total
Pages 128 (English).
Copies are available in the
book stalls at Manjanikkara Mor Ignathios Dayro, Kottayam St. Joseph's Cathedral, M.S.O.T Seminary, Mulanthuruthy
Church, Manarcaud KEFA Book Stall, MGOCSM Kottayam,
Orthodox Book Centre Kottayam.
Karingachira St. George Jacobite Syrian church
KOCHI, Sep. 23: The Patriarch of Antioch & all the East
and the Supreme head of the Universal Syrian Orthodox Church Moran Mor
Ignatius Zakka I declared the ancient St George Jacobite
Syrian church at Karingachira near Tripunithura as the cathedral of Kochi diocese, as part of the historic
Episcopal synod held here on Thursday, 23rd September 2004. The
church will henceforth be known as 'St. George Jacobite
Syrian Orthodox Cathedral of Cochin Diocese'.
Established in AD 722, the St
George church has witnessed several historic events in the history of the Malankara
Church. The late Geevarghese Mar Gregorios
Metropolitan, popularly known as ‘Parumala Thirumeni’ ascended the first step of ordination
at this church.
This is the parent worship
place of many churches including Tripunithura Nadamel Church,
Nirappu Church, Veloor Church
Church. The chapels
like Kakkadu, Ambalamugal
and Kureekkadu will also come under the control
The church structure is a
perfect blend of Persian and Indian traditional architecture. This historic
and religious place, which attracts thousands of devotees irrespective of
their caste, will be the first church in Kochi diocese to be upgraded as a
cathedral. (Indian Express)
The Holy Episcopal Synod of the Malankara
Archdiocese presided by the Patriarch of Antioch & all the
East after many decades
23: The Full-fledged
Episcopal Synod of the Malankara Syrian
Church, held after
many decades in the presence of Patriarch of Antioch, decided to broad
base the activities of the Church across the country with more focus on
The synod also decided to set
up more dioceses, consecrate additional bishops and translate the Church
liturgy into various regional languages.
This was the first time in the
recent history of the Malankara Church
that the Synod was meeting in the presence of the Patriarch.
The synod, held at St George Jacobite church at nearby Karingachira,
was attended by Catholicos Baselios
Thomas I and 16 metropolitans, including three Syrian Metropolitans who
accompanied the H.H. the Patriarch on this Apostolic Visit. Briefing
reporters on the synod deliberations in the presence of the Patriarch, synod
secretary Joseph Mar Gregorios s
aid that the Church would carry
out its expansion with special emphasis on indigenisation. "The
Church is already on the path of Indianisation. But
we want to accelerate the pace,'' he said.
Another major decision was the
declaration of the St Mary's Church at Manarcaud
as a pilgrim centre of the Universal
The synod also permitted the
parishioners of St Thomas Jacobite Syrian Church,
North Paravur, and
St George Church, Arthattu in Kunnamkulam
to remember Mor Gregorios Abdul Jaleel and Mor Osthathios Sleeba in the prayers. The names of both the departed
spiritual heads will henceforth be included in the `Thubdeen'
(the episodes in the prayer which remembers the forefathers and the rich
heritage of the Malankara Church)
of these churches where their tombs are located.
Answering a query, Catholicos Baselius Thomas I
said that the Jacobite Church's
ongoing tussle with the Malankara Orthodox Church
did come up at the synod. "We are ready for compromise talks. But
before the talks, they should 'freeze' the litigation and should cooperate
with the Government for reopening the closed churches, facilitating worship
of the members belonging to both the factions.''
The Metropolitans who participated in
the Karingachira Episcopal Synod are Mor Philoxenos Yuhanon, Mor Polycarpus Geevarghese, Mor Thimotheos Thomas, Mor Gregorios
Joseph, Mor Yulius Kuriakose,
Mor Koorilos Markose, Mor
Ivanios Mathews, Mor Dionysius Geevarghese, Mor Milithios Yuhanon, Mor Dioscorus Kuriakose, Mor Athanasius Geevarghese,
Mor Theophilos Kuriakose,
Mor Severios Kuriakose
and the three Syrian Metropolitans Mor Athanasius Elia
Bahi (Patriarchal Assistant), Mor Silvanos Pathros (Homs), Mor Milithios Malki (Australia).
