Archbishop’s Teaching

Easter Sunday, 15.4.2012

Sunday of Easter

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Al Masyhou Qam,

On this morning of the Resurrection I want to focus an and meditate with you, on four points highlighting the importance of the resurrection that we celebrate today:

  1. God raised His Son from the dead on the third day. It is the essence of our Christian Faith which is practically based on this confession and this announcement. God the creator of the universe, God who is the God of life and the Lord of death, God who through His plan of salvation wished to send His only begotten Son to our humanity, and became man, God who wanted to give life back to humans as they were in eternal death, has raised His Son from the dead, His Son who is true man and true God and new life is given through Him. This time, the human being is liberated from eternal death, and is filled with eternal life that is realized through His resurrection. It is the foundation of our Christian faith.
  2. Jesus is no longer in the tomb. The tomb is empty, He is not there. In fact, He has returned to His father and lives with us, at the same time. His kingdom is that of His father, but also the heart of man. He says in His Gospel: “The kingdom of God is within you.” In order to see it, to feel it, to leap of its hope, our eyes and heart should look at the sky but also at the depth of our being. We have to live the presence of the resurrected and living Christ in the depth of our hearts otherwise faith becomes an external religious action tasteless and without fruits.
  3. The theological and spiritual space of His encounter is the Eucharistic banquet. We know that the Holy Eucharist of every Sunday is a celebration of the resurrection. And today’s feast is a strong time that reminds us of the historical time of Jesus in which the Pascal Mystery was realized. But it is every Sunday that the Church celebrates in depth, the resurrection. In other words, we have to celebrate this every week rather than every year, that is once a year, or occasionally. How beautiful it is, to meet Jesus every Sunday in the Holy Eucharist and to celebrate His resurrection, having children, young people and families grow in this deep and living faith.
  4. The human space of the resurrection is each person that God puts to our path every day of our lives. It is exactly here that the confession of the resurrection is realized. It relates to living the values of the Gospel, the values of hope, peace, reconciliation, forgiveness, brotherhood so as to build together a human society where God is the Lord of the Lords, and where His love dominates the hearts and thoughts. It relates to destroying the walls of hatred, divisions, prejudices and injustices. It relates to be set free and believe in human freedom. It relates to rediscover among us the beauty and richness of our land, of our island, where the first communities have born witness of the risen Christ. It is the place where many cultures managed to live together, despite challenges and difficulties. The world needs examples, witnesses of the resurrection through unity and love, through truth and light.

I wish to all of you Happy Easter, where everyone assumes responsibility of transmitting the faith in the living Christ, source of our hope, to Him be glory for ever, Amen.

Nicosia, 15th April 2012

† Youssef Soueif

Maronite Archbishop of Cyprus


Archbishop’s Teaching

Second Sunday after Easter, Sunday of Thomas, 22.4.2012

2nd Sunday after Easter

2 Cor 5/11-21; John 20/26-31

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,

«Peace be with you»

It is the first word addressed by Jesus to His disciples and to the whole world after His resurrection from the dead. Humanity accepts the gift of peace. It is the reconciliation that was realized with His death and resurrection, between man and God the Father. It is the fruit of the offer of Christ Himself, realized on the cross. This peace has transformed the doubt of Thomas to a living and deep faith, I would say more personal, when he confesses in front of Jesus, saying: « My Lord and my God» In this way, all those who believe and confess: « You are Christ, the Son of the Living God» will have eternal life.

We received the peace of Christ through our baptism. This peace is renewed in the Holy Eucharist, in prayer and in the personal relationship with the Lord. This inner peace is manifested spontaneously and naturally in the public sphere, in order to build a human society based on peace among men. It relates to the building of the culture of peace, the culture of reconciliation and of forgiveness. During this hour, everything is transformed, the doubts, the hostilities, the divisions, the conflicts and all kinds of evil, to a brotherly love and family spirit experienced in this multicultural human family, so rich in diversity but united in the love of God and the respect of others.

Let us built our lives based on the peace of Christ. Let us live the peace in our society here where we live and in our wider region which is lacking peace, through the intercession of the Virgin Mary, Queen of peace and Saint George who defeated evil with his faith.


