On a historical event, and for the 1500 Jubilee of the Exile of Patriarch Mor Severus the Great to Egypt, their Holinesses Heads of the Oriental Orthodox Churches in the Middle East: Mor Ignatius Aphrem II, Patriarch of Antioch and All the East, Pope Tawadros II, Pope of Alexandria and Patriarch of Saint Mark Episcopate, Catholicos Aram I of the Great House of Cilicia, consecrated together Mor Severus Church in the new Patriarchal Residence in Atchaneh – Lebanon.
Their Holinesses entered the church in a pontifical procession, with them the relics of Mor Severus which His Holiness the Pope brought from Egypt to be kept in the new consecrated church.
After they raised the prayers altogether that God may bless this new house dedicated for worshipping His Holy Name, they anointed the sides of the altar and the church with holy Myron according to the Antiochian Syriac rite. They then put on the vestments of the altar as well as the altar vessels.
Then, the service of the saints was prayed asking the intercession of Mor Severus, before the relics were placed in their special place in the church. Finally, the two new icons of Mor Aphrem the Syriac and Mor Severus the Great were consecrated.
At the end of the rite, His Holiness Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem II gave a speech in which he thanked God “for His overwhelming blessings, that He made us worthy to complete this blessed service in the presence of our dear brothers their Holinesses, and their Eminences the Archbishops, and the monks, priests, nuns, and all the crowd of faithful; He made us worthy to consecrate this house, altar and church for the great Saint Mor Severus Patriarch of Antioch, who, today, through this blessing – the relics – that was brought to us, returns back symbolically to his church in Antioch after he flee from it in 518 even though he never stopped caring for his flock”. He then thanked His Holiness the Pope and expressed his love to His Holiness and to the sister Coptic Orthodox Church.
His Holiness thanked His Holiness Catholicos Aram I, whose participation is despair for centuries of misunderstanding about Mor Severus; His Holiness expressed that he looks forward for further researches and studies that will make clear the life and teachings of Mor Severus for the Armenian Orthodox Church, and makes sure that this great Saint will always be the Saint of the all the Oriental Orthodox Churches.
At the end of his speech, His Holiness the Patriarch thanked all the faithful of our Syriac Church, as well as all individuals and organizations that made the church and patriarchal residence construction come to completion.
In turn, His Holiness Pope Tawadros II said that this is a historical day for the church. He expressed his joy that the relics have returned now to Antioch, noting the mentioning of Mor Severus in the Coptic liturgy. His Holiness pointed out that the relics of Mor Severus the great were kept at St. Mina Monastery in Egypt. He then presented to His Holiness the Patriarch an official document signed by His Holiness the Pope and the monastery’s abbot as well as the keeper of relics and monuments at the monastery.
The rite was attended by their Eminences: Mor Gregorios Saliba Chamoun, Patriarchal Advisor, Mor Philoxenus Matta Chamoun, Mor Theophilos George Saliba, Archbishop of Mount Lebanon and Tripoli, Mor Timotheos Samuel Aktas, Archbishop of Tur Abdin and Abbot of Mor Gabriel Monastery, Mor Philoxenus Yusuf Cetin, Patriarchal Vicar in Istanbul, Ankara and Izmir, Mor Dioscorus Benjamin Atas, Patriarchal Vicar in Sweden, Mor Dionysius Issa Gurbuz, Patriarchal Vicar in Switzerland and Austria, Mor Selwanos Boutros Al-Nemeh, Archbishop of Homs and Hama, Mor Justinos Boulos Safar, Patriarchal Vicar in Zahla and Bekaa, Mor Timotheos Moussa Al-Shamani, Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Mor Mattai Monastery, Mor Athanasius Touma Dakkama, Patriarchal Vicar in the United Kingdom, Mor Gregorius Malke Urek, Patriarchal Vicar in Adiyaman and its Environs, Mor Philoxenus Mattias Nayis, Patriarchal Vicar in Germany, Mor Julius Hanna Aydin, Head of Foreign Relations in Germany, Mor Clemis Daniel Kourieh, Metropolitan of Beirut, Mor Chrysostomos Mikhael Chamoun, Patriarchal Vicar and Director of the Patriarchal Benevolent Institutions in Atchaneh, Mor Dionysius Jean Kawak, Patriarchal Vicar for the Archdiocese of Eastern United States, Mor Nicodemus Daoud Sharaf, Archbishop of Mosul, Kurdistan and their Environs, Mor Timotheos Matta Al-Khoury, Patriarchal Vicar for the Patriarchal Archdiocese of Damascus, Mor Georges Kourieh, Patriarchal Vicar of Belgium, France and Luxemburg, Mor Maurice Amsih, Archbishop of Al-Jazeerah and Euphrates.
Morever, their Eminences Archbishops from our Church in India: Mor Gregorios Joseph, Metropolitan of Kochi Diocese, Mor Theophilos Kuriakose, Patriarchal Vicar in Europe, Mor Gregorios Kuriakose, Knanaya Archbishop of Kallissery Region, Mor Ivanios Kuriakose, Knanaya Archbishop of Ranny Region, Mor Silvanos Ayub, Knanaya Archbishop of Europe and America, Mor Timotheos Matthew, Patriarchal Secretary for Indian Affairs, attended the rite.
The two accompanying delegations of their Holinesses the Pope and the Catholicos, in addition to clergy and faithful from our Syriac Church, also attended the rite.