John X of Antioch

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John X Yazigi
يوحنا العاشر يازجي
Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch and All the East
Patriarch John X of Antioch 2.jpg
Church Greek Orthodox Church of Antioch
See Antioch
Installed February 10, 2013
Predecessor Ignatius IV of Antioch
Successor incumbent
Personal details
Birth name John Yazigi
Born 1955
Latakia, Syria
Residence Mariamite Cathedral of Damascus, Syria
Alma mater Tishreen University
University of Balamand
Aristotle University of Thessaloniki

Patriarch John X (Yazigi) of Antioch and All The East (born 1955) is primate of the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch and All The East.[1]

Life[edit]

John Yazigi was born in Latakia, Syria. His father Mounah Yazigi, a teacher of Arabic language, was originally from the village of Marmarita in Wadi al-Nasara and his mother Rosa Moussi is from Tripoli, Lebanon. He graduated from the Tishreen University with a degree in Civil Engineering, then he earned a degree in theology in 1978 from the Saint John of Damascus Institute of Theology at the University of Balamand and then, in 1983, he graduated from the theological faculty of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki with a focus in liturgics. He also has a degree in Byzantine music from the Conservatory of Byzantine Music of Thessaloniki.

Ordination and episcopacy[edit]

He was ordained to the diaconate in 1979 and the priesthood in 1983.

On January 24, 1995, he was consecrated as the vicar bishop of Al-Hosn. After his consecration, Bishop John immediately began to work to revive the patriarchal monastery of St. George in Al-Humayrah, serving as the monastery's abbot from 1995-2002. Through his efforts, the monastery became a center of spiritual and public life in the area.

From 1981 until 2008, he was the instructor of liturgics at the Balamand Seminary. From 1989 until 1992, and then again from 2001 until 2005, he was also the rector of the seminary. During his second term as rector, he was also the abbot of the Balamand monastery.

On June 17, 2008, he was chosen as the metropolitan of Western and Central Europe. He was enthroned by Patriarch Ignatius IV of Antioch. On August 19, 2010, his title was changed to “Metropolitan of Europe.”

Patriarchate[edit]

On December 17, 2012, twelve days after the death of the previous patriarch, Ignatius IV of Antioch, John Yazigi was elected Patriarch of Antioch.[2] This was unexpected as Yazigi had only been a member of the Holy Synod for a little under 5 years, having been elected to the Metropolitan See of Western and Central Europe in 2008. The normal procedure for the election of a Patriarch requires all candidates to have been a member of the Holy Synod for at least 5 years,[3] but reports indicate that the synod agreed to set that rule aside for this election.[4] Patriarch John X arrived in Damascus, Syria on December 20, 2012 for prayers in the Mariamite Cathedral of Damascus, where he also received congratulations from members, civil authorities (including the Minister for Presidential Affairs of the Syrian Arab Republic, Mansour Fadlallah Azzam, on behalf of the President of Syria) and other well-wishers. On Sunday December 23, 2012, the solemn Divine Liturgy of installation and thanksgiving was offered by the newly elected Patriarch.[5]

In his installation sermon, Patriarch John X stressed his rejection of western interference in the Syrian civil war as well as his intention to promote peaceful co-existence with Muslims and other Syrians. The ambassador of the Russian Federation in Damascus, Azmatullah Kulmohammadov, stressed the firm support of Russia for Syrian national unity, national peace and an end to the armed insurgency military conflict. The Antiochian Orthodox patriarch in response called upon the entire Syrian people to defend its national unity and to fight instability and insecurity.[6]

On February 10, 2013, John X was formally enthroned as the Metropolitan Bishop of Antioch (the customary see of the Patriarch of Antioch), ceasing to be Metropolitan of Europe.[7] This occasion marks the commencement of John X's patriarchal reign. The enthronement took place in the principal church of the See of Antioch, the Mariamite Cathedral of Damascus, as required by tradition. However, because of the present civil war in Syria the service was necessarily restrained. A second service of enthronement took place on February 17, 2013 in the Cathedral of St Nicholas, Ashrafieh (one of the oldest Christian districts of Beirut), which was attended by Antiochian Orthodox Christians from all over the world, and especially by the President and Prime Minister of Lebanon, and the Patriarch of the Maronite Catholic Church. During his sermon, the Patriarch promised that the Antiochian Church would engage in dialogue based on mutual respect. He also promised to continue the Patriarchate's aid to all families, children and women who are suffering as a result of the conflict. On working together with the Muslim community, he said, "Muslims are partners in the nation, and our ties with them go beyond coexistence; we share with them the responsibility to build a [better] future and confront dangers".[8]

References[edit]

Religious titles
Preceded by
Ignatius IV of Antioch
Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch
2012–present
Succeeded by
incumbent