The new Church Headquarters at Puthencuriz
PUTHECURIZ, Sep 24: His Holiness Ignatius Zakka
I Iwas, the Patriarch of Antioch & all the East, today consecrated the newly-built
Patriarch Centre at Puthencuriz which will hence
forth function as the headquarters of the Jacobite Syrian Church.
The Catholicos H.B. Baselios
Thomas I, Metropolitans, Samudaya Secretary Thambu George Thukalan and Samudaya Trustee George Mathew Thekkethalakkal
were among those present at the function. The new centre consists of a
chapel, Committee halls, office rooms for all the office bearers of the
Church, central offices for the spiritual organizations of the Church, Library
and Archives, suites for the Bishops, guest rooms, dining hall etc.
Immediately after the
consecration ceremony, the Church Managing committee was held under the
president ship of the Patriarch in which the Catholicos
and all the metropolitans were present. Addressing the committee members
the Patriarch said that he is very happy to see his brother in Christ, Catholicos Baselios Thomas I,
leading this church with a Godly mission. "There was a time when a
section within the Church had tried to mislead me saying that it was Catholicos Baselius Thomas I
who was standing in the way of bringing permanent peace in the Church. Now,
I am convinced that he was prepared for any sacrifice for unity.'', the Patriarch
continued. The Patriarch extended all support to the Catholicos
for leading the Church to prosperity. Afternoon, the Patriarch addressed
the representatives of the various Spiritual Organization at the Church HQ.
In the evening His Holiness
visited the tomb of late lamented Catholicos of
the East Aboon Mor Baselios
Paulose II at Malecuriz
Dayro, situated only a few distance
away. (In 1980 it was Mor Baselios Paulose II Bava who led the
Patriarchal enthronement ceremony of H.H. Ignatius Zakka I.) The
Patriarchal bull appointing Mor Dioscoros Kuriakose as the Metropolitan of Dayro
was read on that occasion.
H.H. the Patriarch left for Mulanthuruthy
Seminary where he met the Seminary students and the faculty. The President
of the seminary & the Malabar Diocesan Metropolitan Mor Philoxenos Yuhanon, the
Resident Metropolitan Mor Theophilos Kuriakose, the Principal Very Rev. Adai
Corepsicopo and others received the Patriarch. Malankara Malpan Very Rev. Kurien Corepsicopo, the
great Syriac Scholar and the author of many books, despite his old age, was
also present at the Seminary to welcome the Patriarch.
Patriarch H.H. Ignatius Zakka I Iywas
consecrated the Holy Myron at the Marthoma Cheriapally
KOCHI, Sep. 25: In an atmosphere charged with
prayers and hymns, the consecration of myron (holy
oil) was held at the ancient St
at Kothamangalam on Saturday.
Tens of thousands of Jacobite Christians thronged the church premises to
witness the rare ritual.
Myron, the holy oil, is used
to anoint persons receiving baptism by water. It represents the Gifts of
the Holy Spirit. The ritual, described as ‘‘a great
mystery’’ in theological circles and among the Fathers of
Churches, was led by Patriarch of Antioch Mar Ignatius Zakka I. The five-hour-long
ritual was also a proclamation by the Syrian
Church reaffirming its faith on
the tradition of Antioch.
The consecration of myron was held in two phases. In the first, the
‘preparations’ prior to the consecration was held. Recalling
how John the Baptist prepared the way for the coming of Jesus Christ, the
deacons and the priests took out a procession around the church.
The second procession
consisted of deacons, priests, 12 metropolitans of the Church and the high
priest (the Patriarch) with the holy oil in his hand. The second stage of
the ritual was the sanctification of the holy oil by offering special
prayers. According to belief, the high priest, through his prayers, is
expected to bring in all the dynamism of the Holy Spirit to the oil.
