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Christmas message of Patriarch Moran Mor Ignatius Zakka I Iwas

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    BY THE GRACE OF GOD Ignatius Zakka I Iwas Patriarch of Antioch and All the East Supreme Head of the Universal Syrian Orthodox Church No.E255/08
    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 20, 2008
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      BY THE GRACE OF GOD

      Ignatius Zakka I Iwas
      Patriarch of Antioch and All the East
      Supreme Head of the Universal Syrian Orthodox Church

      No.E255/08
      12-December-2008

      Apostolic Benediction to our beloved Metropolitans and to our beloved
      spiritual children: the Reverend Vicars and the Parishioners of all
      our Malankara churches and congregations in the Arabian Gulf Region,
      Europe, Australia and Singapore.

      By the Mercy of God, we have once again come to the Feast of the
      nativity of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ and we have great joy
      in sending you this message on this blessed occasion. At the birth of
      Jesus, the wise men came from far off places by suffering all the
      pains of the difficult journey to see him and to get blessed by this
      child who is born as the Saviour of the world. "They saw the child
      with Mary his mother, and they fell down and worshiped him. Then,
      opening their treasures, they offered him gifts, gold and
      frankincense and myrrh" (Matthew 2:11). At this Christmas time we
      also have to submit to Him the most valuable that we have. But He is
      God and He came to this world in search of the lost sheep – the human
      kind. St. Paul says "Do not be conformed to this world but be
      transformed by the renewal of your mind, that you may prove what is
      the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect" (Romans
      12:2). So the most valuable and acceptable gift that we can offer Him
      is nothing other than ourselves – our soul and our entirety. When we
      submit ourselves to Him, we shall follow His path truly and
      sincerely. Thus we will be transformed to the true image of God. As
      we celebrate this Christmas, let us rededicate ourselves to Him and
      turn to be the true followers of Him. May the baby Jesus grow through
      our lives and we be the bearers of Him.

      Our dearly beloved, we pray that May the coming New Year also be a
      year when through each of you, the qualities of Jesus Christ are
      being truly revealed to the world, and testifying Him through your
      lives. Then, through each of us the world will see the light of God
      and receive the peace of Christmas. We wish you all a Merry Christmas
      and an evermore blessed New Year. This celebration may bring peace
      and spiritual happiness to your churches, homes, and to all your
      endeavours.

      We extend our Apostolic Blessings to you. May the Grace of God be
      with you all through the intercession of St. Mary the Mother of God,
      St. Joseph the Righteous and all the other Saints. Amen.

      Copy of the Apostolic Encyclical is available at
      http://www.socmnet.org/Bull_HH/08_255_HHs_Xmas_Message.pdf

      ** Reproduced with permission from the Patriarchate. The encyclical has been addressed to each Archdiocese as appropriate.
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