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Ignatius Elias III

Ignatius Elias III

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Mor Ignatius Elias III (died February 13, 1932) was the 119th Syriac Orthodox
Syriac Orthodox Church
The Syriac Orthodox Church; is an autocephalous Oriental Orthodox church based in the Eastern Mediterranean, with members spread throughout the world. The Syriac Orthodox Church claims to derive its origin from one of the first Christian communities, established in Antioch by the Apostle St....

 Patriarch of Antioch
Patriarch of Antioch
Patriarch of Antioch is a traditional title held by the Bishop of Antioch. As the traditional "overseer" of the first gentile Christian community, the position has been of prime importance in the church from its earliest period...

 from 1917 to 1932. He died and is buried at the monastery of Manjanikkara Dayara
Manjanikkara Dayara
Manjanikkara Dayara is a monastery of the Syrian Orthodox Church. It is situated at the top of the hillock in Manjanikkara, near Omallur, Pathanamthitta District, in South Kerala, India. The monastery was established by Mor Yulius Elias Qoro, Patriarchal delegate to the Malankara Church...

 in Kerala
Kerala
or Keralam is an Indian state located on the Malabar coast of south-west India. It was created on 1 November 1956 by the States Reorganisation Act by combining various Malayalam speaking regions....

, India
India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

, where there is a considerable number of Syriac Orthodox Christians. The monastery is now a pilgrim site for Syriac Orthodox Christians.

Early life


The second son of Chorepiscopus Abraham and Maryam, he was born in Mardin
Mardin
Mardin is a city in southeastern Turkey. The capital of Mardin Province, it is known for its Arabic-like architecture, and for its strategic location on a rocky mountain overlooking the plains of northern Syria.-History:...

 and christened Nasri. He had four brothers and three sisters. After the death of his mother, Nasri was raised in the care of his elder sister Helena. He worked as a shoemaker in his teens and worked for the government for three months. At Patriarch Ignatius Peter IV
Ignatius Peter IV
Moran Mor Ignatius Peter IV or Ignatius Pathros IV , was the 116th Syriac Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch and the head of the Syriac Orthodox Church...

's direction, Nasri joined the theological school in the name of the forty martyrs.

Ordination


In 1887, he joined Deir al-Za`faran and was ordained deacon in 1887 by Patriarch Peter IV. He became a sharwoyo (novitiate) in 1888 and a monk
Monk
A monk is a person who practices religious asceticism, living either alone or with any number of monks, while always maintaining some degree of physical separation from those not sharing the same purpose...

 in 1889 upon which he took the name Elias.
Elias was ordained qashisho (priest; lit. presbyter) in 1892 by Patriarch Peter IV. In the waning years of the 19th century, numerous Armenian and Syriac Christians were massacred in Turkey. Qashisho Elias endeared himself to the Armenian Christians providing refuge for about 7000 in the monastery of Mor Quryaqos. He was later appointed the reesh dayroyo of the Mor Quryaqos as well as Deir al-Za`faran. In 1908 Qashisho Elias was consecrated bishop of Amid (Diyarbakr) by Patriarch Ignatius Abded Aloho II
Ignatius Abded Aloho II
Mor Ignatios `Abded-Aloho II Sattuf was the 118th Syriac Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch from 1906 to his death in 1915.-Birth and ordinations:...

 with the name Mor Iwanius.

In 1912, he was transferred to Mosul where he served until his elevation to the patriarchate in 1917. After Patriarch `Abded Aloho died November 26, 1915, Mor Iwanius was elected Patriarch and assumed the throne in 1917. The firman (decree) was issued by the Ottoman sultan Muhammad Rashid, who Patriarch Elias III visited in 1919 at Istanbul; the sultan conferred the Ismania medal on the Patriarch during the visit. In 1922, when civil war broke out in Turkey and Gazi Mustafa Keman Pasha assumed leadership of the newly formed democracy, Mor Elias III spent a few months in Jerusalem. He established a printing press there and began publication of journals in Syriac and Arabic.

Seat of Patriarcate


Mor Elias III was the last Patriarch to reign at the Kurkmo Dayro (Deir Za`faran) in Mardin
Mardin
Mardin is a city in southeastern Turkey. The capital of Mardin Province, it is known for its Arabic-like architecture, and for its strategic location on a rocky mountain overlooking the plains of northern Syria.-History:...

