Patriarch Abune Merkorios Laid to Rest
The body of the 4th Patriarch of the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahido Church, Abune Merkorios, has been buried at the Holy Trinity Cathedral after a half-day funerial ceremonies in the presence of dignitaries including President Sahlework Zewde.
The funeral services of Abune Merkorios, the fourth Patriarch of the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahido Church was conducted at Holy Trinity Cathedral Church in Addis Ababa in the presence of dignitaries including President Sahle-Work Zewde.
Abune Merkorios was born in 1938 to his father Blata Fenta Tesema and his mother W/ro Lemlem Gessesse in the former province of Gondar.
By the time he was old enough to go to school, he studied readings, and Psalms from Merigeta Lakew.
Before his elevation to the episcopacy, his name was Abba Ze-Libanos Fanta, Abba Ze-Libanos served at Holy Trinity Cathedral in Addis Ababa. In 1976, he was raised as bishop Merkorios by Patriarch Abuna Tekla Haymanot over his home province of Beghemidir (then known as Gondar Province).
Abune Merkorios, was elected after the death of Abuna Takla Haymanot in May 1988.
His Holiness Abune Merkorios, was canonically chosen to be the fourth patriarch of the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahido Church on 28 August,1988, after His Holiness Abune Tekelehymanot, who passed away on 5 June, 1988.
His Holiness Abune Merkorios, Patriarch of the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church was exiled from his beloved country, Ethiopia and his people for twenty-six years, living in prayers and delivering his apostolic services in diaspora. During all these years, His Holiness prayed unceasingly for the unity of the church peace, justice and stability in Ethiopia, continuously longing for his return to his country every day in his supplication before the almighty God.
By the initiative of the then newly elected Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, reconciliation talks between the two divided synods began anew, and on July 27, 2018, the representatives of the two synods reached agreement.
Upon his return from the United States, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed brought His Holiness Abune Merkorios and other archbishops back to Ethiopia, by the same flight, on 1 August, 2018.
Abune Merkorios returned Ethiopia after 26 years of exile. During his stay in the United States of America, Patriarch Abune Merkoris has continued his evangelical services, ordaining many bishops and priests of the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahido Church.
Bishops from sisterly Oriental Orthodox Churches including Coptic Orthodox Church, the Indian Orthodox Church, the Syrian Orthodox Church, Armenia Orthodox Church has attended the funeral ceremonies.
Also, representatives of World Council of Churches, All Africa Conference of Churches and others attended the funeral services.
ENA learnt that Abune Merkorios became hermit, praying unceasingly. Abune Merkorios died on 4 March, 2022, aged 84.