PARIS – As part of his ongoing pastoral visits to church dioceses in various regions and countries of the world, Patriarch Mor Ignatius Ephrem II, Patriarch of Antioch and the East of the Syriac Orthodox Church, paid a first in its kind apostolic visit to the French capital of Paris. He was accompanied by Bishop of Homs, Hama, Tartus and Environs Timothy Matta Khoury and Joseph Bali, Patriarch Secretary and the Church’s Media Director. Mor Ephrem II was received by Bishop Mor Gerges Goreya, patriarchal vicar in Belgium, France and Luxembourg, parish clergy and a large gathering of faithful.
His Holiness visited the Syriac churches in France and presided over evening prayers at the Saint Severios Church in Paris. At the end of prayers parish priest Zaka Gilma, gave a speech in which he addressed the Patriarch Holiness and the accompanying delegation. Bishop Goreya also gave a speech thanking His Holiness for his first spiritual visit to his parishioner in France.
Mor Ephrem II thanked God for the opportunity he was given to visit the parish in France, recalling the advance of the people over time, the challenges they faced and overtaken by the union of the Faithful and their cooperation in building a community around the Church, praising their preservation of their faith, which the martyrs defended with their blood.