The Most Reverend
and Most Holy Father,
Patriarch of Antioch, the Great City of God,
of Syria, Lebanon, Arabia, Cilicia, Mesopotamia and all the
Father of Fathers, Shepherd of Shepherds, Master of Masters,
and Thirteenth of the Holy Apostles, our Father and Chief Shepherd.
May God Grant Him
الطوباوي و الجزيل الاحترام، المُقام من الله بطريركاً على مدينة
أنطاكية العظمى، و سوريا و العربية و كيليكيا و البلاد الكرجية و ما
بين النهرين و سائر المشرق. أبو الآباء و راعي الرعاة و رئيس الرؤساء،
ثالث عشر الرسل القديسين. أبونا و رئيس رعاتنا.
Ignatios IV (Hazim)
أغناطيوس الرابع (هزيم)
The present patriarch of Antioch, His
Beatitude, Ignatios IV (Hazim), was born in 1921 in the village of Mhardey
near Hama in Syria. He is the son of a pious Orthodox family, and from an
early age was attracted to service in the church.
While studying in
Beirut, Lebanon, for a literature degree, he entered the service of the
local Orthodox diocese, first by becoming an altar server, then a deacon.
In 1945 he went to Paris where he graduated from the St. Sergius
Theological Institute. From his time in France onwards he has been moved
not only by a desire to pass on the deposit of the faith, but also to take
Orthodoxy out of its unhistorical ghetto by discovering in its Holy
Tradition living answers to the problems of modern life.
On his return
to the Middle East, he founded the Orthodox Theological Seminary in
Balamand, Lebanon, which he then served for many years as dean. He sought
to provide the patriarchate with responsible leaders who had received a
good spiritual and intellectual training and who were witnesses to an
awakened and deeply personal faith.
In addition to Arabic, he also
speaks fluent English and French. He was one of the founders of the very
active Orthodox youth movement of Lebanon and Syria in 1942, through which
he helped to organize and lead a renewal of church life in the
patriarchate of Antioch. The movement worked at the heart of the church
helping ordinary believers to rediscover the personal and communal meaning
of the Eucharist through a practice of frequent communion, which had
become extremely rare.
He became bishop in 1961 and metropolitan of
Lattakia in Syria in 1970. The new metropolitan was a simple, reserved and
friendly man, who manifested a deep and courageous straightforwardness.
His style broke with the former tradition of episcopal grandeur and he
inaugurated an authentic practice of frequent communion.
On 2 July
1979, under the name of Ignatios lV, he became the Orthodox patriarch of
Antioch, the third ranking hierarch of the Orthodox Church after the
patriarchs of Constantinople and Alexandria, and the one hundred and
seventieth Patriarch after Saint Peter.
As patriarch he has given a new
dynamism to the Holy Synod and sought to ordain bishops who were close to
the people, motivated to develop the Church's ecclesial and spiritual
life, and detached from political