On the occasion of his fortieth anniversary in the episcopacy, His Eminence Metropolitan PHILIP does not only create a special nostalgia, he makes Lebanon, the country of Faith, completely full of nostalgia in anticipation of this event. In the life of those who have come to know him and love him, he has a heart full of generosity. His words sparkle with the Spirit—an uplifting language that leaves in us some of his faith in the Absolute.
To understand faith is a difficult task, and living it may be most intricate; however, the simplicity and completeness of Metropolitan PHILIP’s faith make one realize that eternity resides in us. When that happens, our entire dimensions are filled by the power and depth of love.
Since I have known Metropolitan PHILIP, his visits to Lebanon have become a focalpoint of a nation with a message. He has made himself a champion of humanity, in whom the dialogue among cultures is realized. As I have known him in the Land of Cedars, which embraces the sky, I have seen in him a balanced thinker. His speech is the discourse of the Spirit. With him one realizes how to incorporate faith and thinking in order to discover the way to the truth. He who believes knows who is the way and the life, and also knows the truth that liberates from oppression.
His witness throughout the world
Metropolitan PHILIP has carried his archpastoral staff all over the world. He has become the witness of the One who has saved the world. His message in Lebanon, and in the United States as well, is a song of honor and praise, planted in the vineyard of God. But there is no evidence of weary toil on his brow, nor any sign of exhaustion in his steadfastness. Many minds have been enlightened by him, and many hearts have become enlightened by the divine light. And those who have listened to his words were able to read the brightness of truth in his eyes, establishing hymns of righteousness.
Metropolitan PHILIP is Lebanon’s apostle in the United States. He is the fearless voice of the Arabs; always articulating the truth and executing what truth is. This is what he has taught: do not be intimidated by the dimensions of geography and history, but say and do the truth.
Dear Saidna PHILIP, may your words always be the voice of truth, and may the coming years be crowned with the peace which you bring to us and to the whole world—a message of unending love. May you continue to celebrate this anniversary, one after another, enriching the Faith in which we triumph over every weakness. May we continue to be jubilant in people like you.
General Emile Lahoud
President of Lebanon