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الرئيسية > أنباء البطريركية > His Holiness Celebrates the Feast of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary in the Cathedral of Um El-Zunar in Homs
His Holiness Celebrates the Feast of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary in the Cathedral of Um El-Zunar in Homs
On August 15, 2014, His Holiness Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem II paid an apostolic visit to the Cathedral of Um El-Zunar in Homs on the occasion of the Feast of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary. His Excellency Mr. Talal Al-Barazi, Governor of Homs, received His Holiness and accompanied him to the church.

In a long-awaited and solemn scene, His Holiness Mor Ignatius Aphrem II carried the relics of the girdle of the Virgin Mary. He displayed them in a procession in the main street leading to the cathedral and blessed the faithful with it them. He then entered the cathedral where the Governor of Homs assured the people that he will continue, as he promised, to work in Homs to enable the citizens to return to their houses and rebuild the city.

In turn, His Holiness thanked the Governor for his efforts and appreciated his cooperation.

His Holiness Mor Ignatius Aphrem II then celebrated the Holy Qurobo (Divine Liturgy) in Um El-Zunar cathedral in Homs. His Holiness was assisted by their Eminences: Mor Selwanos Boutros Al-Nehmeh, Archbishop of Homs, Hama and Environs, and Mor Dionysius Jean Kawak, Patriarchal Office Director. The Holy Qurobo was attended by His Eminence Mor Timotheos Matthew, Patriarchal Secretary for Indian Affairs, Rev. Fr. Michel Neman representing the Syriac Catholic Church in Homs and Rev. Fadi Dagher representing the Evangelical Church in Homs along with many priests, monks, deacons and people coming from different regions to attend this great celebration.

During the Holy Qurobo, His Eminence Mor Selwanos welcomed His Holiness and the accompanying delegation. He gave a short overview of the girdle of the Virgin Mary and how it was discovered pointing out that it protects Homs and the region. His Eminence emphasized that the return of the people of Homs to their houses reflects their great love to their church and their city. He also demanded indemnities and compensations for those whose houses were completely destroyed.

In his sermon, His Holiness expressed his joy to see the Church of Um El-Zunar filled with faithful like it used to. He spoke of the importance of staying in our country despite the difficult times and circumstances that it is going through. He emphasized the role of the Virgin Mary in encouraging the apostles and faithful of the early church to pray and how she intercedes her son to protect those who seek refuge in Him. He spoke about the feast of the assumption of the Virgin Mary and how St. Thomas was able to miraculously receive the girdle which is the only relic of the Virgin Mary in the world. Furthermore, His Holiness said that the assumption of the Virgin Mary is a comfort for all of us who are persecuted or suffer from crises because it gives us hope that we will be victorious. He also pointed out that Syria was and still is a model for other countries in sharing life in one’s country. He said that it will bring back its former glory and we will serve it and live in it because it is our country.

At the end of his sermon, His Holiness headed the procession of the girdle outside the church for the blessing of all the faithful. He then prayed for peace in Syria, Iraq and all over the world.

At the Holy Qurobo, His Holiness Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem II presided over the rite of baptism of the sons of the martyr General Elias Haddad in the church of Um El-Zunar in Homs.

He then headed for Fayrouzeh and Sadad where he was met by dignitaries of the two towns.