Nicosia, 22 April 2012

† Youssef Soueif

Maronite Archbishop of Cyprus


Archbishop’s Teaching

Archbishop’s Teaching: Sunday of the Two Disciples on the Road to Emmaus, 29.4.2012

Sunday of the disciple of Emmaus, 29.4.2012 - Homely of the Archbishop

3rd Sunday after Easter 2 Tim 2/8-13; luck 24/13-35

One of them, who was called Cleopas asked Him: “Are you the only person staying in Jerusalem who does not know the things that have happened there, these last few days?” (Luke 24:18)

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,

But what happened in those days? It is the question asked by the disciples of Emmaus, but it is also the question asked by each one of us in his life as disciple and baptized. It is the question motivated by faith but also by sorrow, by love but also by despair. It is the question that indicates the conflict that exists inside a human person, a search for truth and a march towards truth. The sorrow of those two disciples was caused by the fact that they were hoping for a Messiah with worldly power as all the kings of the world, whereas He announced that His kingdom was not of this world. They followed Him like so many others, but at the hour of the cross, this hour so difficult to be handled, they abandoned Him, and returned sorrowful and disappointed to their villages, to their old way of life, to their past, being aware of the happening but without understanding the meaning of it. Jesus marches with them and as pedagogue, brother, knower and examiner of their hearts, He helps them to open their hearts to the truth, and ultimately to His own truth as Lord and Resurrected. That knowledge, that light, that transformation, that joy that prevailed in their hearts, took flesh in the breaking of bread that is in Holy Eucharist, and they urged Him strongly: «Stay with us, for it is nearly evening, the day is almost over. So He entered the village to stay with them.” (Luke 24:29).

Dear brothers and sisters, it is right here, in the Holy Eucharist that we encounter the Risen Christ. It is here that we proclaim His death and resurrection, and from here that we are called to witness our faith in Him, to live following His example in the world, in integrity, in a spirit of brotherhood, of love and peace. Today’s world needs witnesses of the resurrection that will announce the good news to everyone. Christian life is a plan of life and all life marches in that spirit, otherwise all consistency and authenticity is lost. In front of this divided world, in front of sorrow and the pain of humanity, only the truth of the risen Christ consoles people. Christ is our strength, Christ is our joy, Christ is our peace, He has risen and we are the witnesses. Amen.

Nicosia, 29 April 2012

† Youssef Soueif Maronite Archbishop of Cyprus


Archbishop’s Teaching

Monday after Easter, 16.4.012

Monday after Easter

1 Cor 15/1-11; Marc 16/9-14

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

On this feast day of the Virgin Mary I want to meditate with you on the virtues of Virgin Mary who participated in the glory of Her alive and resurrected Son, as well as on the behavior of the other Maries. I quote the following three points:

  1. The presence of Mary. She accompanied Her Son who was born to accomplish the will of His Father, from the first moment of His mission. In the temple on the eighth day and when he became twelve years old, as well as during His teaching, she understood very well that He had come to fulfill the will of God the Father, this Daughter of David, who was called by Him to become Mother of the Son and of all of us, on the cross, at the hour of glory, in the resurrection and with the apostles in the upper room during Pentecost. Mary is the daughter, mother, friend, image of the Church who shares what She has lived with the apostles and continues to share it will each one of us, in front of His cross, in His glory. She inspires us the peace of the heart of Her Son Jesus.
  2. The other Maries. The other Maries have experienced themselves the presence of Jesus in their lives. Mary Magdalene, sentenced to death for adultery, but forgiven through His love and compassion, was the first to announce the biggest event in human history, He is no longer there, He has risen. She who wept for her sin, she who wept in front of the love of God who freed her, she who wept of joy for His victory over death, over His death and over ours, announces that He is alive; He is alive for all of us mortals. Let us approach Him. He is the God of the living and not of the mortals.
  3. Mary and her sister Martha. They asked for the life of their brother, his resurrection. In order to prepare the big event, and in the context of Easter and especially the new Easter which is His, which is Himself, Jesus resurrects Lazarus from the dead and shows that He is the source of life. Mary wanted to leave everyone and everything in order to hear His word, while Martha devoted in His service. Mary listened and Martha served. We are in front of a beautiful picture of the Church, but listening preludes service. A good hearing of the word of God so as to understand His desire leads to a good service towards others; otherwise service is given without meaning and purpose. Jesus is the servant of humanity like someone who listens to the voice of His Father and fulfils His will. His death on the cross is the greatest service of mankind, whom He transferred from death to eternal life.

