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W6nnews.com ==== وطن === تاريخ النشر – 2021-04-30 06:47:23
You stand in front of the image of Metropolitan Elijah Karam, who was raised as an angel on the throne of the newly created diocese of the mountain at the time, from 1935 to 1969. The other beautiful Antiochene.
Undoubtedly, in this picture a magic that the black and white give it greater magic, a magic in which it is attractive, a magic that speaks to you in the silence of this talking speaking picture, a magic that draws you to this wretched and powerful person. Beyond the attractive black and white, there will be many colors and colors that arise from this quiet presence, linking you to it and making you search for it, what it is and its composition.
What is this secret? The secret of this modesty that is read on the formations of this purposeful and present face? What is this secret, the secret of an honest, deep, true and authentic look? If you see it once, you feel that you need to visit it again. If you watch it once, you cannot go indifferent. If you see it once, you have a feeling that you must read it, in its composition, in its colors, and in the person in its midst. If you see it once, you feel that you are in an extraordinary personal presence inhabited by some glory, a glory from another era, a splendor from another time, from another stage, a splendor in which there is a holiness, it simulates sons in the past and you may simulate children in the present who yearn for a word Today and today.
When you look deeply at the black and white portrait of Metropolitan Elia Karam, you are struck first by the suit on his head. The carriage covered with white plaque surmounted by the cross is an indication that this seminary is a high priest in a prominent ecclesiastical rank. It is not an Antiochene tradition, but rather a Slavic tradition among the Russians and Serbs, with the difference that in the Serbian Church, as in the Roman Church as well, only the Patriarch wears the head of the Church. In Belarus, while in Russia it is a tradition for all high priests who have the highest rank in the Russian Church, that is, the rank of metropolitan.
Whoever looks at the picture of our master Elijah Karam feels for the first time that you are in front of a portrait of one of the imams of the Russian Orthodox Church. How not and Archbishop Ilya Karam was honored with a Russian, for he who has an exceptional personality, has great and lasting exploits and relations with Russia, especially through the famous incident that took place in 1942 and related to Russia’s spiritual salvation from the Nazi attack on it.
Was he not the one who answered the call of Metropolitan (later Patriarch) Alexei I, and the call made by the Antiochian Patriarch Alexandros to the bishops and seminarians in the Antiochian See with the aim of holding prayers and reciting meditations to protect Russia from the Nazi threat? Is it not he who appeared to him as a pillar of fire in the monastery of Nuria and entrusted him with the delivery of a spiritual message to send to those in power in Russia (at that time Stalin was the atheist who persecuted the Church in Russia for twenty years ago) to take a decision to stop the attack on the church and to release the detainees and exiles from clerics and monks. They circumnavigate all military fronts leading the marches with the icon of the famous Kazan lady, the protector of Russia? Was he not the one who was invited by Stalin in 1947 to the victory ceremonies and won medals and awards for his role in protecting Russia? Was he not the one who visited Russia again in 1948 and participated in the all-inclusive Orthodox meeting (Pan-Orthodox) in which some of the Orthodox and Antiochian churches participated from them and was foretelling the return of the Russian Church to the arena? Was he not the one who visited Russia for the last time in 1963, at the height of the nearly nuclear conflict between the Soviet Krushchev and the American Kennedy?
The second thing that draws attention and worth noting is the fact that the bishop appears in the picture with the white lattice topped with the cross, and on his chest there are two icons of a (Uncolpian in Greek) and a cross, and this tripartite meeting is one of the customs of the patriarch’s dress alone, since the cross is surrounded by two breast icons. The overarching ecclesiastical perfectionism which is at the core of the service of the first servant of all, that is, the patriarch. This may be another evidence that the service of Bishop Karam was seen as a university whose leadership is unquestionable.
As for the third scene, it is the dress of the mandias that are on the shoulders of the bishop in the picture, which is a Greek word meaning the long, purple-colored robe with which the head of the monastery or the high priest is received and is dressed as an indication of his ecclesiastical authority, since this robe is gilded on the sides and embroidered with golden threads and contains icon images The Lord and His Cross, and sometimes the images of the Mother of God icon, and some other times the Four Evangelists. Around the edges of the mandayas, we see the badges and the decorations on the chest of Archbishop Karam as an indication here also of his exploits in serving the church in a decent and useful manner on several occasions.
There are people from the past, who did not pass, and if they did, their past did not pass, and if it passed, they return and suddenly enter you from a place you do not know. You do not know them well, you do not know their relatives, you have not browsed their writings, and you have not yet delved into the details of who they were, with whom they worked, and how they worked. You may have heard about them and read a little about them, without ever touching their face closely with personal knowledge, or immersing yourself in their identity, biography and writings. Suddenly they enter you by force and you find yourself close to them, close to them, tied to the beginning of a longing to know them more. These people turn to you as an unexpected guest, so you welcome them, celebrate them and talk to them … and from a conversation that leads to the conversation, you start an accompanying journey with them and you read in their book and their biography what is useful to you today, now, here, and the others … and Bishop Karam is from this clarity that pushes you to know him more, And more research in the history of his care and his episcopate
Many elements, I believe, should urge us to search and illuminate more on the life, care and bishopric of this venerable bishop in appearance and path.
