LEBANON: Syriac Patriarchs Mor Aphrem II and Mor Béchara al-Raï celebrate the feast of the Annunciation

Syriac Orthodox Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem II and Mor Béchara Boutros al-Raï celebrated the divine liturgy on the occasion of Annunciation Day where the patriarchs spoke about the meaning of this blessed feast, from which the faithful learn humility and observance to the word of God.

ATCHANEH/BKERKE – On the occasion of the Day of Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Margin, which falls on March 25, Mor Ignatius Aphrem II, Syriac Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch and all the East, celebrated the Divine Liturgy on Friday in the Mor Severius Rabo (Saint Severus the Great) Church at his residence in Atchaneh, Lebanon.

In his sermon, the patriarch spoke about the significance of the Feast of the Annunciation, as on this day the archangel Gabriel announced to the Virgin Mary that she would bring forth the Savior and Redeemer Jesus Christ. The Blessed Virgin Mary showed her willingness to face this great responsibility and accepted her complete dependence on the Lord to be part of the salvation He prepared for mankind. At the end of his sermon, Mor Aphrem II called the the faithful to humility and complete dependence on God, as He sustains the faithful and strengthens them against trials and tribulations.

Syriac Maronite Patriarch Béchara Boutros al-Raï celebrated Annunciation Day in a celebratory Mass in his patriarchal headquarters in Bkerké. The Day of the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary coincided with the eleventh anniversary of his patriarchate. The Syriac patriarch received a congratulatory message from Roman Catholic Pope Francis, which was read to him during the festive Mass by the Papal Nuncio to Lebanon, Joseph Spiteri.

On Friday afternoon, Mor Béchara Boutros al-Raï received a delegation consisting of the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, Anglican Archbishop of the Episcopal See of Jerusalem, Archbishop Hossam Naoum, the British Ambassador to Lebanon, Ian Collard, MP Edgar Traboulsi, Fathers Fouad Dagher, Fadi Diab and Imad Zorob. At the meeting, they discussed relations between the Maronite and Anglican Churches, and ways of cooperation, especially in helping Lebanon and its people overcome the current crises.