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Mor Augin Monastery in
|For the second time this year His
Holiness Patriarch Mor Ignatius Zakka I. Iwas made a
visit to the Syrian Orthodox Christians in Central Europe
from 1st till 30th of June. He was accompagnied by his
two secretaries, Mor Julius Kyriakos and Rabban Eliyo
Bahe from Damascus. He was greeted at Stuttgart airport
by Archbishop Mor Julius Yeshu' Cicek of Central Europe
and Mor Dionysius Isa Gürbüz, Patriarchal vicar in
During his visit, the Patriarch consecrated the Mor Barsaumo Church in Polheim, Gießen on 13th of June, and on 20th of June he consecrated the Mor Augin Monastery in Switzerland. Before that, he ordained seven priests as Chorepiskopos, or Chori, of which five in Germany, one in Switzerland and one in Austria: On 3rd of June: Abdulahad Kas Afrem in Bietigheim as first Chorepiskopos in Germany, On 5th of June: Chori Yakub Doganay in Bebra, On 6th of June: Chori Yuhannun Teber in Berlin, On 12th of June: Chori Ibrahim Gök in Gütersloh, On 13th of June Chori Tuma Bilen in Bad Vilbel, On 24th of June: Chori Sabo Isik in Amriswill (Switzerland) and on 27th of June: Chori Emanuel Aydin in Vienna.
After having spent three weeks in Germany, the Patriarch travelled to Switzerland, to the Monastery of Mor Augin in Arth. He had been invited officially by the host, the Metropolitan Mor Julius Yeshu' Cicek. Seven other Syrian Orthodox Metropolitans came as well: Mor Severius Isaak Saka from Iraq, Mor Philoxenos Yusuf Cetin from Istanbul, Mor Klemis Augin Kaplan and Mor Kyrillos Afrem Karim from the United States, Mor Dionysius Isa Gürbüz from Germany and Mor Dioskoros Benjamen Atas from Sweden. Mor Julius Kyriakos came with the Patriarch from Damascus. From the sister churches, Bishop Amba Damian from the Coptic Orthodox Church in Germany was present, as well as from the Orthodox Centre of the Ecumenical Patriarchate Bishop Damaskinos in Chambésy, and from the Roman Catholic Church the assisting Bishop from the regional Diocese in Switzerland. Many monks, priests, deacons and thousands of Syrian Orthodox from neighbouring countries came to Arth.
The solemn consacration began on Sunday 20th of June 1999 at 9 hours in the Monastery Church.The Patriarch consecrated the altar with the name of Mor Augin with the Holy Myron, and the four Bishops the four walls of the inner space. The ceremony was accompagnied by hymns from the appropriate rite of church consacration. After the consacration, the Patriarch, together with the Bishops and Choir of Deacons, solemnly went out of the Monastery Church into the packed Catholic Church opposite. At 10 hours he began there with the celebration of the Holy Eucharist. He was assisted by all eight syrian orthodox Bishops who were present.
After this, Mor Julius Yeshu'
Cicek spoke, thanking the Patriarch fo the consacration
and opening of the second monastery in his Diocese. In
1984, His Holyness had consecrated the first Syrian
Orthodox monastery in Europe, Mor Ephrem the
Mor Augin (+ 363) was a monk and wonderworker from Klysma near Suez in Egypt. After 25 years of ascesis, he entered the monastery of St. Pachomius, leaving again with 70 disciples for Nisibis, and finally he went to the Mountain of Izlo near Tur Abdin, where he gathered 350 monks around him. Among them was also his nephew Mor Malke, whose monastery in Tur Abdin is still inhabited. The important 4th century Mor Augin Monastery was a great centre, from which thousands of monks came forth. Since about 1983 the monastery has been uninhabited and it has been demolished partly by Kurds.
The new Mor Augin Monastery in Arth was built 351 years ago and belonged to the Roman Catholic Capucin Monks. The Syrian Orthodox Diocese of Central Europe bought the building from the Roman catholic church on 29th of march 1996 for 500.000 [Swiss] Francs. Since 15th of July 1996 there have been syrian orthodox monks living there (two or three monks and four nuns), partly from the Mor Ephrem Monastery in the Netherlands.
The monastery has three floors with 24 rooms, a large chapel, a garden and a library with about 8000 books of the Western tradition. The monastery should become a spiritual and cultural centre for the Syrian Orthodox in Switzerland. About 900 syrian orthodox families from Tur Abdin live in Switzerland. The first ones came 30 years ago as foreign worker ("Gastarbeiter") and later on as asylum seekers. Today, one Chori and three priests take care of the Syrian Orthodox community.
Photos 4-7: Anita
Suryoyo Online thanks Annabelle Parker (Amsterdam) for the translation
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