Chaldean Patriarch Raphael BeDaweed Dies After Long Struggle With Illness


Beirut July 7, 2003, Chaldean News Agency: The Chaldean Patriarch Mar Raphael BeDaweed died this morning in Beirut, Lebanon at an age of 81 years. Patriarch BeDaweed been in the hospital for the past nine months suffering from an acute health problems.

Below is a brief biography of Patriarch BeDaweed:

His Beatitude was born in Nineveh (Mosul, Iraq) on April 17, 1922. He initiated his preparation to the priesthood at the Patriarchal Seminary in Mosul in September, 1933. After three years in seminary he was chosen to be sent to Rome to study Philosophy and Theology. He was ordained priest in October, 1944. He earned two Ph.D., one in Philosophy and another in Theology. In 1947, he left Rome and went back to Mosul to serve his church and his Chaldean nation. After arriving in Mosul, the young priest was appointed vice rector of the seminary, and at the same time he was a teacher of French and Moral Theology. In 1956, he was appointed Patriarchal Vicar for the diocese of Kirkuk, Iraq. In 1957, he was elected Bishop of Amadya (north Iraq). He was ordained Bishop by Mar Yousif VII Ghanima on October 6, 1957, and with him was ordained Mar Indrawos Sana, Bishop of Aqra. He started working in his diocese in Amadya and he was the youngest bishop in the world at that time (35 years old). In 1966, he was transferred to the Diocese of Beirut. On May 15, 1989, the Chaldean Bishops started their Holy Synod at the Seminary in Baghdad to elect new Patriarch to succeed Mar Pulus II Chekho who passed away on April 13, 1989. On May 21, 1989, they elected Mar Raphael to be the Patriarch. His ordination on May 29, 1989 was a huge ceremony. There were more than ten thousands people present. On November 9, 1989, he received the "PALLIUM" (sign of authority) from the Holy Father, John Paul II, in Rome.

 Chaldean News Agency