His Beatitude, Patriarch Ignatius of Antioch and All of the East

Patriarch Ignatius

Two days after he was admitted to Saint George Hospital here, His Beatitude, Patriarch Ignatius IV of Antioch and All the East fell asleep in the Lord on Wednesday, December 5, 2012.

Patriarch Ignatius had suffered a severe stroke on Monday, December 3, and had been under the care of physicians in the hospital’s intensive care unit.  He was 91 years old.  [See related story.]

Born in 1920 in Mhardeh in Syria‚Äôs Hama province, he pursued studies at the American University of Beirut and soon entered the service of the local Orthodox diocese.  He was one of the founders of the Orthodox Youth Movement in 1942.  He was consecrated to the episcopacy in 1961 and was elected Metropolitan of Syria’s Latakia province in 1970.  Nine years later he was elected Patriarch.

Upon learning of Patriarch Ignatius’ repose, His Beatitude, Metropolitan Tikhon called upon the clergy and faithful of the Orthodox Church in America to remember him in prayer, that our Lord will grant him rest “where there is neither sickness, sorrow, nor sighing, but life everlasting.”

According to the web site of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America, services for Patriarch Ignatius will be held in Beirut, Lebanon on Sunday, December 9, and at Mariameh Cathedral in Damascus, Syria on Monday, December 10.  Interment will follow at the Patriarchate Cemetery, Damascus.  His Grace, Bishop Irenee of Quebec City will represent the Orthodox Church in America.

May Patriarch Ignatius’ memory be eternal!