BEIRUT, December 5 (Itar-Tass) – Eastern Orthodox Patriarch of the Great Antioch and All the Orient, Ignatius IV, has died in Lebanon at the age of 92.
He was urgently admitted to the intensive care department of the Eastern Orthodox hospital of St George on Tuesday after being diagnosed with cerebral hemorrhage.
His Holiness Ignatius IV, who belonged to one of the world’s oldest Orthodox Christian congregations, was enthroned July 2, 1979. He received theological education in Beirut and in the St Sergius Orthodox Theological Institute in Paris.
His Beatitude Ignatius’s official residence was located in Damascus until very recently.
He has visited Russia more than once and has high-rank Russian awards, including the Order of Friendship and the Order of St Andrew the First-Called with a diamond star.
Before taking his monastic vows, Hazim /the Patriarch’s Arabic name/ was an organizer of a youth Orthodox Christian movement, which was set up in 1942 and played an important role in the restoration of relations between the Russian Orthodox Church and the Orthodox Christian communities of the East.
The Church of Antioch was founded by the St Apostles Peter and Paul and its canonical territory embraces Syria, Lebanon, and Mesopotamia. Some of its clerics and disciples of the past have become great theologians and Christian saints, include St John Chrysostom. St John of Damascus, St Isaac and St Ephraim of Syria.