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,

We are called to witness the living God like the Virgin Mary and the other Maries. She is the Theotokos, who accompanies us and our community on this land of our fathers and ancestors. To Her we offer our villages, our island and the whole world and we ask Her to guide us in the path of Her Son. Amen.

Nicosia, 16 April 2012

† Youssef Soueif

Maronite Archbishop of Cyprus


Archbishop’s Teaching

Archbishop’s Points on the Year of Faith

The Faith

The Christian faith is the biggest gift that man receives in his life. It is the free gift of God the Father to man, called to participate in his life, this life that was given back to us by Jesus Christ, the only Son of the Father through His Death and Resurrection, and that we have received by the Holy Spirit that makes us understand the importance of this gift. Faith is also our positive response to God expressing that we accept to live with Him all the days of our lives.

We have received faith through baptism while participating in the death and in the life of Jesus Christ; this faith is nourished and becomes concrete every time we participate in the Eucharistic banquet listening to the Word of God which is Spirit and Life.

Faith is transmitted directly to us by our parents, the family environment which is the first school of faith and to faith.

Faith is growing in a solid and deep way, every time we meet Jesus Christ in our lives but on a personal level; that is a personal relationship is created between me and Jesus, a bond of love, and a testament that should never be broken, and if it is broken because of sin or ignorance, or of moving away from God, Jesus is ready to renew it with me, by just saying “Yes” to Jesus and do His will.

Faith becomes a life project and is not only limited to the context of prayer on Sunday and during private or community prayer, it is the project of my entire life without exception, without separation, and so, when out of the church, in the business world, in the family, at school, at the university, in society , among friends, my life must correspond to the encounter with Jesus in the church, in prayer at the Holy Mass. The basic attitude is to look at it as a unique project not divided or separate, otherwise the Christian life faces danger.

Why is there a danger some times in the Christian life? This fact is caused by separation and division when we say: now this is for God and now this is for me, but unfortunately this is said in the wrong way. As for a baptized person everything is for God because everything comes from God and God is everything to me. He loves me, accompanies me, He showed His love to me once and forever in the history of mankind and in my own history when He sent His Son Jesus to save me, save us, and He died on the cross. We believe that He is the Messiah, the Savior, the Son of the living God.

We live the faith and in faith in various degrees, and each of us in a different level and experience. Only God knows what's in our heart, God knows your personal course, and God accepts you in this course and in your experience and be assured, that God walks with you all the way of your life; it is enough saying like the Apostles said to Jesus: "Give us more faith."…

We all need one another, and so it was in the history of the church, there was always a need to see "signs of faith" the signs of faith are the apostles, the martyrs, the confessors, the saints, and there are many saints that we do not know but who live among us, in our homes, in our churches, our schools, our parishes, in the societies in which we live. They are the signs of faith and of holy daily life, they are the saints of silence, the saints of the gospel and the saints through whom the world changes towards a better one despite the powers of evil that surround us.

Would you like to be "a sign of faith." This is your responsibility as baptized, as a Christian, as the beloved Son of God and from God to be a sign of faith. This gives meaning to your life as a student today and tomorrow as a responsible person in the family, in society, in the church. We have inherited this gift from our ancestors and we want to give it and pass it over to our sons.

Thus, faith makes you a disciple, a missionary, someone who feels within himself a burning fire that burns his/her existence and purifies his/her being and sends him to bring the Gospel, the Good News to everyone, living in the spirit of love, unity, openness of service as the Virgin Mary, who with great faith gave us Jesus, her Son and her Savior, our Brother and our Savior, to Him we offer our lives to be signs of His Resurrection.


