Mor Yulius Y. Çiçek (1941-2005)
Late Archbishop of Central Europe
Yeshu` Çiçek was born on March 25, 1941, in Kafro `Eloyto, in Tur `Abdin (Turkey), to Qashisho Barsawmo and Bath-Qyomo Sayde. At the age of nine he went to seminary at Deyr-ul-Za'faran, where he studied Syriac, Turkish, Arabic and Theology from 1951-55. He was ordained a deacon in 1958, and became a secretary to the late Metropolitan Mor Philoxenos Hanna Dolabani (d. 1969) for two years; these years were a significant influence on young Deacon Çiçek's pastoral formation and spiritual growth. It was Mor Philexinos who inculcated in him a life-long passion for the Syriac language and calligraphical production of Syriac manuscripts which he engaged himself in until his very end. Later he joined the monastery of Mor Kyriakos in the region of Bsheriye (Bitlis) to administer pastoral service and engaged in a mission to seek Syriac and Armenian Christians, who survived the genocide of 1915 at the hands of the Turks. In 1960 he was made a novice monk in the monastery of Mor Gabriel and embraced an ascetic life. He taught in the theological seminary at Mor Gabriel and copied many books with an exellent hand. When Fr. Shabo Guenes, the abbot of the monastery retired in 1962, Dayroyo Yeshu` Çiçek was chosen as abbot of the monastery. In 1969, Mor Iwannis Ephrem Bilgic (1891-1984), the Bishop of Tur `Abdin, ordained him a priest. Like the founders of the great monastery—Mor Shmuel and his pupil Mor Shem`un—1607 years before him Reesh Dayroyo Yeshue strived to revive the monastery. He remodeled the dilapidated buildings, created new buildings, secured the monastery's premises with a wall, created a seminary for priests (1963), registered the monastery and its real estate in the land register of the Turkish state (1964), built a motorable road (1966), installed a generator (1972) unknown in the region at the time, and published the monastery chronicle in Arabic and Turkish language (1971). In order to finance these projects he visited Syria in 1964 and Europe in 1972. During his twelve-year service at Mor Gabriel, Abbot Yeshu` relaid the foundation of the monastery and today it shines as the jewel of the Syriac Orthodox Church in Tur Abdin.
Between 1973 and 1974, Yeshu` Çiçek lived in the Seminary of Mor Ephrem at Atshane in Lebanon (where his mission was to acquire and establish a Syriac printing press for Mor Gabriel), in Damascus, and in the Holy land. Then at the direction of Patriarch Mor Ya`qub III, he came to Germany, where learned the German language and ministered to the Syrians of the diaspora. At the request of the Metropolitan of America, Mor Athanasius Yeshue Samuel, Dayroyo Yeshu` Çiçek was in the United States from 1975-77, learning English and ministering to the Syriac Orthodox faithful there including the Malankara parish at Staten Island. In 1977, he returned to Europe and settled in Holland at Hengelo. It was in the same year that two archdioceses for Scandinavia and Central Europe were formed by Patriarch Mor Ya`qub III. The Holy Synod also chose Rabban Yeshu` as the Patriarchal Vicar for the new diocese of Central Europe. He constructed a hall for a new Syriac Orthodox church of St. John the Evangelist, which was consecrated by the late Patriarch Mor Ignatius Ya`qub III. In 1978, Rabban Yeshu` began publishing Kolo Suryoyo, the news magazine of Syriac Orthodox diocese of Central Europe. This grew into the Barhebraeus Verlag (Publishing House) which published over 115 books during his life.
In 1979, the Patriarch Ya`qub III consecrated Dayroyo Yeshu` Çiçek in Hengelo as Archbishop of the Syrian orthodox diocese of Central Europe, with the name Mor Yulius. In 1981, Mor Yulius acquired Dayro d-Mor Ephrem at Glane, Losser, Nederlands, which became the seat of the archbishop. The Mor Awgen monastery at Arth, Switzerland, as well as the Mor Ya`qub of Serugh monastery in Warburg, Germany was acquired in 1996. Under the able guidance of His Eminence, the Central Europe diocese flourished. With the significant growth of the Church in Germany, an independent archdiocese was created for Germany in 1997. His Eminence was often referred to as the Mor Ya`qub Burd`ono of the Church in Europe due to his untireless efforts that established a strong foundation for the Church there.
His Eminence entered into eternal rest at a hotel in the Düsseldorf airport, Germany, on October 29, 2005 while in transit to Switzerland. His mortal remains were interred in the Cathedral of the Holy Virgin Mary in Glane, Losser, The Netherlands, in final rites officiated by His Holiness Patriarch Mor Ignatius Zakka I and attended by many metropolitans, clergy and faithful numbering over 15,000 on November 5, 2005.
Biography in Suryoyo-Online
Obituary (Shroro: SOC Digest)
Condolences of The Mayor of Losser (Shroro: SOC Digest)
Photos: Mor Ephrem Monastery Archive · More Photos
Video: Dutch TV - rtv oost
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|Last Update: November 20, 2005|