Biography of His Beatitude John X
His Beatitude John X was born in 1955 in the city of Lattakia, Syria. His father Mounah Yazigi was from Lattakia, a teacher of Arabic language. His mother Rosa Moussi is from Tripoli, Lebanon. They gave birth to four children – two boys and two girls. His Beatitude’s brother is His Grace Metropolitan Boulos of Aleppo. One sister is a nun. His Beatitude lived and studied in the city schools. He graduated from the University of Teshreen with a Bachelor of Civil Engineering. During his university studies, he played an active and leading role with the youth, which led to the establishment of a Byzantine Music School and many spiritual youth programs. His work led to a great spiritual revival among his generation.
In 1978, His Beatitude graduated from the St. John of Damascus Institute of Theology, University of Balamand, with a Bachelor in Theology. In 1983 he graduated from the University of Thessaloniki, Greece with a doctoral degree in Liturgia. He was awarded the Doctorate with distinction. The title of his doctoral thesis published in Greek is: "The Service of Holy Baptism: An Historical, Theological, and Liturgical Study." In 1981, and simultaneously with his doctoral studies, His Beatitude earned a Diploma in Byzantine Music from the Conservatory of Byzantine Music in Thessaloniki, Greece.
His Eminence Metropolitan John Mansour of Lattakia ordained John Yazigi a deacon in 1979 and a priest in 1983. As priest he served in the Archdiocese of Lattakia. Since 1981, he taught courses on Liturgics at the St. John of Damascus Institute of Theology at the University of Balamand. During the periods of 1988-1991 and 2001-2005 he served as Dean of the Institute of Theology. In addition, he served as Abbot of St. George Al Humayrah Patriarchal Monastery in Syria. There he founded a monastic community and a school of ecclesiastic studies. He also served as the Abbot of the Our Lady of Balamand Patriarchal Monastery in the years 2001-2005. His Beatitude is the spiritual father of the Convent of our Lady of Blemmana in Tartous, Syria.
In 1995, the Holy Synod of Antioch elected him as the Bishop of Pyrgou, an area called in Arabic Wadi An-Nasara or Al-Hosn. He served there till 2008 when he was elected by the Holy Synod as the Metropolitan of Europe. He was elected by the Holy Synod meeting in Balamand Monastery as Patriarch of Antioch and all the East on Monday December 17th, 2012.
In addition to his pastoral care in these parishes, he was involved in many worldwide activities at the ecumenical, Christian and especially Orthodox Christian spheres. He participated in many international conferences in Greece, Italy, Switzerland, Cyprus, United States of America, Russia, and the United Kingdom.
His Beatitude is distinguished by his ecclesiastic, national and ecumenical presence shown through his participation in many conferences, on the national and international levels. He is renowned for his clear vision, based on truth, and eagerness to find the best solutions for conflicts amongst parties. He is known by his compassionate and friendly character. He is a good listener, and a faithful steward for those in need.
Wherever he worked, His Beatitude proved to be a man of action and a good sower of the Word of God, seeking to reveal the beauty of the Spouse of Christ and making Her shiny and strong. He is known by his closeness to the Youth and his ability to involve them in the service of the church, their society and their nation. He is a good administrator, and a proven man who knows how to work with others and reinforce institutions. He played a leading role in Higher Education while he was Dean of the St. John of Damascus Institute of Theology.
His Beatitude is the author of several books on theology, education, music, and liturgy. He published a series on liturgical studies. He edited the liturgical books of the Orthodox Church in Arabic, and more specifically the liturgical books of the archbishops, priests and deacons. In addition, he translated and wrote many articles, and gave many lectures in different universities, parishes and institutes.
- The Service of Baptism: A Historic, Theological and Liturgical Study, Thessalonica, 1983 [Greek] (in fulfillment of the PHD Thesis Requirements).
- Principles of Byzantine Music, Balamand, 1990, Second Edition 2001.
- The Life of St. Nectarios the Wonderworker, Lattakya, 1990.
- Priesthood & Marriage of Priests, Lattakya, 1992
- Baptism as a Sacrament of Initiation into the Life in Christ, Lattakya, 1992.
- The Liturgikon, St. George Al-Humayrah Patriarchal Monastery, 2001, Second edition 2005.
- The Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysotom, Al-Humayrah Patriarchal Monastery, 2001
- The Prayers Before and After Holy Communion, St. George Al-Humayrah Patriarchal Monastery, 2003
- The Presanctified Liturgy, Al-Humayrah Patriarchal Monastery, 2001
- Introduction to the Liturgical Families and Rites (English) St. John of Damascus Institute of Theology, 2003.
- Introduction to the Liturgical Families and Rites (Arabic) St. John of Damascus Institute of Theology, 2003
- The Service of Matrimony: Past and Present, St. John of Damascus Institute of Theology, 2003.
