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Memorial of Rabban Hormizd
By Fr. Noel Gorgis :: Sunday, April 22, 2007 :: 27056 Views :: Religion & Spirituality

MEMORIAL OF RABBAN HORMIZD
Second Sunday after Easter
(According to Chaldean Calendar)
By Fr. Noel Gorgis

ORDER OF RABBAN HORMZD FOR CHALDEAN CHURCH

As we are celebrating the feast of Rabban (Monk) Hormizd, we are reminded of a great saint who spent his life meditating and praying in a monastery in the mountain so as to be close to God. We are also reminded of the importance of the monastic life in our church of the East.


The Monastery in the Church of the East

The monastic life has spread extensively in the Church of the East since the 4th century, and this means  its establishment has existed for several centuries it was founded by followers who were known as the “Children of the Covenant ܒܢܝ ܩܝܡܐ”  and “The Virgin ܒܬܘܠܐ “.

During the 40th year of persecution by the Persian King Shapour II (318-339), all monasteries were destroyed while the divisions in the church further corrupted the monastic life.

It was not until the century when Mar Auraha the Kashkaraya  (503-588) authored and renewed the canon laws for the monks to adhere and obey, and these laws have since catapulted our church to its highest level of spiritual perfection in the 6th and 7th centuries. Consequently Mar Auraha was considered the Great for his leadership as well as for his life of holiness.

Rabban Hormizd

Hormizd was born in Bet Lapat in the Ahwas (Iran) province in the 6th century. When he reached the age of twenty, he decided to answer the Lord’s call to become a monk; so, he took a pilgrimage to the Holy Land. On his way there, he met three monks from Bar Aeta ܒܪܝ ܥܕܬܐmonastery who asked him to join them.

After six years of a holy life as novice and monk, his abbot asked him to study in solitude as a hermit so that he could grow more in virtues.

For thirty-nine years he was living in a cave close to Bar Aeta monastery, and then he took a journey and settled in Deara Bet Abee ܕܝܪܐ ܕܒܝܬ ܥܒܐ and Dear D’reasha  ܕܝܪܐ ܕܪܫܐwith a group of monks.

However, because the fountains of water at the monastery ran dry, they, they decided to separate into groups of two to find a better place to meditate and be close to God.

Our Saint then joined Rabban Auraha, whose monastery is in the north of Nineveh, and decided to stay in the mountains of Bet Aedry (Alqoush-north of Nineveh).

He spent twenty-two years at this monastery and died at the age of 87 and left behind many devoted monks.

Miracles

Rabban Hormizd’s fame spread throughout the surrounding regions of Alqoush, where believers came to him to ask for his blessing and brought to him those who were sick and possessed by demons, all of whom he cured and their health restored.

It also happened that the son of Mayor of Nineveh was sick and the doctors could not cure him; so, they told the mayor to carry him to Rabban Horizd so he could be cured.

The mayor did as he was told, but when they were approaching Alqoush, his son died. The people of Alqoush then implored the mayor to take him immediately to Saint Raban Hormizd as they were sure he would bring the mayor’s son back his life as he had done for many people before. So, he did, and the spread the words that Hormizd restored the lives of many, and they glorified God, whose love prevailed for all, including Nineveh’s Mayor and his son who were Muslim.

The Monastry After Rabban Hormizd’s Death

As the order of Rabban Hormizd was growing in numbers after his death, it was also growing in virtues, holiness, and learning.

Consequently, the monastery played such a major role in the life of the Church of the East that it was one of its leading members, Mar Youhana Sulaqa, who united the church of the East with the Roman Catholic Church upon his being elected patriarch and his visit to Rome in 1552.

Mar Youhana Sulaqa subsequently served the church all his life until his assassination in Aemadia in northern Iraq in the year 1555.

Since then, many of the succeeding leaders in the patriarch position were from the Rabban Hormizd Order, and our church has also been in close communion with the Catholic Church.

The Rabban Hormizd Order Today

In the early 19th century, the monastic life was renewed by Abba (Fr) Gawriel Danbo of Mardeen (1832), Turkey, who further spread the order all through the Alqoush region.

Today six monasteries belong to the Order of Rabban Hormizd, including the

  • Rabban Hormizd Monastery;
  • the Monastery of Our Lady of Guarian of Plants, in Alqoush;
  • the Monastery of Our Lady of Guarian of Plants, in Alqoush;
  • St. George, in Nineveh;
  • Mar Antony of the Desert, in Baghdad;
  • St. Joseph, in Rome; and
  • St. George, in Perris, California.


St. Joseph, MI USA

St. Joseph Chaldean Catholic Church
2442 E. Big Beaver Rd.
Troy, MI 48083
Tel: (248) 528-3676
Fax: (248) 524-1957

Congregation Organizer:
Rev. Michael J. Bazzi

Church Constructing Pastor:
Rev. Sarhad Y. Jammo

Current Pastor:
Msgr. Zouhair Toma

Parochial Vicar:
Rev. Ayad Hanna

 Current Pastor: Msgr. Zouhair Toma

Msgr. Zouhair Toma (Kejbou) was born in Telkaif, Iraq in 1947.  He was ordained a priest in Baghdad, Iraq in 1968, and accepted his first assignment to serve the community of Baquba.  The Monsignor’s leadership skills and organizational talents along with his mastery of theology were immediately evident.  He later assisted Sts. Peter and Paul in Al-Salehia, and St. George in New Baghdad.

In August, 1978 Monsignor Toma was called to serve the growing community of persecuted Chaldeans finding refuge in Australia.   Being the fist Chaldean priest to arrive in Australia he quickly established a parish for the Chaldeans in Sydney to serve their social and spiritual needs.  The parish was named after St. Thomas the Apostle and built a rectory. 

In 1989, for his incredible work he was granted the title of Monsignor, Chaldean Patriarchal Vicar for Australia and New Zealand.  Continuing his passionate work to serve the Chaldean community the Monsignor moved the Parish Center to a more accessible location and built a large church campus featuring a modern community center, residence quarters, and administrative offices in 1995. 

In 2003, Monsignor Toma added a magnificent church to replace the previous one in order to serve the fast growing community and also opened two other centers.  The first was Our Lady Guardian of Plants in Melbourne, and the second was Mar Addai the Apostle in Auckland, New Zealand.  Mar Addai in New Zealand included two very large churches along with rectories and community centers.  Overseeing the Patriarchal Vicariate for 28 years, he managed to inspire six more priests to help minister to the fast growing Chaldean community. 

In August 2006, Monsignor chose to assist the St. Thomas the Apostle Diocese in the U.S. as more Catholic churches were being built in America and address the growing need.  On October 2006, Monsignor was incardinated and appointed Pastor of St. Joseph Parish in Troy.