The Archdiocese of Homs, both clergymen and lay people, came to welcome His Beatitude Patriarch John X accompanied by their new Archdiocesan Pastor, His Eminence Metropolitan Gregorios (Al Khoury). Government and religious personalities together with security officials blended with crowds for the occasion.
At the end of the prayer of thanksgiving, His Beatitude Patriarch John X handed the staff of pastoral care to the new Metropolitan Gregorios. He addressed the audience, saying: “Lord, Lord: Look down from heaven and behold, and visit this vine and perfect that which Thy right hand hath planted.” Thus, we pray the Lord that He look upon the Archdiocese of Homs, which the Holy Spirit is handing over today to its new cultivator, His Eminence Metropolitan Gregorios.
Then His Beatitude addressed the people of Homs saying: “As for you, people of Homs, I say: Relate with Him in a symphony of love, love one another so that people will know that you are my children.”
Moereover, His Beatitude raised his voice to the entire world: “Stop the war on Palestine, lift the siege on Syria, and maintain stability in Lebanon.”
He also added words of joy and congratulated the following people:
– Retired General Hassan Ali Ahmed Kattoub, on behalf of the army and armed forces
– Sheikh Zuhair Al-Atassi, Director of the Waqfs of Homs
– His Grace Bishop Youhanna Arabash on behalf of the heads of the Christian churches in Homs
– Archimandrite Elias Abduka from the Diocese of Homs.
Metropolitan Gregory gave a speech. Thanking the Lord, His Beatitude the Patriarch and the bishops, members of the Holy Synod of Antioch, he said: “Syria is wounded and great at the same time.” He pondered upon the great love that his children in the Emirates diocese showed to him, asking for their prayers.
In conclusion, the new Metropolitan of Homs presented, in his name and in the name of the Archdiocese of Homs, the icon of the saints of Homs to His Beatitude the Patriarch as a token of love and gratitude.
A congratulatory reception was held at the Archbishopric hall following the Doxology and enthronement.