THE FOURTH APOSTOLIC VISIT OF THE HOLY FATHER TO INDIA BEGINS
Friday, October 17, 2008: Today at 9.00 am, His Holiness Ignatius
Zakka I Iwas, the Patriarch of the Apostolic See of Antioch & all the
East and the Supreme head of the Universal Syrian Orthodox Church,
arrived at the Cochin International Airport in Nedumbassery where the
Holy Father was given a rousing welcome by thousands of faithful from
different parts of Malankara. This is His Holiness' fourth visit to
the Church in India as the Patriarch of the Holy See.
At the Airport, His Holiness was received by the head of the Syriac
church in India, His Beatitude the Catholicos Aboon Mor Baselios
Thomas I, all the Metropolitans from Malankara, the Rambans, Priests
and others official bearers of the church of India. The
representatives from the Kerala Government were also present during
the occasion to welcome the State Guest. Metropolitans their
Eminences, Mor Clemis Awgen, Mor Daniel Clemis, Mor Philoxenos
Mathias, Rambans & Sisters from Syria and Turkey are accompanying the
holy father during this visit.
The Patriarch later left for Puthencruz and reached the Patriarchal
Centre complex which is the headquarters of the Church in India at
10.30 am. On His Holiness' arrival, the Church bell of the nearby St.
Athanasius Cathedral rang continuously. Here also hundreds of
faithful were waiting to have a glimpse of their spiritual supreme
who is arriving after a gap of 4 years. The Patriarch after blessing
the faithful delivered a brief speech in which he applauded the great
services of His Beatitude the Catholicos and also mentioned about the
general development of the Church in India under him.
At 4.00 pm the Moroon consecration of the St. Athanasius Cathedral,
which is the first church established in the name of Saint Athanasius
of Alwaye, began under the leadership of His Beatitude the Catholicos
and assisted by Metropolitans their Eminences, Mor Severios Abraham,
Mor Gregorios Joseph, Mor Athanasius Geevarghese, Mor Theethoos
Yeldho, Mor Thevodosius Mathews, Mor Eusebious Kuriakose, Mor
Athanasius Elias, Mor Irenious Mathews and Mor Clemis Kuriakose. At
5.00 pm the Patriarch, due to certain knee problems, entered the
Cathedral in a wheel chair, along with the accompanying Metropolitans
and Rambans. The later services were held under the leadership of His
Holiness and His Beatitude. By around 6.30 pm the Mooron Consecration
services of the cathedral ended after which the Patriarch blessed the
new library and Syriac centre located at the headquarter complex.
The Patriarch who reached today will be in the state for 12 days.
The Holy Father will leave for Damascus on October 29th.
Photos to be added soon in