To His Beatitude Ignace Youssif III Younan
Patriarch of Antioch for Syrians
I have just received, Your Beatitude, the message full of deep trust in the Lord with which you inform me of your election to the Patriarchal See of Antioch for Syrians and it fills me with joy.
I accept very willingly, Beloved Brother in Jesus Christ, your request for ecclesiastical communion in conformity with the practice and with the wishes of the whole Catholic Church. On this occasion, I am pleased to address my warm congratulations to you, while I assure you of my fraternal love.
May the Lord, Master of history and Shepherd of the Church, crown you with his graces throughout your new ministry, for the glory of God, the consolation of the souls entrusted to your fatherly solicitude and the good of the universal Church!
As I entrust you to Our Lady of Deliverance, I assure you of my fervent prayers to the Holy Spirit that your patriarchal mission may bear much fruit.
Your Beatitude, I offer a most fraternal kiss to you and to all the members of the Holy Synod, as I impart to you and to all the Bishops, priests, men and women religious and faithful of your Patriarchate my affectionate Apostolic Blessing.
From the Vatican, 22 January 2009
BENEDICTUS PP. XVI
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