On September 13th 2018, His Holiness Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem II inaugurated the third Suryoyo Youth General Gathering in Syria (SYGG-Syria), at Mor Aphrem Monastery in Maarat Saydnaya – Syria.
His Eminence Mor Timotheos Matthew, Patriarchal Secretary for Indian Affairs, monks, priests, seminarians, and about 250 youth from the four Archdioceses in Syria: Aleppo, Jazeera and Euphrates, Homs, and Damascus, as well as representatives from Lebanon, attended the inauguration.
His Holiness inaugurated the gathering with a prayer in which he asked the Lord’s special blessing for the youth during the coming days.
Then, Very Rev. Raban Jack Yakoub, Director of the Suryoyo Patriarchal Youth Department (SPYD), welcomed the youth at the gathering and spoke about the spiritual aims of it, especially with respect to the personal spiritual, social, moral and humanitarian growth.
A play was then presented portraying the results of making bad decisions and choices, and was concluded with a message for all the youth to choose wisely.
Then, His Holiness Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem II gave a spiritual word in which he hoped that the youth will benefit from this gathering spiritually, strengthen their faith in God, their bonds in their Church. He considered that what choice does a person make, either lifts them or pulls them down. His Holiness assured that the presence of this number of youth is message that Syria with its heritage will always be alive by all its citizens. At the end, His Holiness emphasized the importance of prayer and asking the Lord’s wisdom before making any decision, hoping that the youth choices will be for their holiness and salvation.
Then, His Holiness lit fire for the feast of the finding of the Cross.