On October 18, 2019, His Holiness Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem II celebrated the Holy Qurobo at the altar of the Martyrs of Sayfo in Mor Aphrem Monastery in Maarat Saydnaya.
During the Qurobo, His Holiness consecrated Very Rev. Raban Boutros Kassis as Archbishop, Patriarchal Assistant and Very Rev. Raban Yacoub Babawi as Archbishop, Patriarchal Vicar for the Affairs of the Monks and for the Administration of Mor Aphrem Theological Seminary in Maarat Saydnaya.
His Holiness was assisted in the Qurobo by their Eminences: Mor Gregorius Saliba Shemoun, Patriarchal Counselor, Mor Theophilus Georges Saliba, Archbishop of Mount Lebanon and Tripoli, Mor Dioscoros Benjamin Atas, Patriarchal Vicar in Sweden, Mor Selwanos Boutros Al-Nehmeh, Archbishop of Homs, Hama, Tartous and Environs, Mor Justinos Boulos Safar, Patriarchal Vicar in Zahleh and Bekaa, Mor Timotheos Moussa Al-Shamani, Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Mor Matta Monastery, Mor Nicodemus Daoud Sharaf, Archbishop of Mosul, Kirkuk, Kurdistan and Environs, Mor Timotheos Matta Al-Khoury, Patriarchal Vicar in the Patriarchal Archdiocese of Damascus, Mor Maurice Amsih, Archbishop of Al-Jazeerah and Euphrates, Mor Georges Kourieh, Patriarchal Vicar of Belgium, France and Luxemburg, and Mor Anthimos Jack Yacoub, Patriarchal Vicar for Youth Affairs and Christian Education, also assisted His Holiness in the consecration rite.
His Eminence Cardinal Mario Zenari, Apostolic Nuncio in Damascus, and His Eminence Armenian Orthodox Archbishop of Damascus Armash Nalbandian, and their Graces Greek Orthodox Archbishops: George Abou Zakhm, Saba Isber, Mousa Khoury, and Maronite Archbishop of Damascus Mgr. Samir Nassar, as well as Rev. Fr. Habib Mrad, Representative of His Beatitude Syriac Catholic Patriarch Mor Ignatius Youssef III Younan, and clergy from the Christian Churches in Damascus, Homs and Aleppo, were also present in the consecration.
In his sermon, His Holiness spoke about the Feast of St. Luke the Evangelist. He also spoke about the joyous occasion of the consecration of the two new Archbishops. At the end, he congratulated the new archbishops wishing them a fruitful service for the church.
During the Qurobo, according to the rite of the Syriac Orthodox Church of Antioch, the new archbishops declared their Orthodox Faith and signed it before His Holiness the Patriarch. His Holiness prayed the prayer of the invocation of the Holy Spirit and the laying on of the hand. He laid on his right hand on the head of Raban Boutros and Raban Yacoub and ordained him as archbishops. Then, His Holiness gave the new archbishops the fatherly names (Mor Boutros and Mor Yacoub), and started to put on them the bishopric vestments. The new Archbishops sat on the bishopric chair; His Holiness placed his right hand over their shoulders and declared thrice: “Axios (worthy)”, while the crowd of faithful repeated the same each time. The new Archbishops were then carried on the chair so they read the special reading from the Holy Bible. At the end, His Holiness gave them the crosier (pastoral staff).
Mor Boutros Kassis spoke about the divine calling and recalled the different stages of his life where the Lord called him to join the seminary, and become a monk, then he was ordained a priest and served in different parishes like Sadad and Aleppo until he was given new responsibilities in the Patriarchate. He thanked the Lord for all His graces.
In turn, Mor Yakoub Babawi spoke about the Grace of God that fills the person with power to do the will of God. He thanked the Lord for all His blessings and prayed to be like the prophets who were always strengthened by the Lord and were able to win the spiritual fights.
After the Qurobo, His Holiness, their Eminences the Archbishops, and the two newly consecrated Archbishops entered the Patriarchal Hall where His Holiness put on the new archbishops the turban and the black robe with red hems, and gave them the small staff. Congratulations were then offered to the new archbishops.