by Bishop Mansour
Dear People of God
Last night, May 12, 2019, just past midnight Lebanon time, our beloved retired Patriarch passed from this world to the next.
Patriarch Sfeir was a Monk-Patriarch. Everything he did was for the good of his monastic church.
He would travel 17 hours by plane from South Africa to New York and with an hour rest begin a full day of meetings at the UN, make visits to Lebanese officials, celebrate Divine Liturgy, preach in English at the Cathedral, and then stay awake for a banquet.
He ate, slept, worked, and prayed with a calm demeanor, even in the midst of huge difficulties that only he fully knew. We all admired his steady hand at the helm of the church he loved so well.
He was a strong advocate for Lebanon’s independence and sovereignty. He wanted the people of Lebanon (and her neighbors) to respect the unique “message” that was Lebanon.
He helped host the Holy See’s Synod for Lebanon, he welcomed the visit of Pope John Paul II to Lebanon. He initiated the Patriarchal assembly of 2003-2005 to renew every aspect of church life. And there is so much more to tell.
He retired in great grace and poise and welcomed Patriarch Bechara Peter Cardinal Rai.
All of this and more is the work of a man devoted to God and to his Church with a monk-like zeal.
May God grant him eternal life and a blessed reward.
Photo Credit Al Arabia Network