I’m grieved to have learned that our Patriarch, IGNATIUS IV of Antioch, has reposed in the Lord, after suffering a stroke yesterday in Damascus.
His Beatitude was the Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch and all the East, and was the Spiritual Father to Orthodox Christians around the world that had their origins with the see of Antioch (including our own Archdiocese here in North America).
LBC International reported:
On Tuesday, St. George Hospital in Achrafieh announced the Patriarch was admitted into the intensive care unit after suffering a brain stroke, stressing that he was in stable condition.
Hazim was initially hospitalized on November 5 for what the hospital’s administration had said were routine medical checks.
Patriarch Ignatius IV Hazim was pronounced dead on 5 December 2012. He was 91 years old.
Causes leading to the deterioration in his health remain unknown.
In this context, PM Najib Mikati ordered the cabinet’s general secretariat to pronounce Patriarch Hazim’s funeral as a national day of mourning.
Patriarch IGNATIUS was consecrated a the head of the Church of Antioch in 1979 and has served in that position ever since (headquartered in Damascus, Syria). He was the 170th leader of the see of Antioch in succession from the apostle Peter.
With Christians in Syria already facing persecution and suffering at the hands of the so-called “Syrian rebels,” this is the last news our brothers and sisters in that region needed to hear. Please continue to pray for the Church in Syria, as well as for the Church of Antioch as a whole, while we seek the Lord’s wisdom in replacing our earthly Shepherd.
May his memory be eternal.