On December 2nd, 2018, which is the Sunday of the visitation of the Virgin Mary to Elizabeth, His Holiness Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem II celebrated the Holy Qurobo at St. Aphrem Church in Tripoli – Lebanon.
Their Eminences Mor Theophilus George Saliba, Archbishop of Mount Lebanon and Tripoli, and Mor Chrysostomos Mikhael Shemoun, Patriarchal Vicar and Director of the Patriarchal Benevolent Institutions in Atchaneh.
In his sermon, His Holiness thanked the Lord who gave him the opportunity to visit St. Aphrem Church in Tripoli. He prayed for Lebanon, so that God may protect the country and all its citizens from all bad. His Holiness recalled the long history of Syriacs in Tripoli, especially that St. Severus of Antioch was baptized in its Church. He also described how the faithful of our Church came to Tripoli at the beginning of the 20th century, fleeing Sayfo genocide. He also praised the role of Tripoli citizens, especially the faithful of St. Aphrem Church, in receiving the refugees from Syria and Iraq.
His Holiness also commented on the scripture reading, and spoke about the visitation of Mary to Elizabeth, and how this event joins a young virgin with an old barren, both pregnant. This assures that with God nothing is impossible. He also spoke about the role of John the Baptist as forerunner before his Lord and Master who comes to redeem humankind.
After the Holy Qurobo, His Holiness received the guests who came to welcome His Holiness in Tripoli, including mnay distinctive figures, headed by His Excellency the Mufti of Tripoli and the North Sheikh Malek Shaar and His Excellency Mgr. Georges Abou Jaoude, Maronite Archbishop of Tripoli. His Holiness also blessed all the faithful who came to receive his benediction.
Before the Holy Qurobo, His Holiness had lit the Christmas tree which His Eminence Mor Theophilus George Saliba named “Tree of the King of the World”, at the public square in front of the church.