The Patriarch of Antioch Ignatius Zakka I Visiting India

zakka2.jpg(Paul Ciniraj, Kottayam-686038, India)
His Holiness Ignatius Zakka I
Cochin (Kerala, India), SVM News, October 17, 2008: His Holiness Patriach of Antioch Ignatius Zaka I was accorded a grand reception at Cochin international airport by various religious leaders, people’s representatives and hundreds of devotees on Friday, the 17th of Ocober.

Addressing mediapersons at the airport, Ignatius Zakka I said that being the head of the Universal Syrian Orthodox Church, he would work towards unification of different factions in the community.

The Patriarch of Antioch said that the communal harmony in the State of Kerala in India was a model to the world and expressed confidence that his visit would nurture it further.

He thanked the Kerala and Syrian governments whose joint effort, according to him, facilitated his fourth visit to the State. He had earlier visited the State in 1982, 2000 and 2004.

The Patriarch was accompanied by Rev. Mathias Mar Philippinosis, metropolitan from Damascus; archbishops of California and Beirut; two rambans; and two nuns.

During his 13-day visit, Ignatius Zakka I would attend various functions in Kerala including the conclusion of the golden jubilee of the priestly ordination of the Catholicos Baselios Thomas I on October 19 in Kochi.

Another main programs of the Patriarch will be the official announcement regarding the canonization of three fathers of Syriac Orthodox Church; Maphryono Mor Baselios Shakralla (AD 1764, Kandanad), Mor Coorilos Yuyakkim, the Patrirachal delegate (AD 1874, Mulanthuruthy) and Mor Coorilos Paulose Kochuparamabil, the former Malankara Metropolitan and the regional head of the Church in India (AD 1917, Panampady).

The Jacobite Syrian Christian Association and its Episcopal Synod also will be convened under the president-ship of His Holiness during this apostolic visit.

He will be leaving back to Damascus on 27 October.

Catholicos Baselious Thomas I and metropolitans Joseph Mar Gregarious and Kuriakose Mar Julius of the Jacobite Syrian Orthodox Church were among the religious leaders present at the airport to receive the Patriarch on his arrival in an Emirates flight at 9. a.m. K. Babu, MLA; GCDA chairperson M.C. Josephine; Kochi Mayor Mercy Williams were also at the airport.

The Patriarch will be accorded the status of State Guest by the honourable Government of Kerala.