Archbishop’s Teaching

Photo Exhibition – Prophet Elias Monastery 03/11/2012: Archbishop’s Homily

'Destroy this Temple, and in three days I will raise it up.' (John 2/19)

With the prophetic Words of Jesus, proclaiming His Death and Resurrection, I would like to greet you, placing before me the truth of the Temple, the New Temple I would say, which is Jesus Himself, the Son of Man and Son of God who was incarnated, who "died and was buried, and on the third day He rose again from the dead." The Temple, therefore, is He Himself, the Temple is all of us with Him, members and head. He is the head of the new humanity, a humanity that was redeemed, a humanity that was regenerated in life, a humanity which was called to destroy every type of hatred, evil and sin so that it gives birth to a new world, a world of love, a world of brotherhood and peace.

The monastic life is nothing else than to die and live every day with Jesus Christ. It is a call to him or her, who with great courage take the decision to abandon everything aside and follow Jesus, to carry his cross, to die and make die in him/her every hatred, every evil, every sin, every pride, each type of the old Adam in order to revive with Jesus - Love, Jesus - Peace, Jesus - Reconciliation, who embraces all and brings them close to the heart of the Father.

The testimony of Prophet Elias Monastery which was the first missionary dimension of the Lebanese Maronite Order, bears witness to this reality: the presence of monks who wanted to share the love of Jesus and the love for their neighbors. To this effect, they would sacrifice themselves in order to live with Him and for Him. From generation to generation, the monks are in the living memory of the people, and are recalled by the Maronite community, in the villages, the parishes, in the life of the community. The Charisma of the monastery and every monastery must involve a dynamic presence, a missionary presence, a presence of the monastic prayer and a presence of witness.

This exhibition of photos and paintings, although it depicts the hard facts and moments that the island lived, and can be noted through destruction and damage, it hides however behind it, a history, an offering; there are sacrifices, there are values of spiritual, ​ monastic and pastoral life. Behind it and at the level of the Island, they hide the culture of coexistence, of multiculturism. It is a challenging picture that describes Cyprus through its history, its current role as a meeting place and a human dialogue. The photos talk to everyone and give the message that the house of God, it means every house of worship must be open to all in order to become a space of forgiveness, a deep symbolic and spiritual space in which the relationship between people, friends, communities must be renewed for the benefit of all contributing in the promotion of values and stability in the human societies. These photos show all the reality they bear, pushing all people of good will to believe in the power of life, the power of love.

I greet and welcome the Lebanese Maronite Order through the distinguish presence of the Most Rev. General Superior Abbot Tannous Nehme and the delegation that accompanies him and I wish them all the best and every success. I would like to say that the Maronite Church greatly appreciates this history and this witness.

I greet and congratulate the Rev. Father Joseph Lakkotrypis Michaelides who is of a very remarkable musical academic standard; I thank him for all effort he did for organizing this activity; I greet the Mayor of Strovolos Mr Lazaros Savvides who is the co-organizer and sponsor of the event.

May the Saints and martyr monks, through the intercession of Mar Maroun, Mar Sharbel, Mar Neammtalla and St. Rebecca give us the strength to go always ahead in the project of life witnessing the love of our Lord Jesus Christ in the world.

Nicosia, 3 November, 2012

†Youssef Soueif

Maronite Archbishop of Cyprus


Archbishop’s Teaching

Homily of H.E. the Maronite Archbishop of Cyprus Youssef Soueif Holy Friday

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,

On this day we gather here to kneel before the Holy Cross and to embrace Jesus, Living and Holy, who was crucified for our salvation.

On this day the entire creation send up thanksgiving to the creator because through the Cross and from the Cross, He made it return to Paradise to enjoy again the tree of life, the Eucharist, bread of life and salvation.

Read More

Archbishop’s Teaching

Message of His Excellency the Maronite Archbishop of Cyprus Youssef Soueif For Christmas 2015

ΑΡΧΙΕΠΙΣΚΟΠΗ ΜΑΡΩΝΙΤΩΝ ΚΥΠΡΟΥ Message of His Excellency the Maronite Archbishop of Cyprus Youssef Soueif For Christmas 2015 “Blessed are the merciful: they shall have mercy shown them” (Matthew 5, 7) Dear Fathers, Consecrated People, Brothers and Sisters in Christ


Message of His Excellency the Maronite Archbishop of Cyprus

Youssef Soueif

For Christmas 2015

“Blessed are the merciful: they shall have mercy shown them”

(Matthew 5, 7)

Dear Fathers,

Consecrated People,

Brothers and Sisters in Christ

Read More