THE PATRIARCH IN MARDIN
The Deyrulzafaran Monastery of the Syrian Orthodox Church - Mardin
Syrian Orthodox hermit caves and church on the hill opposite the monastery
On Saturday, 9 December 2006, His Beatitude Mesrob II, Armenian Patriarch of Istanbul and All Turkey traveled from Istanbul to Mardin via Ankara on scheduled Turkish Airline flights. He was accompanied on this trip by his personal guard, Ergun Karagoz; by Manuel Evingulu and Melkon Sahakoglu, members of the Yesilkoy St. Stephen Armenian Church Council; by Tamar Karasu, Director of the Turkey Bible Society; and by Hermine Dervoghormyaciyan, a pharmacist, and her sister, Dr. Karin Dervogormyaciyan.
His Beatitude the Patriarch was able to undertake this trip by invitation of Mor Philixinos Yusuf Cetin, Metropolitan of the Syrian Orthodox Church of Istanbul and Ankara, and Patriarchal Vicar; and by invitation of the Adiyaman Armenian community. On the occasion of this trip, His Beatitude Mesrob II, Armenian Patriarch of Istanbul and All Turkey was able to meet with the Head of the Syrian Orthodox Church and Patriarch of Antioch and All the East, His Holiness Moran Mor Ignatius Zakka I Iwas, who came to Mardin from Syria for the ordination as metropolitan of Father Melki Urek of the Syrian Orthodox Church of St. Peter and Paul in Adiyaman. His Beatitude attended the ordination service which took place in the Deyrulzafaran Monastery, for the first time, for the last century.
Joining together in prayers of blessing for the installation service were Mor Ivannis, Metropolitan of Damascus; Mor Severius, Metropolitan of Baghdad; Mor Gregorios, Metropolitan of Aleppo; Mor Athanasios, Metropolitan of Beirut; Mor Severius, Metropolitan of Jerusalem; Mor Gregorios, Metropolitan of Mosul; Mor Philixinos, Metropolitan of Mardin; Mor Timotheos, Metropolitan of Turabdin; Mor Philixinos, Metropolitan of Istanbul and Ankara; Mor Cyril, Metropolitan of New York; Mor Severius, Metropolitan of Belgium and France; Mor Eusthathius, Metropolitan of Al-Jazire; presided over by the Head of the Syrian Orthodox Church and Patriarch of Antioch and All the East, His Holiness Moran Mor Ignatius Zakka I Iwas.
Scenes of the welcome ceremony at the entrance to the Monastery
The Patriarch speaking at the welcome ceremony
On Saturday afternoon, around 14:00, His Beatitude the Patriarch landed at Mardin airport and was met in the VIP lounge by Mardin Metropolitan Mor Philixinos, by Istanbul and Ankara Metropolitan Mor Philixinos, and by the lay administrators of the Syrian Orthodox community.
View from the monastery
His Beatitude Mesrob II, Armenian Patriarch of Istanbul and All Turkey, arrived at around 15:00 at the Deyrulzafaran Monastery (http://www.deyrulzafaran.org/tr/) and was met at the entrance with a display of affection by religious officials and a crowd of members of the community. His Beatitude the Patriarch processed from the monastery entrance to the historical Mor Hanania Church in the monastery, accompanied by traditional hymns sung on meeting the Fathers of the Church. Entering the church, His Beatitude the Patriarch expressed his happiness in being able to attend the ordination Father Melki Urek as Metropolitan of Adiyaman, who for years has served the Syriac Orthodox and the Armenians of Adiyaman without discriminating between them; and also being able to meet with the Head of the Syrian Orthodox Church and Patriarch of Antioch and All the East, His Holiness Moran Mor Ignatius Zakka I Iwas.
VISIT TO DERIK
Entrance to the St. George Church of Derik
Inscription over the door of the 1650 St. George Church of Derik
On the same day, around 16:00, His Beatitude the Patriarch and his entourage set out for Derik using the Kiziltepe-Akziyaret-Akken-Bayrakli-Tepebag route, arriving after dark.
