Syriac Orthodox Patriarch
Yesterday, Sunday 2nd March, I was blessed by attending the Liturgy in London which was presided over by our Patriarch, His Holiness Moran Mor
Ignatios Zaka I Iwas. This was the first time I have seen him in the flesh and immediately realised why he is referred to as "our beloved Patriarch." He entered the Church to the accompaniment of bells, with deacons and other clergy, pausing every few steps to bless the congregation by making the sign of the Cross with his hand cross. He paused just a couple of feet in front of me and looked at me for a moment with the kindest eyes I have ever seen and waited while an elderly lady standing next to me touched the hand cross to receive its blessing. Now in his mid-seventies, frail and able to walk only with the aid
of two monks, he nevertheless exuded the peaceful warmth born out of decades dedicated to the service of Christ, His Church, and mankind. When it came time to intone the prayers his voice was not frail, but deeply powerful.
This memory will always remain with me as part of my spiritual life. I felt as if I were in the presence of a saint.