Patriarch John X of Antioch celebrates on February 10, 2020, his 7th anniversary as Patriarch of Antioch.
Patriarch John X was born in 1955 in the city of Lattakia, Syria. His father Mounah Yazigi was from Lattakia, a teacher of the Arabic language.
His mother Rosa Moussi is from Tripoli, Lebanon. They gave birth to four children – two boys and two girls. The Patriarch’s brother is Metropolitan Boulos of Aleppo.
One sister is a nun. Patriarch John 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 in the life of 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, the Patriarch of Antioch graduated from the St. John of Damascus Institute of Theology, University of Balamand, with a Bachelor of 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: A Historical, Theological, and Liturgical Study.”
In 1981, and simultaneously with his doctoral studies, he earned a Diploma in Byzantine Music from the Conservatory of Byzantine Music in Thessaloniki, Greece.
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. Patriarch John 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 and was formally enthroned on February 10, 2013.
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, the United States of America, Russia, and the United Kingdom.
The Patriarch 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 for 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 for 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.
The Primate of Antioch is the author of several books on theology, education, music, and liturgy. He published a series of 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.