Patriarch of the Antioch and all the East H.H Moran Mor Ignatius Zakka-I Iwas arrived here on Monday on a seven-day visit to Kerala.
Amid high security, thousands of devotees thronged the Kochi international airport to accord a tumultuous welcome to the supreme head of the Universal Syrian Orthodox Church.
Fisheries Minister Dominic Presentation received the visiting dignitary on behalf of the state government.
Catholicos Baselious Thomas I and other bishops of the Jacobite Syrian Church received their religious head.
Synod secretary Mor Gregorius Joseph, Patriarchal Assistant to Malankara Mor Julius Kuriakose, Mor Philoxenos Yuhanon, Mor Thimotheos Thomas, Mor Ivanios Mathews, Mor Theophilos Kuriakose, Mor Miltheos Yuhanon, Mor Polycarpus Geevarghese, Mor Athanasius Geevarghese, Mor Dioscorus Kuriakose, Mor Dionysius Geevarghese , Church trusty George Mathew Theketalackal, secretary Thambu George Thukalan,Kozhiparambathu Aliyas Ramban were came to receive H.H.
Member of Parliament Lonappan Nambadan, Member of Legislatives, T.M. Jacob, K. Babu, P.G Joy, T.H Mustafa, Saju Paul, M.A Chandrasekharan, V.J Paulose, U.D.F convener P.P. Thankachan, other public dignitaries were also came to receive His Holiness.
Though tired after a long journey, His Holiness Zakka greeted the people at the airport and extended blessings to the people of Kerala.
The Patriarch arrived by an Emirates flight EK- 350 from Damascus via Dubai to attend a host of religious and public functions during his third visit to the Malankara Church. H.H is accompanied by 12 member delegation, including Mor Athanatius Elia Bahi (Patriarchal Assistant), Pathros Mor Silvanos (Homs), Malki Mor Militius (Australia).
He will be accorded a public reception at Ernakulam on Tuesday marking the beginning of year-long silver jubilee celebrations of his enthronement as the 122nd successor to St Peter.
The Patriarch, later, proceeded to Le-Meridian hotel in Ernakulam. He will have no major functions today.
Tight security had been thrown in and around the airport in view of the prolonged dispute between the two factions of the Church and the strong reservation of rival faction to the visit of the Patriarch and his proposed visits to some of the disputed churches in Kerala.http://ApostolicVisit.cjb.net