The new Patriarch of the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch and All the East is to be Metropolitan Archbishop John X Yazigi.

Patriarch Youhanna

Prior to his election as Patriarch, on Monday, December 17 2012, he had been our very own Metropolitan Archbishop of Western and Central Europe, based in Paris and before that had been the titular bishop of Pyrgou (al-Hosn), Syria. Prior to that he had been the dean of the St. John of Damascus Institute of Theology (Tripoli, Lebanon), the patriarchal seminary attached to the University of Balamand.

Patriarch John (or Youhanna X [Yaziji]) received a Degree in Theology from the Balamand seminary in 1978, a Diploma in Byzantine Music from the Byzantine Music Conservatory in Thessalonica (1981), and a Ph.D. in Theology, in which he specialized in Liturgics, from the University of Thessalonica (1983).

He was tonsured a monk at the Athonite Monastery of Saint Paul on the Holy Mountain and ordained to the holy diaconate in 1979 followed by ordination to the holy priesthood in 1983.

Whilst still at Balamand, he also served as Professor of Liturgics from 1981-2008 in addition to being the Abbot of St. George Al-Humayrah Patriarchal Monastery (1993-2005) and the Monastery of Our Lady of Balamand (2001-2005).

Our Lady of Balamand Monastery

He has written numerous books and articles on Orthodox theology and liturgics.

He was elected by the members of the Holy Synod during a special session held at the Balamand Patriarchal Monastery of the Dormition of the Most Holy Theotokos.

The date of His Beatitude’s Enthronement has yet to be announced.

As yet, no mention has been made of a replacement for Archbishop John. Please keep the situation, particularly in Syria, where Patriarch John and the whole church face many dangers, and in Western and Central Europe, in your prayers.