, the seat of the Patriarchate for most of the second millennium. Following the massacre of the Syriac Christians in South East Turkey in the waning days of the Ottoman Empire and during World War I, the Patriarch was forced to leave Mardin. In the aftermath of the saypho massacres, Mor Elias III undertook pastoral tours in the Middle East, the first in 1919 and the second in 1925 to Aleppo and Jerusalem. Mor Elias III held a synod Dayro d-Mor Matay in 1930.

Visit to the church in India


Lord Irwin, then British Viceroy to India, wrote to the Patriarch on December 1, 1930 requesting his intervention in person or through a delegate in resolving the schism that had erupted in the Malankara Church
Malankara Church
The Malankara Church is the church of the Saint Thomas Christians of Kerala, India, with particular emphasis on the part of the community that joined Archdeacon Mar Thoma in swearing to resist the authority of the Portuguese Padroado in 1653...

. He responded to the Viceroy's letter accepting his invitation with certain conditions on December 15, 1930. Given his cardiac problems, his doctors attempted to dissuade him from the trip in vain. His 75 year old sister also could not persuade the Patriarch; His Holiness said to her, "Death is inevitable whether here or in India; I would rather sacrifice my life for the sake of our children in Malankara."

Mor Elias III left Mosul on February 6, 1931 accompanied by Mor Clemis Yuhanon Abbachi, Rabban Quryaqos (later Mor Ostathios Quryaqos), and Rabban Yeshu` Samuel (later Mor Athanasius Samuel of North America), his secretary Zkaryo Shakir (his brother Joseph's son) and translator Elias Ghaduri. They set sail to India
India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

 on February 28, 1931 from Basra on the ship "Warsova" and disembarked at the Karachi port on March 5, 1931. They were received at Karachi by the Patriarchal Delegate Mor Yulius Elias Qoro, Mor Athanasius Paulos of Alwaye and several clergymen and faithful. On March 6, 1931, the Patriarch and his entourage proceeded to Delhi by train reaching there on the 8th and visited Lord Irwin. On March 14, the Patriarch arrived at Madras and stayed as a guest of the British Governor Sir George Staly. From there, he arrived at the Thrikkunnathu Seminary
Thrikkunnathu Seminary
Thrikkunathu Seminary is an historic former seminary and closed church in the Thrikkunnathu neighbourhood of Aluva, Ernakulam. Owing to an ownership dispute between the Indian Orthodox and Jacobite Syrian Christian churches both the seminary and its Saint Mary’s Church building were closed in...

 in Alwaye on March 21, and offered the divine liturgy there on March 22.

H.H. Mor Elias III convened conciliatory meetings at Alwaye, Karingachira, Panampady and Kuruppumpady. The Patriarch lead the passion week services at Karingachira. A church delegates meeting was held at Kuruppumpady on July 5, 1931. The denho (Epiphany) services in January 1932 were at the church in Pakkil.

Death


On February 11, 1932, at the invitation of Qashisho Kuriakos Elavinamannil, the Patriarch arrived at the Manjinikkara Mor Stephanos church
Manjanikkara Dayara
Manjanikkara Dayara is a monastery of the Syrian Orthodox Church. It is situated at the top of the hillock in Manjanikkara, near Omallur, Pathanamthitta District, in South Kerala, India. The monastery was established by Mor Yulius Elias Qoro, Patriarchal delegate to the Malankara Church...

 from Kallissery. The inability to bring about reconciliation in the church had weighed down heavily on the Patriarch; moreover, the hardships of the long travel had taken its toll on him. On arriving at Manjinikkara, he said, "This place offers us much comfort; we desire to remain here permanently."

On February 12, he requested the priests who came to visit him not to leave for a couple of days. In the evening, the Patriarch recited many prayers of the qandilo (unction) and contemplated on the departed. On February 13, Mor Clemis Yuhanon Abbachi offered the Holy Qurbono; he gave the sermon during the liturgy. After the noon prayers and lunch, as was his routine, the Patriarch spent time recording events in his journal; he asked for a dictionary to get clarification for the meaning of a word. Following that, he paced about complaining of pain in his head. Soon he fainted and was placed on a cot by the monks where he died at 2:30 pm.