His Beatitude the Patriarch praying with the Syrian Metropolitan, Mor Philixinos
Amidst ringing of the bells and displays of joy from the Armenians of Derik and local Muslims, His Beatitude the Patriarch entered the St. George Armenian church. There they said the Lord’s Prayer together following the singing of the hymn, “Gentanarar Asdvadz” (The Life-Giving God).
His Beatitude the Patriarch, the Derik community, and his entourage
His Beatitude the Patriarch stood around and spoke here with the last three Armenians in Derik, Kevork, Naif, and his wife, Srpuhi, Demirci. He then walked through the old Derik Armenian School and had tea with members of the community, representatives of the mayor, Ramazan Tatar, who was out of town, and members of his entourage. The people of Derik said how delighted they were with being remembered and visited by the Armenian Patriarch of Turkey. They said that most of the Armenians of Derik who migrated to Istanbul have settled in the Samatya, Bakirkoy, and Yesilkoy neighbourhoods.
After the visit to Derik, His Beatitude the Patriarch returned to the Deyrulzafaran Monastery in Mardin, ate his evening meal with the Syrian Orthodox Metropolitans and members of the Syriac Orthodox community, and then rested in the room reserved for him in the monastery.
THE ARRIVAL OF PATRIARCH ZAKKA AYVAZ THE FIRST
Patriarch Mesrob II embracing Patriarch Zakka I
On Sunday morning, 10 December 2006, the Syriac Orthodox Patriarch, His Holiness Moran Mor Ignatius Zakka I, who had come from Syria to Turkey, arrived at the Deyrulzafaran Monastery around 10:00. He was met at the entrance to the monastery by His Beatitude Mesrob II, Armenian Patriarch of Istanbul and All Turkey and the Syriac Orthodox metropolitans. The two patriarchs, who embraced each other with devotion at the entrance of the monastery, then processed inside to the Mor Hananiya Church.
Scene from the Ordination Service
The Installation Service began with the entrance into the church of Syriac Orthodox Patriarch His Holiness Moran Mor Ignatius Zakka I Iwas. Father Melki Urek, with head covered in the same manner as the Prophet Moses when descending from Mount Sinai, kneeled in front of His Holiness Patriarch Zakka I.
The Metropolitan taking the oath of office
After a series of prayers, the metropolitan candidate then took his oath of office in front of His Holiness the Patriarch Zakka I, and promised that he would carry out all the responsibilities of the office of metropolitan. After the Gospel was read over the head of the metropolitan candidate, His Holiness Patriarch Zakka I then laid his hand on the candidate’s head and endowed him with the office of metropolitan, giving him the name Mor Gregorios.
Religious officials lift the new metropolitan in his chair
for him to bless the people
In this section of the service, Mor Gregorios carrying the office of metropolitan, sat on a throne, which was raised by religious officials onto their shoulders so that now as Metropolitan he might grant the members of the community his first blessing. The members of the community at this point were engulfed in emotion and displayed their joy. The metropolitan preaching staff was then granted to the new Metropolitan. His Holiness Patriarch Zakka I, His Beatitude Mesrob II, and all metropolitans who were present together gave the prophetic preaching staff to the new Metropolitan.
The Patriarch after conferring the enkolpion
on the newly installed Metropolitan
Metropolitan Mor Gregorios of Adiyaman then gave a speech of thanks in this section of the ceremony, after which His Beatitude Mesrob II, Armenian Patriarch of Istanbul and All Turkey, conferred an episcopal enkolpion on the new Metropolitan that had a depiction of Mary, the Mother of Our Lord. When all the bishops present emerged from the church, they were met with a surprise.
Syriac Orthodox scouts who came from Syria
Syrian scouts, who came with His Holiness Patriarch Zakka I from Syria, played both the Turkish and Syrian national anthems extremely well.
The Patriarch with the Adiyaman community
The Patriarch with another Adiyaman group
After His Beatitude Mesrob II, Armenian Patriarch of Istanbul and All Turkey, had lunch with His Holiness Patriarch Zakka I, he met with the Adiyaman community in the monastery courtyard. He then left the monastery for a visit to Nisibis.