After the sanctification of
the holy oil, the Patriarch blessed the world by spraying it in four
directions. As a fulfillment of the sacrament, Holy
Qurbana by 13 celebrants was said at a specially
set up madbaha on the church premises.
It is after an interval of 22
years that consecration of Holy Myron is held in the Malankara
Church. The ritual was last performed at Manarcaud
St Mary’s church in 1982.
Thomas I assisted the Patriarch in leading the ritual. Mor Philoxenos Yuhanon, Mor Polycarpus Geevarghese, Mor Thimotheos Thomas, Mor Gregorios
Joseph, Mor Yulius Kuriakose,
Mor Koorilos Markose, Mor
Ivanios Mathews, Mor Dionysius Geevarghese, Mor Milithios Yuhanon, Mor Dioscorus Kuriakose, Mor Athanasius Geevarghese,
Mor Theophilos Kuriakose,
Mor Severios Kuriakose
and the three Syrian Metropolitans Mor Athanasius Elia
Bahi (Patriarchal Assistant), Mor Silvanos Pathros (Homs), Mor Milithios Malki (Australia) are
the metropolitans who participated in the consecration of Holy Myron. (Indian
St. Mary's Soonoro church at Cochin elevated as the Patriarchal Cathedral of India
Mor Yulious Kuriakose appointed
as the Metropolitan of all the Simhasana Churches.
KOCHI, SEPT. 26: Moran Mor Ignatius Zakka I
Iwas, the Patriarch of the Antioch and all the East on Sunday declared the
St. Mary's Soonoro Simhasana
church at Ernakulam as the first Patriarchal
cathedral in India and also announced the appointment of Kuriakose Mor Yulious, the
first secretary of His Holiness, as the Metropolitan of all the Simhasana Churches.
At a well-attended function on
the church premises this evening, the Patriarch, assisted by the Catholicos Baselios Thomas I
and a host of other Church dignitaries held prayers at the Soonoro church before it was declared a cathedral at
the public meeting.
The Patriarch triggered a
bunch of blue and white balloons into the air with the help of a remote
control device to mark the occasion as the crowd of about 2,000 people
waved yellow flags. The Patriarch said he was happy to declare the Soonoro church a cathedral and appealed to the faithful
to thank God for the favour.
The Patriarch then inaugurated
a new building in memory of the late Gregorios Geevarghese, the founder of the Soonoro
church. His Holiness also blessed the foundation stone for the
construction of the new Cathedral.
Catholicos Mor Baselios
Thomas I, who presided over the function, hoped that the construction of
the new church would be completed soon. Besides the Metropolitans, the
Fisheries and Sports Minister Dominic Presentation, Former Minister T.M. Jacob
and 2000 odd parishioners participated in the function. (The New Indian
Express & The Hindu)
Cathedral status for the Manarcaud St.
KOTTAYAM, Sep. 26: The Supreme Pontiff of the
Universal Syrian Orthodox Church H.H. Patriarch Moran Mor Ignatius Zakka I Iywas today elevated the St. Mary's Church at Manarcad as a ‘universal pilgrim centre’
and also declared it as a Cathedral amid chants of ‘let Antioch-Malankara ties last for ever’ by thousands of
Speaking on the occasion His
Holiness reminded that the Syrian
Church attached much
importance to Virgin Mary and her intercession between God and believers. The
Patriarch said the Manarcaud St Mary’s
Church had become a great pilgrim centre where thousands became blessed
through prayers; and added that the miracles performed by Virgin Mary here
The Patriarch also announced
on the occasion that the steps to declare the late Malankara
Metropolitan Kochuparambil Paulose
Mar Koorilos (Panampady,
1917), a saint, had commenced. His Holiness was accompanied to the church
by the Catholicos Aboon
Mor Baselios Thomas I, and Metropolitans.
The Patriarch call to shun abortion
The Patriarch during the
sermon at the Manarcaud church came down heavily
on abortion saying it as a crime committed by men and women and cautioned
the faithful against the medical termination of pregnancy. Terming abortion
a sin, the Patriarch said the killing of unborn children was on the increase.
