LETTER OF JOHN PAUL II
TO HIS BEATITUDE IGNACE PIERRE VIII
PATRIARCH OF ANTIOCH FOR SYRIANS
To His Beatitude Ignace Pierre VIII
Patriarch of Antioch for Syrians
I have just received the message, marked by deep trust in the Lord, informing me of Your Beatitude's election to the Patriarchal See of Antioch for Syrians, and it fills me with joy.
Beloved Brother in Jesus Christ, I wholeheartedly accept your request for ecclesiastical communion, in accordance with the custom and desire of the entire Catholic Church. I am pleased on this occasion to send you my warm congratulations, as I assure you of my fraternal love.
May the Lord, Master of history and Shepherd of the Church, fill you with his graces throughout your new ministry, for the glory of God, the consolation of the souls entrusted to your fatherly care and the good of the universal Church!
As I entrust you to the Virgin Mary, the Theotokos, I assure you of my fervent prayer to the Holy Spirit for the fruitfulness of your patriarchal mission.
Your Beatitude, I offer you and all the members of the Holy Synod a very fraternal embrace, as I impart my affectionate Apostolic Blessing to you and to all the Bishops, priests, religious and faithful of your Patriarchate.
From the Vatican, 20 February 2001.
IOANNES PAULUS II
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