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

“Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I have not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance.” (Luke 5:31-32 ESV)

Pentecost

Blessed are You, O Christ our God, * Who has shown the fishermen to be all wise, * by sending down to them the Holy Spirit, * and through them You have caught the whole world in Your net. * O Lover of Mankind, glory to You. (Troparion - Tone 8)

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

When the Most High descended, confusing tongues, * He divided the nations; * but when He distributed the tongues of fire, * He called all to unity; * and, with one voice, * we glorify the Most Holy Spirit. (Kontakion - Tone 8)

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

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

'Wine makes glad the heart of man' (Ps. 104:15). But you who have professed sorrow and grief should turn away from such gladness and rejoice in spiritual gifts. If you rejoice in wine, you will live with shameful thoughts and distress will overwhelm you.

St. Theodore of Edessa