Patriarch Theodosius Abou Rjeily

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Spiridon Abou Rjeily was born in Arsoun (Metn, Mount Lebanon, Close to Salima village) in 1885, after which his family moved to Ashrafieh in Beirut, Lebanon.

He is Spiridon / Salim / Bechara / Saber / Elias / Atallah / Elias / Atallah Abou Rjeily.

He had five siblings, two sisters and three brothers. Spiridon attended the elementary school " Ecole des Trois Docteurs" in Ashrafieh, Beirut. Then he studied at the Kasibiya school in Damascus, Syria. Later, he joined the theological school at the Monastery of Our Lady of Balamand in Tripoli in north Lebanon.

In 1906, Spiridon was ordained subdeacon by Patriarch Gregory IV (Haddad) of Antioch. In 1908, he was transferred to the Archdiocese of Diyar Bakr in northern Iraq to learn the Turkish language. He returned to Lebanon in 1912. Later, he left to Constantinople to learn the Greek language. In addition, Spiridon was also fluent in Arabic and French with a working knowledge of English and Russian.

In 1914, Theodosius was appointed a liaison officer between the Antiochian patriarchate and the Turkish government serving the Orthodox Christian communities in Syria and Lebanon. The following year, 1915, he was ordained a priest and subsequently was elevated to the rank of archimandrite by the Patriarch Gregory IV to whom Archim. Theodosius became known as the "Translator".

In 1923, Fr. Theodosius was elected Metropolitan Archbishop of Tyre and Sidon in south Lebanon, a position he held for 25 years. In 1948, Metr. Theodosius was appointed by the Holy Synod of the Church of Antioch to lead the Archdiocese of Tripoli.

During 1935, Metr. Theodosius guided the election of a new archbishop for the Syrian Orthodox in North America that resulted in the consecration of Antony (Bashir).

On November 14, 1958, Metr. Theodosius was elected Patriarch of Antioch as Theodosius VI, succeeding Patriarch Alexander III (Tahan), after having served as locum tenens following Patriarch Alexander's death on June 17, 1958.

On September 19, 1970, Patriarch Theodosius passed away. His body reposed in Saint Georges Hospital in Ashrafieh, Beirut.

His Beatitude was fluent in Arabic, French, Greek and Turkish, and had a working knowledge of English and Russian.


Mariam (nun in the monastery of Holy Mary in Ashrafieh)

Abraxia (married)

Georgi, Gebran and Najib.

Najib was know to be a very well-educated man.

As Patriarch of Antioch and All the East, His Beatitude Theodosius VI had spiritual jurisdiction over 1,500,000 Orthodox Christians located mainly in Syria and Lebanon, with large communities in North, Central and South America, and Australia.