He called upon all those who have been party to medical termination of pregnancy
to repent and receive Eucharist as a means to cleanse themselves of the sin.
The Patriarch said the mothers had a duty of offering babies to the world
and grooming them in a good way and recalled that Virgin Mary was a role
model for men and women. (The New Indian Express & The Hindu)
The Jacobite Syrian Christian Association
met at the Mulanthuruthy Marthoman
Church after 128 years under the presidentship of
the Patriarch of Antioch & all the East
MULANTHURUTHY, Sep. 27: After 128 years, the 'Jacobite Syrian Christian Association', today met at
the Mulanthuruthy Marthoman
church premises for the 2nd time in its history under the presidentship of the Patriarch of Antioch and all the East. It was at the same place the first Syrian
Christian Association, which is also known as the ‘Mulanthuruthy Synod’ that was held for 3 days
from June 27 -30, 1876, under the president ship of late Patriarch of
Antioch Moran Mor Ignatius Peter IV. The chief organizer of this historic
Synod was Saint Gregorios (Parumala Thirumeni) who was
the personal secretary to H.H. Patriarch Peter IV.
Now in 2004, it was another
meeting of the 'Jacobite Syrian Christian
Association' that was held under the presidentship
of the Prince Patriarch of Antioch
& all the East, Moran Mor Ignatius Zakka I Iywas.
In this second Mulanthuruthy Synod, 3582 members
representing various parishes of Malankara
Archdiocese has participated.
The Patriarch of Antioch, who
delivered the presidential address, said that the Mulanthuruthy
church should be called as the Jerusalem of India in view of the church
becoming a holy place with the second synod also being held at the same
place. The Malankara Syrian
Church had proved
that it could continue its democracy and tradition.
The Patriarch urged the
devotees to continue the tradition of the church and become a role model
for other churches. All the Metropolitans and clergy should abide by the
Constitution on all church matters, he said.
The resolution of faith and
allegiance was delivered by Paulose Corepiscopa Parathuvayalil; Jacobite Syrian Christian Church - 1876 to 2004 - a Review
by Joseph Mor Gregorios Metropolitan, submission
of letter of tribute by Yuhanon Mor Milithiose Metropolitan and key note address by Catholicos Aboon Mor Baselios Thomas I. Thampu
George Thuakalan was conferred the ‘Baretho Maheero’
title for his sincere service to the Malankara
Church. (The New Indian Express & The Hindu)
The historic Apostolic Visit of the Patriarch to Malankara
ends; His Holiness left for New Delhi
KOCHI, SEP. 28: After completing the historic
apostolic visit to Malankara the Patriarch of
Antioch and all the East, Ignatius Zakka I Iywas, head of the Universal Syrian Orthodox Church, left
for New Delhi on Tuesday morning from the Nedumbassery
International Airport. Metropolitans, Corepiscopos, Rambans, Priests
and a large number of faithful were present in the Airport to bid farewell
to their beloved spiritual father. His Holiness the Patriarch and the
delegation once again thanked the faithful in India for the love and
affection they are showering towards the Holy See.
His Beatitude the Catholicos Aboon Mor Baselios Thomas I, Metropolitans Mor Yulios Kurikose, Mor Gregorios Joseph, Mor Dioscorus
Kurikose, Mor Athanasius Geevarghese
and Mor Theophilos Kurikose
accompanied the Patriarch to the National Capital. In New Delhi Metropolitan
of the Diocese Thomas Mor Thimotheos and the diocesan
members will receive the Patriarch.
The 3rd Apostolic
visit of Moran Mor Ignatius Zakka I Iywas to Malankara which lasted for 8-days was infact an historic one. The people thronged in everyplace
to have a glimpse of their supreme spiritual leader. His Holiness conquered
the heart of millions and strengthened the centuries old ties the Church
in Malankara has with the Holy See of St. Peter. This
visit of the Patriarch was one of the most memorable events in the history
of the Malankara Church.
