His Beatitude Patriarch John X Presided over the…
His Beatitude Patriarch John X Presided over the Divine Liturgy at the Cathedral of Elijah the Prophet, on the Occasion of the Enthronement of Metropolitan Ephraim Maalouli
Aleppo, December 11, 2021
"Oh, Aleppo, the second eye of Syria. Oh, your eyes wept so hard like many others when you were hurt, torn, besieged, kidnapped, and killed. Nonetheless, you were born again. You shook off the dust of pain and wounds, and here are the children of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Aleppo and Alexandretta and Dependencies, diagnosing you with resurrected eyes, deriving pride from your history, and majesty from your proud castle.
Surely, the timing of nativity embraces with the resurrection of the diocese in order to witness to a new birth bearing a map of hope, construction, love, and giving.
Patriarch John X presided over the Divine Liturgy at the Cathedral of Elijah the Prophet, Aleppo, on the occasion of the enthronement of His Eminence Ephraim Maalouli as Metropolitan over the Archdiocese of Aleppo, Alexandretta and Dependencies.
Their Eminences Metropolitan George Abou Zakhem (Homs and Dependencies), Ignatius Al-Houshi (France and Western and Southern Europe), Ghattas Hazim (Baghdad, Kuwait and Dependencies), Antonios El Soury (Zahle, Baalaback and Dependencies), Nicolas Baalbaki (Hama and Dependencies) assisted His Beatitude in service along with the new pastor of the diocese. Likewise, their Graces, Bishops Moussa Al Khoury, Demetrios Charbak, the Patriarchal Vicar Gregorios Khoury, Youhanna Batsh, Arsanios Dahdal as well as Archimandrite Isaac Bandali with a delegation representing His Eminence Athanasius Metropolitan of Limassol from Cyprus, a group of priests and deacons from different dioceses assisted in the service of enthronement.
After reciting the Holy Bible, Metropolitan Ephraim Maalouli delivered a spiritual sermon saying:
“At first, I was overwhelmed with fear and thoughts. At the moment, how am I able to think, and what would possibly cross my mind? Definitely, what crosses my mind is the divine grace that has qualified me to this episcopal rank, the grace that heals the sick and subsides to the needy. Thus I hope that this grace fulfills my shortcomings so that I can serve the people of God in the dear Diocese of Aleppo. This divine grace qualifies me to serve, but at the same time, it places me in front of responsibility that His Beatitude, Patriarch John X, the Fathers of the Holy Antiochian Synod, and the monks and nuns have assigned me. Therefore, the responsibility entrusted to me is not an easy one. It imposes on us the responsibility to gather, put our hand in hand, and to work for the ministry, primarily for the ministry of our Lord and for the ministry of this good country”.
His Eminence added:
“Brothers, we exist with a divine anointing. The anointing must be present with us in the church and it must be anointed with divine service to reach Christ Jesus. Yes, we must consecrate everything for Christ Jesus, only then will we succeed. We hope that the Lord will grant us in this service to work with this mind and this behavior, to become the good image, necessary to preserve Antioch as a pearl with our thoughts, heart, and actions.
At the end of the liturgy, His Beatitude Patriarch John X congratulated the Archdiocese with its new metropolitan, wishing His Eminence, the diocese, and Aleppo prosperity and giving, stressing that Archbishop Paul (Yazigi) will always remain in our hearts and conscience, and we will mutually remain in his heart.
After the mass, His Beatitude and the new metropolitan accepted the congratulations in the church hall.
The saying remains: Let us make of the words of the Lord in his Gospel an address for us: “These things have I spoken unto you, that in me ye may have peace. In the world ye have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world”.