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Re: Remembrance day of Mor Yacqub Burdono.

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  • CJ Varughese
    Dear SOCM-FORUM Moderators, This refers to your message dated 22 November 2003 with references to the Rememberance day of Mor Yacqub Burdono. Though this
    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 28, 2003
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      Dear SOCM-FORUM Moderators,

      This refers to your message dated 22 November 2003 with references to the
      Rememberance day of Mor Yacqub Burdono. Though this response to it is slightly
      delayed, I hope it will find favour for insertion in any one of the upcoming
      SOCM-FORUM Postings.

      Though the Christianity spread like a fire, till 4th century the Christians
      were known as per their origin, and called so and so church. The early 4th
      century saw a deviation from its apostolic doctrines and dogmas. This deviation
      from exalted dogma of the Church, the Christian Creed was determined by the two
      ecumenical councils of Nicea in 325 AD and in Constantinople in 381 AD. In the
      first Council Arius was excommunicated, and in the second Council Makdonios was
      excommunicated. At the above councils the areas of jurisdiction were also
      determined for three Apostolic Sees of Rome, Antioch and Alexandria, then the
      fourth See Constantinople. In the last Council the prerogatives of these Sees
      were also determined after the geographical location and their closeness to the
      centers of civil and political power.

      The constant dogmatic debates between the Christian Churches alienated the
      churches from each other and culminated in the split of the Church. The hardest
      hit by this split was the Syrian Church. The anathematizing of Nestorius at the
      council of 431 AD in Ephesus, and the subsequent split in Syrian church paved
      the way of persecution of Nestorians in the Byzantine Empire. The majority of
      Nestorians were Syrian Christians, living east of the Euphrates were called the
      Syrian of the East, and were persecuted by Byzantines, whereas the Syrian who
      live west of Euphrates, who were known as Syrians of the West, and they came
      directly under the Patriarch of Antioch, and also were persecuted by the
      Persians. When the Council of Chalcedon held in 451 AD adopted resolutions,
      which were against the dogma of the earlier two Councils. When the Byzantine
      empire, whose Christians were under the See of Rome, adopted the resolutions of
      the Chancedon Council it started oppressing those who rejected these
      resolutions. Thus both the Syrian Christians under Antioch, and the Nestorians
      were targetted for oppression. The church fathers and the believers had to
      endure various agonies like bans, killings and incarcerations. Numerous clergy
      and laity gained martyrdom.

      When Justinius I ascended the throne of Byzantine, he loosened a severe
      oppression against the members of the Syrian, Coptic and Armenian churches.
      Because of that Patriarch Severius the Great was forced to make his way to
      Egypt. After the death of Justinius I in the year 527 AD his nephew Justinian
      ascended the throne. His wife Theodora, was a daughter of a priest from Manbij
      in Syria. She had pity for the oppressed, the banned and the incarcerated
      Syrians. She was not able to stop the oppression because the followers of the
      Council of Chalcedon would have accused her husband of siding with the banned
      Syrians under the influence of his wife. In the mean time the Ghassanid Arabs
      founded an important Emirate in between Byzantine and Persian empires. The
      Byzantine emperor commissioned the Ghassanid Prince �The Gafnan?(king Al
      Hareth Ibn Gable) who was a Syrian Christian, against the attacks of the Arab
      tribes allied with the Persians. Since the Ghassanians held fast to their
      Syrian Church and defended its dogma, the Gafnan prince requested Empress
      Theodora to save the Syrian Christians.

      Empress Theodora asked Patriarch Theodosius the Alexandrian, who was banned to
      Constantinople with Antimos, the Patriarch of Constantinople, to consecrate the
      monk Jacob Baradaus as Metropolitan of Edessa, Syria and Asia Minor, as well as
      to consecrate the monk Theodor the Arab as Metropolitan of the Arabs in Bosra
      in 543 AD. Immediately after the consecration, Mor Jacob Bardaus went to work.
      Untiring he moved on foot with amazing speed from town to town incognito,
      disguised as a layman and always pursued by the Byzantine powers. In this was
      he crossed Syrian, Armenia, Asia Minor, Cyprus, Rhodes, Cios, Egypt, Ethiopia,
      Mesopoltamia, Persia and many more places, strengthening the true faith of
      believers. With two assistants whom Mor Yacqub ordained as bishops according
      to the church canons, he consecrated 27 bishes. With this he strengthened the
      members of the Syrian Orthodox Church as well as the Coptic and Armenian
      Churches in the faith that was decided upon in the three Ecumenical Councils of
      Nicea, Constantinople and Ephesus. He also ordained thousands of priests and
      deacons. Thus, the great apostolic striver was able to strengthen the
      foundations of the Syrian Church. As a result of this and out of hate and
      anger, the Syrian Orthodox Church was called the JACOBITE CHURCH by its enemies.

      Although the Syrian Church is proud of Mor Yacqub Burdana, it rejects the name
      JACOBITES, because Mor Yacqub Burdana was neither its founder nor the author of
      a new dogma. He was top amongst its scores of spiritual fathers who
      strengthened its members in the right faith they had received from the Apostles
      and the righteous Church Fathers. His steadfast holding up in the face of the
      Byzantine injustices is unprecedented and the church will always be proud of
      him. But the Malankara Syrian Church members, still proud to be known as
      JACOBITE SYRIAN CHURCH.

      In our Lords Love
      CJ Varughese
      St. Mary�s JSO Church, Ahmedabad
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