Most beloved and distinguished guest,
We are indeed fortunate to have come from far and near to participate in this historic function, when by the guidance of the Holy Spirit, a new Patriarch is being enthroned on the most ancient and Apostolic See of St.Peter at Antioch, who is to function as the Supreme Spiritual Head of the Universal Syrian Orthodox Church. God's Holy name be praised.
As the Catholicos of the East, I come from the Southern most part of India, which enjoys the glorious mission of the Apostleship of St.Thomas. On behalf of the Syrian Orthodox Church in India, may I convey most hearty felicitations to all the distinguished guests and the eminent elites of this country, who have come to grace this function.
I shall be failing in my duty, if I do not say a word on our late lamented Patriarch H.H. IGNATIUS YAKUB III of blessed memory. He was a wonderful person of initiative and action, in whom we find a harmonious blending of both idealism and realism, where the deep Theology of Mor Sevarious, the sweet musing of Mar Aphraim, the great Philosophy of Bar Hebrus, the marvellous genius of Michael, the great-all these combined in him. Nature had blessed him in a such an abundant manner that one can definitely say "Here is the Man", both heroic and dynamic. We bow our heads in awe and admiration to his memory. Throughout his life, he was involved in a noble attempt of "Bridge Building" - that real Ecumenism be realized in man's relationship with one another, that the barrier between man and man may be cleared. May his soul rest in peace.
The Church which had been bemourning at the untimely lose of its Supreme Pontiff, today shoots its head up in exultation of limitless enthusiasm and joy at the happy tidings of the appearance of a glorious SUN at the Eastern Horizon, in the person of H.H. Ignatius Zakka I. Now as the mantle of Eliah is fittingly fallen upon this Elisha, we believe and hope, that he is capable enough to play the vessel of the Church and of humanity to a haven of prosperity and security. We pray God to bless him profusely that he may as the Prophet Says "ARISE and SHRINE".
A group of believers consisting of bishops, priests and laity, both men and women of different walks of life have come with me from India to attend this blessed function. This is a novel experience and in their name I convey to you all, the best wishes of the Syrian Orthodox Church in India.
Now in the name of all the believers of the Syrian Orthodox Church in India, I offer to our most beloved Supreme Spiritual Father H.H. Moran Mor IGNATIUS ZAKKA I, our Supreme loyalty and unstinted love. We earnestly believe that in his Shepherdship, the Church shall be enriched by a lively spirit of ecumenism, where human values are recognized and respected, where the relation between man and man be established on the divine principle of "BROTHER HOOD" that men can live together and work in better understanding and fellowship, making Ecumenism more meaningful and practical in human affairs.
With prayers, for the long life of our PATRIARCH, and for the well being of all of you, and the States and interests you represent may I conclude.
Consecration ceremony of the H.H. Patriarch Mor Ignatius Zakka I, presided over
by the Catholicos of the East, Aboon Mor Baselios Paulose II