His Beatitude John X was elected to the Patriarchate of Antioch and All the East for the Greek Orthodox by the Holy Antiochian Synod in an extraordinary session held on December 17, 2012, in the Balamand Monastery. In that capacity, he serves as Chairman of the University of Balamand’s Board of Trustees. His Beatitude holds a doctorate in theology and is an accomplished author and scholar.
Born in the coastal city of Latakia, Syria, in 1955, His Beatitude attended the local schools before enrolling in the Department of Civil Engineering at Teshreen University. In 1978, he was awarded a Bachelor of Theology degree from the Saint John of Damascus Institute of Theology at Balamand, and in the following year, he was ordained a deacon. In 1983 – the same year in which he was ordained a priest – he obtained his doctorate in theological studies, with distinction, from the University of Thessaloniki in Greece. Earlier, in 1981, His Beatitude earned a Diploma in Byzantine Music issued by the Conservatory of Byzantine Music, also in Thessaloniki.
Starting in 1981, His Beatitude taught courses on Liturgics at the St. John of Damascus Institute of Theology at Balamand, later becoming a Full Professor of Liturgical Studies. During the periods of 1988-1991 and 2001-2005, he served as the Dean of that Institute.
In the years 2001-2005, His Beatitude served as the abbot of the Our Lady of Balamand Patriarchal Monastery, Lebanon. He was also appointed abbot of the St. George Al Humayrah Patriarchal Monastery, Syria, in the period between 1993 and 2005, where he founded a monastic community and a school of ecclesiastic studies for the Patriarchate. In addition, His Beatitude contributed to the foundation 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 known in Arabic as Wadi An-Nasara or Al-Hosn, in the Archdiocese of Akkar. He faithfully served the parishes there until 2008, when he was elected Metropolitan of Europe. On December 17, 2012, the Holy Synod of Antioch elected John Yazigi as the Patriarch of the Holy and Apostolic See of Antioch.
In addition to his pastoral ministry, His Beatitude has been involved in many international activities in the ecumenical, Christian and especially Orthodox Christian spheres. He participated in many international conferences, namely in Greece, Italy, Switzerland, Cyprus, United States of America, Russia, and the United Kingdom.
Patriarch John X is well known for his insightful leadership and his clear vision. He has expressed his vision about various national, ecumenical, international and humanitarian issues through several international conferences and church and national gatherings. His Beatitude believes that fairness and truthfulness are the keys to all solutions. As a shepherd, he works on gathering the flock, and calls for reconciliation and dialogue among all people and parties, both nationally and internationally.
Throughout his priestly ministry, His Beatitude’s active presence has led to a notable Church revival. He has succeeded in appealing to the youth, calling them to serve the Church and to be active in their society and nation. His Beatitude is also known for his strong administrative, institutional and teamwork skills. He has played an active role in encouraging priestly vocations, and a leading role in the development of the St John of Damascus Institute of Theology at the University of Balamand.
Patriarch John X is the author of several books on theology, education, Byzantine music, and liturgy. He edited the liturgical books of the Orthodox Church in Arabic, and more specifically the liturgical books of the archbishops, priests, and deacons.
His published books:
The Service of Baptism: A Historic, Theological and Liturgical Study, Thessalonica, 1983 [Greek] (in fulfillment of the PhD Thesis Requirements).
Principles of Byzantine Music, Balamand, 1990, Second Edition 2001.
The Life of St. Nectarios the Wonderworker, Lattakya, 1990.
Priesthood & Marriage of Priests, Lattakya, 1992.
Baptism as a Sacrament of Initiation into the life in Christ, Lattakya, 1992.
The Liturgikon, St. George Al-Humayrah Patriarchal Monastery, 2001, Second edition 2005.
The Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysotom, Al-Humayrah Patriarchal Monastery, 2001.
The Prayers Before and After Holy Communion, St. George Al-Humayrah Patriarchal Monastery, 2003
The Presanctified Liturgy, Al-Humayrah Patriarchal Monastery, 2001.
Introduction to the Liturgical Families and Rites (English) St. John of Damascus Institute of Theology, 2003.
Introduction to the Liturgical Families and Rites (Arabic) St. John of Damascus Institute of Theology, 2003.
The Service of Matrimony: Past and Present, St. John of Damascus Institute of Theology, 2003.
The Praklesis Service, Balamand Patriarchal Monastery, 2004.
Liturgical Guide in services and Prayers. St. John of Damascus Institute of Theology, University of Balamand, 2005.
Liturgical Sources, St. John of Damascus Institute of Theology, University of Balamand, 2005.
Church Praises, The Diocese of Pyrgou, 2006.
Divine Worship, The Diocese of Pyrgou, 2007.
The Service of the Diaconate, Blemana Convent, 2007.
The Service of the Archbishops, The Diocese of Pyrgou, 2007.
His Beatitude also translated several books, among them: The life of Our Holy Righteous Mother Makrina, by St. Gregory of Nyssa, An-Nour Publications, 1984.
For Those Who Believe in Justification by Works, by St. Mark the Monk, in Chapters in Prayers and Spiritual Life, An-Nour, 1990.