The Patriarch before the tomb of St. Jacob of Nisibis
After a journey of about 40 minutes, His Beatitude Mesrob II, Armenian Patriarch of Istanbul and All Turkey, together with his entourage, reached Nusaybin (Midzpin/Nisibis) and visited the Church of St. Jacob of Nisibis. Descending into the church’s crypt, where the tomb of St. Jacob is found, His Beatitude the Patriarch said a brief prayer and prayed for the intercession of the Holy Church Father.
THE NISIBIS SCHOOL
Remains of the ancient Nisibis School
Bishop Mor Yakub (Saint Jacob of Nisibis) and his student, Mor Ephrem (Surp Yeprem Asori) attended the first great Christian ecumenical council in 325 AD in Nicaea, following which they returned to Nisibis and began the famous Nisibis School in 326. For 38 years, Mor Ephrem directed the school.
The Nisibis School was founded on the ruins of a pagan school. There were about 800-1000 students who studied and boarded here. The official language of the school was Syriac. Greek was taught alongside Syriac. Training was given in philosophy, logic, literature, geometry, astronomy, medicine, and law. Many books were translated during this period from Greek into Syriac. A measure of the education given in Nisibis was the high standard of the great Syriac Orthodox poet, Mor Ephrem, who grew up in this school and made his name with 3 million lines of poetry. St. Jacob of Nisibis died in 338 and is buried the church’s crypt.
RETURN TO DEYRULZAFARAN
The Patriarchs in conversation
His Beatitude Mesrob II, Armenian Patriarch of Istanbul and All Turkey, returned together with his entourage to the Deyrulzafaran Monastery, where he took his evening meal with the Syriac Metropolitans and the community.
The Patriarchs just prior to saying farewell
After dinner His Beatitude the Patriarch visited His Holiness Patriarch Zakka I and said farewell to him, as the Armenian Patriarch was leaving Mardin on the Turkish Airline flight to Istanbul, next day. He said that he hoped there would be future occasions when they would meet.
THE KIRKLAR CHURCH
The Patriarch entering the Kirklar Church
On Monday morning, 11 December 2006, His Beatitude Mesrob II, Armenian Patriarch of Istanbul and All Turkey, together with his entourage, visited the Kirklar (Forty Martyrs of Sebastea) Church in the Shar neighbourhood of downtown Mardin.
Father Gabriel giving the Patriarch a tour
His Beatitude the Patriarch was guided by Father Gabriel Akyuz, who has authored several works. The church was built in the 6th century and has three entrances, altars decorated with fine stone carving, 400 year old wooden altar doors, 1500 year old original painted printed curtains, and in the courtyard a bell tower and sitting bench decorated with stone carvings that are almost like lace. In the year 1170 relics of the forty martyrs were brought to this church, after which it became known historically as the Church of the Forty.
In the courtyard of the Church of the Forty
The Church of the Forty in recent times has served as the church of the Metropolitan of Mardin.
ST. MICHAEL CHURCH
St. Michael Church
In front of the Church altar
After leaving the Church of the Forty that morning, His Beatitude the Patriarch then visited the St. Michael Church, which is apart from the city, to the south of the Mardin city center. He was again guided by Father Gabriel Akyuz.
The Patriarch climbing to the church roof
In this church, which was built in the fourth century, there are the tombs of the Syriac Orthodox saints St. Joseph, St. Michael, and St. Sirasa.
Stonework in the upper section of an old tablet
RETURN TO ISTANBUL
His Beatitude the Patriarch, together with his entourage, went that same morning to the VIP lounge at the Mardin airport. Seeing him off were Mor Philixinos, Metropolitan of Istanbul and Ankara; Mor Gregorios, Metropolitan of Adiyaman; and lay administrators of the Syriac Orthodox community. His Beatitude the Patriarch took the scheduled 11:20 Turkish Airlines flight to return to Istanbul. He arrived at Yesilkoy airport around 14:00 and was met by the staff of the Patriarchal See and by Bora Baloglu, an officer of the Minorities Branch of the Security Department.