H.H. the Patriarch given a rousing welcome in New Delhi
NEW DELHI, SEP. 28: The Patriarch of Antioch & all the East
who reached New Delhi
Airport by noon was
welcomed by the diocesan Metropolitan Mor Thimotheos
Thomas and other prominent persons of the diocese. In the evening a grand
public reception was given to the Patriarch and the delegates in the
Indoor stadium at Thalkothara
Gardens, New Delhi. His Holiness the Patriarch
and His Beatitude the Catholicos was welcomed to
the venue by thousands of Syrian Christian faithful of outside Kerala diocese.
A colorful and traditional Kerala procession
started from Mother Teresa
Crescent (Near North Avenue) at around 5.30pm
with more than 5,000 people from different parishes in Delhi & adjoining areas participating
in it. School children’s Bands, Navy Bands, Chenda
Melam, Band Melam, Muthu Koda, Kodi, etc. were the special attraction of this unique
When the rally reached Thalkothara Gardens, the prayers in Syriac welcoming His
Holiness was sung by the Choir of the St. Peter's Cathedral, New Delhi.
In his opening felicitation
address the Union Minister H.E. P.M. Sayed noted
that each visit of the spiritual leader would strengthen the ties with his
people in India.
He also praised the assistance of different Christian
Churches in India’s
“Peace is the
essence of all religion. Those who propagate violence and hatred among
people are destroying the religion and the so
ciety”, the minister pointed out. He also wished that the visit of
the Patriarch would strengthen the peace and spirit of co-existence in the
The meeting was attended by
Union Minister Oscar Fernadas, the Apostolic
Nuncio Pedro Loppus Quintana, Syrian Ambassador H.E.
Shaad Salem, Armenian Ambassador H.E. Armanbal Burton, Lebnon
Ambassador Waleeda Naser,
Metropolitans Mor Themotheos Thomas, Mor Julius Kuriakose, Mor Gregorios
Joseph, Mor Dioscorus Kuriskose,
Mor Athanasius Geevarghese, Mor Theophilos Kuriakose, Mor Silvanos Pathros (Homs), Mor Milithios Malki (Australia) and
the Church ex-secretary Rajan Scaria.
On 29th morning His Holiness
will conduct the Mooron Koodoso
of the St. Peter's Cathedral, New
Delhi and celebrate the Holy Qurbono
in the Cathedral.
H.H. the Patriarch consecrated the St. Peters' Cathedral at New
Met the Indian President, Vice-President,
Prime Minister, Leader of Opposition and UPA Chairperson; Left for Damascus via Sharjah on Oct. 1st
DELHI, SEP. 29, 30: On 29th September His Holiness led
the Mooron koodasso
(consecration) of the St. Peter's Patriarchal Cathedral at New Delhi and offered
the Holy Qurbono. His Beatitude the Catholicos, the diocesan Metropolitan Mor Thimotheos Thomas and other Metropolitans assisted His
Holiness. In the evening the Patriarch called on the Vice President of
India Shri. Bhairon
Singh Shekhawat and the UPA Chairperson Shrimati Sonia Gandhi.
The next day morning His Holiness
paid homage to the father of the Nation Mahatma Gandhi by placing a wreath
at Raj Ghat. Later he
called on the President of India Shri. A P J
the Prime Minister Shri. Man
mohan Singh and leader of Opposition Shri. L K Advani and expressed
thanks for the patronage the Syrian
Church is receiving
in this great nation. His Beatitude Catholicos Aboon Mor Baselios Thomas I, Metropolitan Mor Thimotheos Thomas
and others were in the delegation.
After the 3-day visit to New Delhi, His Holiness left for Damascus via Sharjah
by early morning flight on 1st October, thus completing the historic 3rd
Apostolic Visit of the Patriarch Moran Mor Ignatius Zakka I Iwas to Malankara.
For pictures see http://ApostolicVisit.cjb.net
In: SOLNewsTicker & http://ApostolicVisit.cjb.net