Patriarchal Order
of the
Holy Cross of Jerusalem

Province of the United States


His Beatitude Gregory III (Laham)
Patriarch of Antioch and all the East of Alexandria and Jerusalem


The Grand Master

Coat of Arms of the Grand Master

Patriarch Gregory III was born in Daraya, near Damascus Syria, in 1933. The village of Daraya is known traditionally to be the place of the conversion of St. Paul on his way to Damascus. His Beatitude entered the Seminary of the Holy Savior of the Basilian Salvatorian Fathers in Shoof, Lebanon in 1943. He took is simple religious vows in the Basilian Salvatorian Order in 1949 and his solemn religious vows in 1954. He received his religious and philosophy education at the Holy Savior Seminary. He continued his Theological studies in Rome where he obtained the Doctorate degree in Oriental Theology at the Pontifical Oriental Institute. He was superior of the Holy Savior Major Seminary in 1961-64.

In 1962, His Beatitude founded the magazine “Al-Wahdah”-Unity in the Faith, the first ecumenical magazine to be published in the Arabic language. In 1966, he founded together with the Most Reverend George Kwaiter, now Archbishop of Saida and Deir-el-Kamar, and the Right Reverend Salim Ghazal, now Superior General of the Basilian Salvatorian Order, the Providence Home, at Salhiyeh, near Saida, Lebanon, as an orphanage and a trade school.

In 1974, he was appointed Administrator of the Patriarchal Vicariate of Jerusalem. In 1976, in Jerusalem, he founded the “Student Fund” to help needy students and in 1978 the Family Assistance Fund to help needy families in the troubled areas of his Diocese. In 1967, he founded at the Patriarchate the Oriental Library to promulgate the knowledge of Eastern tradition. He initiated many social projects such as repairing churches, opening clinics and building popular housing.

In 1981, he was ordained Archbishop and continued his work as Patriarchal Vicar of Jerusalem as successor to Archbishop Hilarion Cappucci. He is well known throughout the Middle East and Europe as an Ecumenist and a Theologian.

Appointed by Patriarch Maximos V Hakim as president of the Patriarchal Liturgical Commission, he edited the Anthologion, the prayer book of the Melkite Greek Catholic Church in four volumes, and the Book of the Liturgies, a complete and updated compendium of the Divine Liturgy. As Secretary of the Ecumenical Commission of the Melkite Patriarchate, he has been very active in the Dialogue between the two Sister Churches, the Melkite Greek Catholic and the Greek (Antiochian) Orthodox Churches. He is also a member of the League of the Universities and Institutes of Religious Studies in the Middle East.

The installation of the New Patriarch took place at 11:30am, Wednesday, November 29, immediately after his election by 30 Bishops assembled in a special Synod for that purpose. Present at the installation was His Beatitude Maximos V Hakim who had resigned for reasons of health at 92 years of age. Many religious and political personalities rushed to Rabweh to attend the Installation, as soon as the good news was caught and spread by the media.

The new Patriarch is an author of many books among which are the following (All in Arabic except #4):

1.  “Introduction to the Liturgical Services and their symbols in the Eastern Church."
2.  “The Voice of the Shepherd-Eastern Liturgical Spirituality.”
3.  “Life of Archbishop Germanos Adam.”
4.  Translation of “History of the Melkite Church” in English and German.
5.  The Melkite Greek Catholic Church at the Second Vatican Council.