- The Paraklesis Service, Balamand Patriarchal Monastery, 2004
- Liturgical Guide in Services and Prayers, St. John of Damascus Institute of Theology, University of Balamand, 2005.
- Liturgical Sources, St. John of Damascus Institute of Theology, University of Balamand, 2005
- Church Praises, The Diocese of Pyrgou, 2006.
- Divine Worship,The Diocese of Pyrgou, 2007.
- The Service of the Diaconate, Blemana Convent, 2007.
- The Service of the Archbishops, The Diocese of Pyrgou, 2007.
- The life of Our Holy Righteous Mother Makrina, by St. Gregory of Nyssa, An-Nour Publications, 1984.
- For Those Who Believe in Justification by Works, by St. Mark the Monk, in Chapters in Prayers and Spiritual Life, An-Nour, 1990.
- "The Meaning of the Church From an Eastern point of view," The Institute for Orthodox Studies Cambridge, 2002 .
- "The Mystery of Repentance, Conference on Eastern Liturgics," Holy Spirit University - Kaslik, 2000.
- "The Hymnographic Contribution of the Antiochian Orthodox Church to the Byzantine Liturgical System During the Sixth and Seventh Centuries," University of Balamand, 1999.
- "The Byzantine Divine Liturgy, A Conference on Liturgics," the Holy Sprit University, Kaslik, 2004.
- "The Unmerceneries Healers of the Church," A Lecture on the occasion of the 125th Anniversary of the St. George Hospital, Beirut, 2002.
- "Antioch: Its Theology and Pastoral Care," A Lecture on the occasion of the annual priestly convention of the Antiochian Christian Archdiocese of North America, Pennsylvania, 2002.
Biography of His Eminence Metropolitan Saba
His Eminence, the Most Reverend Saba Isper is the Archbishop of New York and Metropolitan of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America. His Beatitude Patriarch John X of Antioch and All the East and the Holy Synod of Antioch elected His Eminence to lead the Archdiocese during its extraordinary session on Feb. 23, 2023, in Balamand, Lebanon.
His Eminence will lead and oversee the Archdiocese's parishes, missions, departments, institutions and organizations in the United States and Canada from the headquarters in Englewood, New Jersey. The auxiliary bishops aid him in his administration across the continent.
Metropolitan Saba was born in Latakia, Syria in 1959. He holds a bachelor's degree in civil engineering from the University of Tishreen in Latakia, and a bachelor's degree in theology from the St. John of Damascus Institute of Theology in Balamand. His Eminence is fluent in Arabic and English.
Prior to his election as Metropolitan of North America, His Eminence cofounded The Hauran Connection with the Diocese of Wichita and Mid-America. This charitable project enhances Orthodoxy in this ancient Christian land in the face of strife. More than $1 million has been raised since 2007.
Developmental projects and charitable endowments for the Bosra Archdiocese under Metropolitan Saba include a medical clinic in As-Suwayda, dormitories for 150 university students in As-Suwayda and Daraa; 48 studios for retirees in The House of Love; the Bethany Spiritual Retreat Center in Kharaba; Bread for All that distributes food to the poor regardless of religion; ongoing agricultural projects; and The Good Samaritan, a multifaceted charitable organization for parishioners displaced or affected by the recent Syrian war.
His Eminence was ordained a priest in 1988 and elevated to the dignity of archimandrite in 1994. He pastored St. Michael the Archangel Church in the Archdiocese of Latakia until 1998. During that time, Metropolitan Saba edited and published the Orthodox Christian magazine Farah geared toward children and families.
In 1998, Metropolitan Saba was elected and consecrated as an auxiliary bishop to His Beatitude Patriarch Ignatius IV of thrice-blessed memory. In 1999, His Beatitude and the Holy Synod of Antioch elected him as metropolitan of the Archdiocese of Bosra, Hauran and Jabal Al-Arab in Syria.
Simultaneously with his pastoral and episcopal duties, from 1995-2006, His Eminence served as instructor of Pastoral Care and Introduction to the Old Testament at the St. John of Damascus Institute of Theology in Balamand.
His Eminence established a publishing house in the Bosra Archdiocese, the Al-Arabiya magazine for adults, and continued issuing Farah for children. An English version has been produced since 2010. Metropolitan Saba authors weekly articles on his Facebook page and has written on various topics in Al-Noor, Patriarchal and Al Arabiya magazines. He has authored a number of books in pastoral life and theology.
Metropolitan Saba has also translated a number of titles from English to Arabic, including works by Metropolitan Kallistos Ware, Metropolitan Anthony Bloom, Metropolitan Hilarion Alfeyev and Protopresbyter Thomas Hopko.
His Eminence's patron saint is St. Saba (Sabbas) the Sanctified, commemorated on Dec. 5.