Thursday, February 2, 2012

Met. Elia (Saliba) of Hama's Eulogy for Fr. Basilios Nassar

The Arabic original can be found here. I can't tell if this is the entire eulogy or simply excerpts. If anyone can find a more complete Arabic version, please let me know. 

All thanks, gratitude, and respect to our master His Beatitude Patriarch Ignatius IV Hazim, who, from the very first moment he heard about our loss contacted me to console his family and the faithful, and sent Bishops Mousa and Ghattas to participate in the prayers. I thank them and I thank you all for taking part and I ask God to comfort us all.

The loss of the dear spiritual son Father Basilios Nassar is a difficult experience for all of us, especially for his family and for his metropolitan. But what can be done, this has occurred and there is no power and no strength except in God, from Whom we  draw help, strength, and patience and in Whom alone we take refuge in hardship and adversity, saying with the Psalmist, "O Lord of Hosts, be with us for there is no helper in sorrows but You. O Lord of Hosts, have mercy on us." We are in need of help and of God's mercy at every stage of our life, in joy and sorrow.

Beloved, all of you know Father Basilios, this dear son among the clergy, disciplined, intelligent, gifted, enthusiastic, helpful... He was undertaking a service for others when he was martyred... He went as a sacrifice to undertaking his duty, knowing precisely that our Church is the Church of martyrdom and bearing witness, bearing witness to the Lord Jesus and martyrdom for the sake of faith in Him.

I am puzzled, dear ones, as to whom to console. Should I console his family? I am even more in need of consolation. His family offered him to the Church and he was a point of love and appreciation. All know this, whether he was here or in the metropolitan's residence. He brought his enthusiasm to all the Archdiocese...

Let us all ask for great mercy and rest in the Kingdom for him and consolation and patience for all of us. God is the only comforter and He is with those who are patient.

Elia (Saliba)
Metropolitan of the Archdiocese of Hama
January 26, 2012

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