Preparations for Patriarch’s visit begin

Kochi – Preparations are on for the visit of Patriarch Ignatius Aphrem II, head of the Jacobite Syrian Orthodox Church, to India beginning February 7.

The Patriarch will lead a 35-member delegation, including seven bishops, to India on his first visit. The Patriarch will be in Kerala as a State guest, and address public gatherings at Kottayam, Puthenkurisu, and Manjanikkara, said a spokesman for the committee which is making arrangements for the visit.

He said various committees had been constituted to oversee preparations for the visit. Invitations had been sent out to dignitaries to attend the Patriarch’s functions, reported

On his first day in Kerala, the Patriarch would attend the synod of the bishops at the Puthenkurisu Patriarchal Centre and later address mediapersons at the same venue, said the spokesman.

On the following day he would be at Manarkadu to offer mass at St. Mary’s Jacobite Syrian Church.

Later in the day, he would address a public meeting at the Nehru Stadium in Kottayam.

The Patriarch would also lead the mass at the Manjanikkara church at the memorial feast of former Patriarch of Antioch and All the East St. Ignatius Elias III.

He would consecrate the new church at Malekkurisu Dayara, near Puthenkurisu, and inaugurate a new home for the aged at Malekkurisu.

The Patriarch would address the Maramon convention, scheduled to begin on February 9. The organisers of the programmes said the Patriarch had also set aside a day to be spent at the Knanaya diocese at Chingavanam.

Among the places the Patriarch would visit in Kerala are Kothamangalam, Piravom, Kunnamkulam, North Paravoor, Pallikkara, Kandanad, and Mulamthuruthy. He is scheduled to leave for Delhi on February 16.

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