Mor Ignatius Dayro Manjinikkara


Different opinions arose regarding the final resting place for the Patriarch—a situation that the church in Malankara never had to confront before. The decision was in favor of interring the mortal remains in a plot of land to the north of the Mor Stephanos church, the title deed of which was transferred to the Patriarchate. On February 14, his funeral services was held there. The Mor Ignatios Dayro church was built by the Patriarchal delegate Mor Yulius Elias Qoro over the tomb of the late Patriarch.
The memory of the holy Patriarch is revered throughout the Syriac Orthodox Church
Syriac Orthodox Church
The Syriac Orthodox Church; is an autocephalous Oriental Orthodox church based in the Eastern Mediterranean, with members spread throughout the world. The Syriac Orthodox Church claims to derive its origin from one of the first Christian communities, established in Antioch by the Apostle St....

 and especially in Malankara where thousands of pilgrims reach the tomb by foot on the annual feast day, February 13, from various parts of the Kerala state. Mor Elias III is the only Patriarch of Antioch
Patriarch of Antioch
Patriarch of Antioch is a traditional title held by the Bishop of Antioch. As the traditional "overseer" of the first gentile Christian community, the position has been of prime importance in the church from its earliest period...

 whose remains are interred in Malankara.

Diptych


On October 20, 1987, Patriarch Mor Ignatius Zakka I Iwas
Ignatius Zakka I Iwas
Ignatius Zakka I Iwas is the 122nd reigning Syriac Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch and All the East, and as such, Supreme Head of the Universal Syriac Orthodox Church. Also known by his traditional episcopal name, Severios, he was enthroned as patriarch on 14 September 1980 in St. George's...

 through encyclical E265/87 permitted the Church in Malankara to remember his name in the fifth diptych
Diptych
A diptych di "two" + ptychē "fold") is any object with two flat plates attached at a hinge. Devices of this form were quite popular in the ancient world, wax tablets being coated with wax on inner faces, for recording notes and for measuring time and direction.In Late Antiquity, ivory diptychs with...

.

See also

  • Syriac Orthodox Church
    Syriac Orthodox Church
    The Syriac Orthodox Church; is an autocephalous Oriental Orthodox church based in the Eastern Mediterranean, with members spread throughout the world. The Syriac Orthodox Church claims to derive its origin from one of the first Christian communities, established in Antioch by the Apostle St....

  • Manjanikkara Dayara
    Manjanikkara Dayara
    Manjanikkara Dayara is a monastery of the Syrian Orthodox Church. It is situated at the top of the hillock in Manjanikkara, near Omallur, Pathanamthitta District, in South Kerala, India. The monastery was established by Mor Yulius Elias Qoro, Patriarchal delegate to the Malankara Church...

  • Jacob Baradaeus
    Jacob Baradaeus
    Jacob Baradaeus was Bishop of Edessa from 543 until his death. One of the most important figures in the history of the Syriac Orthodox Church, and the Oriental Orthodox churches generally, he was a defender of the Monophysite movement in a time when its strength was declining...

  • Malankara Jacobite Syriac Orthodox Church
  • Ignatius Zakka I Iwas
    Ignatius Zakka I Iwas
    Ignatius Zakka I Iwas is the 122nd reigning Syriac Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch and All the East, and as such, Supreme Head of the Universal Syriac Orthodox Church. Also known by his traditional episcopal name, Severios, he was enthroned as patriarch on 14 September 1980 in St. George's...

  • Ignatius Afram I Barsoum
    Ignatius Afram I Barsoum
    Ignatius Afram I Barsoum was the 120th Syriac Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch and head of the Syriac Orthodox Church. He wrote, translated and published many works all of which are very scholarly. He wrote books on the tradition, liturgy, music, and history of Syriac Orthodox Church.Patriarch Mor...

  • Polycarpus Eugene (Augin) Aydin
    Polycarpus Eugene (Augin) Aydin
    Mor Polycarpus Augin Aydın , born Edip Aydın on June 10, 1971 near Nusaybin , Turkey, is the Metropolitan and Patriarchal Vicar for the Archdiocese of the Netherlands of the Syriac Orthodox Church. The Metropolitan Seat is located at St...


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