First, being a disciple of one of the most important Antiochian patriarchs in the twentieth century, that is, the Triangle of Merciful Antiochian Orthodox Patriarch Gregory IV, who is considered one of the most important patriarchs in modern ecclesiastical history, who had exploits during the First World War and its aftermath and who also had good relations with Russia as he is Who presided in 1913, at the request of Tsar Nicholas II, the three hundred years of celebrations at the time on the ascension of the Romanov family to the throne of the Tsars in Moscow, and was called the father of the poor who did not distinguish between a Muslim and a Christian, and he was a conscious and straightforward national mission in which no one flirted and was the loyal national companion to the prince Faisal bin Sharif Hussein al-Hashemi, who remained loyal to him even when the winds of politics and interests in the region changed after the end of the First World War.
Second, the fact that Bishop Karam lived a pivotal period in the history of the Arab region, especially Lebanon and Syria, the lungs of the Antioch Chair. This is an important factor that should push you to know more about it, and to research more about the history of his parish and his bishopric in a period that is one of the most important and accurate contemporary historical periods in the history of the Antiochian Orthodox See, both ecclesiastically and nationally.
Indeed, this period is not only important from the ecclesiastical aspect, but also socially, politically and geopolitically important in the region, as it accompanied all the transformations of Lebanon and Syria during this period and their transformations of manifestations and failures that were established to establish the Antiochene Church, in one way or another, in the seventies, eighties and nineties of the last century to today. And in it there were many accumulations, contradictions and sensitivities that must be read today with ecclesiastical calmness and historical objectivity, as it exhausted the Antioch chair and made it questionable … reading the geography of care and the bishopric of Bishop Karam in all that period of time that God granted this bishop from 1935 to 1969 upon his dormition, In an outgrowth diocese, which is a central and central diocese on the Lebanese side of the Antiochian Orthodox See and is also central to the geography of the Antiochian See as a whole, it is useful for a constructive critical reading of this period objectively that does not deny the positive when it exists nor the negativity if it is found
As for the third element, it is in the model of modest, gentle care close to people and the poor … How not when he was a student in Damascus at the hands of Patriarch Gregory IV and learned from him how to be in the service of the poor regardless of their religion. His care was always repeated: I am a bishop on behalf of human beings and not a bishop for the stone, as he used to cling to the saying of the Saint (the Alexandrian Patriarch)
John the Rahim, the poor are our masters. Is it not beautiful and has an ecclesiastical secret that the apostolic sequence of this humble, venerable service close to people is also evident by the fact that Bishop Karam was the one who set up the priestly and diaconate ordination of that other meek saint, our master Paul Pandali?
Not to mention, the end, that this gentleness of the Church did not miss the icon, which was known for his adherence to the icon and his love for her, nor the presence of the Mother of God on behalf of our master Elijah Karam. The biography of the bishop was printed by three important and miraculous icons, the icon of Our Lady of Kazan, the protector of Russia, the icon of Our Lady of Nuria, the protector of the Lebanese and Antiochian coast, and the icon of Our Lady of Em-Grace, a rapid response in his town of Hamdoun, which has a long history of response and aid …
The end, of course, every biography bears criticism or praise. We are not advocates of any criticism that does not have a structure or a gathering element, and we are not advocates of any praise that is an evocation and a false reverence that does not benefit the Church and its growth and the sincerity and purity of its testimony. Of course, there are different ecclesiastical and internal considerations about this long ecclesiastical period where Bishop Elijah was an angel over the diocese of the mountain, which may be sensitive and require calmness, refinement and accuracy in analysis and flight, but I believe we are not heirs but rather we are sons … and therefore we are as sons of Antioch the Great, now and here. For what remain ahead of us in terms of challenges and transformations, to read spiritual readings of the historical and real-time experiences that we have gone through and are going through (from before the Lebanese crisis from the seventies of the last century, through the Syrian crisis to the crises of the world today …) To read the signs of the times in them and the Lord’s face through them And what he is asking of us, from each of us.
Yes, we have to read the present Antiochene time in light of the lights and contradictions of that other beautiful Antiochian time in which the bishop lived as generous and took care of the people of God, and see how he interacted with his brothers other chief priests and with the challenges at that time, a time that some loved and criticized by others, and I see in it Elements mixed with each other and colored in different colors, including white, black and gray, but their whiteness is not greater white, and the blackness is not greater black. Of course, it is not required to compare that time with the present time, negatively or positively, as if the ecclesiastical times are confronting, clashing or competing. Rather, what is required is that we have an objective historical and ecclesiastical narrative that harmonizes with the past, which is interconnected and intertwined with it … Perhaps we do not forget that what is required, ecclesiastically and spiritually, is not to fast towards the past, but towards
Toward the future, that is, toward the kingdom of the Father, the Son, and the Blessed Holy Spirit, which is the only and only goal, and the way to the goal.