Armenian Catholic Catholicos Patriarch of Cilicia
to celebrating the heavenly Liturgy,” says Gregorios III
“We were very sad and upset to learn of the departure from this life of H. B. Nerses Bedros XIX of blessed memory, Armenian Catholic Catholicos Patriarch of Cilicia. He has gone from celebrating the Divine Liturgy here below to celebrating the heavenly Liturgy.
“We have lost a brother, friend and dearly loved colleague. We shared a deep ecclesial friendship and saw eye to eye on ecclesial, liturgical and pastoral matters, bouncing ideas off one another and sharing plans and projects.
“H. B. Nerses Bedros XIX was a clear-sighted, faithful and caring pastor, an expert in canon law and deeply cultured person. As head of a Church deeply rooted in the Christian East, vigilant over its heritage and legacy, he was at the same time a faithful defender of the See of Rome and of union with Rome, another point on which we found ourselves happily in agreement at assemblies and meetings.
“We thank God for such an honourable patriarch devoted to his Church even as we mourn the loss of a friend.
“On my own behalf and in the name of the Holy Synod of the Melkite Greek Catholic Church, we offer to the beloved Armenian Catholic Church’s bishops and faithful, especially the kinfolk of the late, great patriarch, and to all our brother patriarchs of the Eastern Catholic Churches our most sincere condolences and prayers for the repose of the soul of this dear friend and colleague. May he rest among the saints!
“May our Lord God and Saviour, the Shepherd of our souls, receive him in the bridal chamber of the Lamb, whither he has preceded us, and prepare for him the blessing of eternal bliss and rest in a place of brightness, refreshment and repose, whence all sickness, sighing and sorrow have fled away… everything that our Lord who loves mankind has prepared for us and that no eye, heart or reason can imagine.
“With the saints give rest, O Christ, to the soul of thy servant, where there is neither pain, nor sorrow, nor sighing, but life everlasting.”
Patriarch of Antioch and All the East
Of Alexandria and of Jerusalem