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Balamand - “With pride and humility, reverential fear and responsibility, I bear this ancient, apostolic title of Patriarch of Antioch and All the East,” says Gregorios III

His Beatitude Gregorios III, Patriarch of Antioch and All the East, of Alexandria and of Jerusalem took part in the opening day (26 June, 2014) of the first Antiochian Conference at the University of Balamand, Lebanon, organised by the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch and presided over by Patriarch John X, primate of the Greek Orthodox Church of Antioch and All the East, on the theme of “Antiochian unity: its dimensions and exigencies.”

“With pride and humility, reverential fear and responsibility, I bear this ancient, apostolic title of Patriarch of Antioch and All the East … “ In these emotionally charged terms Gregorios III began his talk in which he went on to mention all the factors that ensured that the culture of the see of Antioch was “multifaceted and varied. First Greek, then Syriac and Arabic, it is at once more than Greek, Syriac and Arabic, or even than Latin and Roman … The Patriarchate of Antioch is the only see to have successively composed its services in those three languages.”

“…The Antiochians loved Greek civilization and culture so much that they assimilated it to the point of baptizing and Christianizing it before making it Arab and passing it on to the Muslim Arab world, turning it into the basis of a multicultural society and laying the foundations for knowing how to live together … From the Arab world, Greek culture went on to conquer Europe.”

“Thy Nativity O Christ, our God, has shone upon the world the light of knowledge. For by it those who worshipped the stars were taught by a star to worship thee, the Sun of Righteousness, and know thee, the Dayspring from on high. O Lord, glory to thee!” Citing this troparion of the Nativity of Our Lord, Gregorios III, recalled how, though Jesus Christ was born in Palestine, Christianity itself was born in Antioch, and that light came from the East, as Pope Saint John Paul II splendidly explained in his Apostolic Letter, Orientale Lumen.

“The Patriarchate of Antioch took up the challenge of keeping the deposit of faith and being open to others, such as the Muslim Arab world, Constantinople and the West, and was similarly distinguished by preserving Christian unity, and refusing to tear Christ’s tunic, the seamless robe, and not taking sides when Rome and Constantinople split apart…”

Gregorios III wished that “this first Antiochian Orthodox conference might in future years become an Antiochian conference in which laity and clergy of the five Churches belonging to the See of Antioch would participate, so fulfilling the prayer of Our Lord Jesus Christ: that they might be one…that the world may believe!”

For the complete Arabic text see the website of the Patriarchate: http://www.pgc-lb.org/home

Photographs ©Melkite Greek Catholic Patriarchate
 
For all further information: Névine Toutounji-Hage Chahine, + 961 3 22 64 87, + 33 6 26 63 44 98 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Teachings of Christ

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God." (John 3:16-18 ESV)

Exaltation of the Cross

Save Your people, O Lord, and bless Your inheritance; * grant victory to Your Church over her enemies * and protect Your commonwealth by Your Cross. (Troparion - Tone 1)

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and to the ages of ages. Amen.

Willingly lifted up on the Cross, O Christ God, * bestow Your compassions upon the new commonwealth that bears Your name. * By your power grant joy to Your Church, * granting her victory over her enemies. * May she have your Cross as the weapon of peace * and the invincible ensign of victory. (Kontakion - Tone 4)

The Church celebrates the Feast of the Exaltation of the Cross on September 14th.

Random Proverb

"The woman Folly is loud; she is seductive and knows nothing." (Proverbs 9:13 ESV)

Pray Without Ceasing

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

The soul has followed Moses and the cloud, both of these serving as guides for those who would advance in virtue; Moses here represents the commandments of the Law; and the cloud that leads the way, its spiritual meaning. The soul has been purified by crossing the Sea; it has removed from itself and destroyed the enemy army. It has tasted of the waters of Marah, that is, of life deprived of all sinful pleasure; and this at first had seemed bitter and unpleasant to the taste but offered a sensation of sweetness to those who accepted the wood. Next it enjoyed the beauty of the palm trees of the gospel and the springs; it filled itself with the living water, that is, the rock. It took within itself the bread of heaven. It overwhelmed the foreign host - a victory due to the extended arms of the Lawgiver, which thus foreshadowed the mystery of the Cross. Only then can the soul go on to the contemplation of transcendent Being.

St. Gregory of Nyssa