History of The Syriac Catholic Church

Antioch: The Syriac Catholic Church belongs to the See of Antioch (which prior to his departure to Rome, Saint Peter established) and extends it roots back to the primitive Christianity in the Orient. And in the Acts of the Apostles we are told that it is in Antioch where the followers of Jesus for the first time were called “Christians” (Acts 11:26).

History: In the time of the first Ecumenical Councils, the Patriarch of Antioch held the ecclesiastical authority over the Diocese of the Orient, which was to be extended from the Mediterranean Sean to the Persian Gulf. Its scholarly mission in both languages: the Greek and Syriac was to provide the world and the Universal Church with eminent saints, scholars, hermits and pastors. Among these great people are Saint Ephrem (373), Doctor of the Church, Saint Jacob of Sarug (521) Dionysius Bar Salibi (1171) and Gregorius X Bar Hebraeus (1286).

In modern history the distinguished leaders of the Syriac Catholic Church have been among others: Patriarch Ignatius Michael Djarweh, Archbishop Clemens Daoud, Patriarch Ephrem Rahmani, Vicomte de Tarrazi, Monsignor Ishac Armaleh, Patriarch-Cardinal Gabriel Tappouni and Chorbishop Gabriel Khoury-Sarkis.

The present Syriac Catholic Patriarch of Antioch is Mar Ignace Pierre VIII since February 2001 and resides in Beirut, Lebanon. At this title he presides upon the Patriarchal Eparchy of Beirut and leads spiritually all the Syriac Catholic Community around the world.

More over, the patriarch emeritus, his eminency Cardinal Ignace Moussa Daoud preside the congregation for eastern churches. The patriarch Mar Ignace Antoine II Hayek who was elected patriarch in 1968 took his reverence few years ago, and lives always in Lebanon.

Our Community includes two Archdioceses in Iraq, four in Syria, one in Egypt and Sudan, a Patriarchal Vicariate in the Holy Land, a Patriarchal Vicariate in Turkey and our Diocese of Our Lady of Deliverance in the United States and Canada.

Liturgy: The Syriac Rite is rooted in the old tradition of both churches of Jerusalem and Antioch and has ties with the ancient Jewish Berakah and is usually called the Western Syriac Rite. The main Syriac Liturgy is called the “Anaphora of Saint James” (brother of the Lord).

The People:
Throughout history the Syriac people have been known as the “Arameans” who were from the Biblical countries of Aram near the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers and were the first disciples of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Language: Their ancient Semitic language is known as Aramaic (or “Syriac” after the time of Christ since the majority of people who spoke this language belonged to the province of “Syria”). It is the same language that was spoken by Jesus, Mary and the Apostles and is still the language used during the liturgy. Many of the ancient hymns of the Church are still maintained in this native tongue although several have been translated into Arabic, English, French and other languages to benefit the faithful.

Rome: The Syriac Catholic Church was formally and officially united with Rome in 1781

North America: Our Lady of Deliverance Syriac Catholic Diocese in the United States and Canada is comprised of nine parishes; seven in the United States and 2 in Canada.