About Mor Julios Yeshu Cicek of Blessed Memory
(Posted in the SOCM-Forum)
By this time you might have known the sad demise of our beloved
brother in Christ, Mor Julios Yeshu Cicek, Metropolitan of Middle
Europe. The Syrian Orthodox Church in India cannot forget this pious
Metropolitan who visited India several times and blessed our
faithful people in Malankara. He had great appreciation for the
Church in India and it is through his generous assistance that we
could establish our Theological Seminary in Mulanthuruthy. His vision
for the Ministry is well demonstrated through his achievements in
the growth of the Syrian Orthodox Church throughout the European
Countries. Being the first Archbishop for Europe, he had to struggle
a lot in organizing our parishes in different parts of the country.
If we look at the St. Ephrem Monastery in Holland and the St. Augin
Monastery in Switzerland, we can see the leadership he gave to bring-
up the youth and children of our Church in the true Faith and
My personal experience with His Eminence starts in 1982, while he was
accompanying His Holiness the Patriarch in his Apostolic visit to
India. Being a candidate for the diaconate, I was introduced to His
Eminence at that time. The next several encounters with His Eminence
were at the St. Ephrem Patriarchal Seminary in Damascus, while I was
a student there. He used to visit the Seminary every now and then.
The students were very happy at his visits because he used to bring
gifts to each student. He used to show the list of books published by
him and to ask us to select any one of them as a free gift. (Some of
them were very expensive- even over $100). He used to ask the
students about their ambitions. I still remember his questions, "
Who wants to become a monk and who wants to become a Kassiso
(married priest)?". He encouraged several students to seek the life
of a monk. He loved all Seminarians whether they are in Damascus
or in India or In Holland or In Germany or in Swiss.
During my studies in the United States, H.E invited me to visit our
Monasteries and Churches in Europe. I remember with gratitude the
happy and pleasant experiences I had at our Monasteries in Holland,
in Germany and in Swiss. In fact, I have learned to speak in Syriac,
mainly during my stay at these Monasteries. The important thing I
noticed with Mor Julios is his prayer life and his hard-working
nature. If he is present in the Monastery, he would be at the Chapel
for every Prayer Services. And at the other times, he would be busy
with his publishing work or with the Archdiocesan work in his room.
He has published quite a lot of books from our Seminary in Holland.
Once I asked His Eminence why he is working so hard, he smiled and
replied, "If you are not working, you are not eligible to eat". A
simple truth that God has stated in the Garden of Eden!
The final meeting with His Eminence was at Damascus, few days after
my Consecration as Metropolitan. He was so sad for being unable to
attend my Consecration (He was present when I became a Ramban in
1998). To me, he remains as a guide in showing me that the position
of a Bishop is a calling to work harder for the Church and the
people and not to enjoy a luxurious life.
We express our deepest condolence at the demise of our beloved
spiritual father. May God give rest to his soul in the bosom of
Abraham and of Isaac and of Jacob.
+ Theethose Thirumeni
MOR THEETHOS YELDHO
Archbishop of the Malankara Archdiocese of
Syriac Orthodox Church in North America