The Speech of His Beatitude Patriarch JOHN X The…


p1 The Speech of His Beatitude Patriarch JOHN X
The Thanksgiving Prayer
The Church of St. Mary Magdalene, Warsaw, August 16, 2016

Your Beatitude,
Christ loving Faithful,

I would like to thank you for all your words of love and welcome, and I highly appreciate your gracious emotions towards your brothers and sisters in the Church of Antioch. It is an honor for me to be with my brothers in the Church of Poland. Firstly, it is my duty to convey to you, in my name and in the name of the members of my delegation, the brotherly greetings coming from the inner heart of the Church of Antioch, and from the hearts of all Her faithful, directed to all the faithful in the Church of Poland, and to the good people in your country.

Interestingly, in every thanksgiving prayer, the Holy Church chants: "God is the Lord and has appeared unto us..." This means that we,
as humans, are called to put on the Lord, revealing Him in our countenance and in our being. As a human being, I am called to carry the image of God in myself and to seek it and live it in the heart of my brother. As a human being, I am called to be a white page wherein the other beholds the image of the Creator and His love. We read in your countenance, Your Beatitude, and in your faces, dear brothers, the originality of the fathers, the firmness of the faith, and all the affection to our people and to all the brothers and sisters. We hope that you read in our faces the love we hold for our brothers and sisters in the Church of Poland and all the honest fraternity that seeks to incarnate the words of the Lord, "That they may be one."

In the Church of the Lord Jesus, cultures differentiates us, but He brings us into unity; distances separates us, but He gathers us together; difficulties discourages us, but His Hand, which has strengthened us and accompanied us for two thousand years, takes away this stone of difficulties. 

We come to you on this day from the Church of Antioch, the Church of the Apostles Peter and Paul, the first vine that the right hand of the Lord has planted, along with the Apostles' labor. She is characterized by the anniversaries of holiness and saints. We come from the Antioch of Ignatius, Luke, Theophilus, John Chrysostom, Romanos the Melodist, and John of Damascus. We come from present Antioch, from the land that was the first to follow the name of Jesus, where the disciples and Apostles were first called Christians, and went to the whole world to proclaim the Truth of the Incarnation of the Lord Jesus Christ.

We carry in our hearts the wounds of the Church of Antioch and the agony of the countries within Her jurisdiction. We bring with us the worries of the homeless, kidnapped, displaced, and orphaned. We carry the suffering of Aleppo, a city which awaits both of its shepherds, Bishops Youhanna Ibrahim and Paul Yazigi, kidnapped for more than three years amid the world's mere watching. We carry in our hearts the anxiety of the East. We carry all the trials and tribulations of Syria, the worries of Lebanon and of every spot in the East and the world that longs to see the Light of Peace, our glorious Jesus Christ. We place all these concerns in front of His Venerable Cross, trusting in the strength of His Resurrection to take away from our heart the weighty stone.

I reiterate my thankfulness to you, and we pray to the Risen Lord, to grant us through the intercession of St. Mary Magdalene, the patron saint of this Holy Church, to be on her likeness, sincere witnesses of His Resurrection and of our resurrection in Him, to Whom we ascribe glory, now and forever, Amen.