I thank God with all of my heart for permitting and allowing me this opportunity, the great blessing of living as a disciple learning from our beloved father, the monk Hegumen Mettaos El-Suryani, a valuable and important monastic, of very great spirituality. And for allowing me to be a witness to most of the events and stories since I was bound to him during his last period of illness, and what I saw of really astonishing mysteries.
In fact, many of my fathers, the distinguished sons of our beloved father have been granted the blessing of serving him over the very long period of his illness. However, during the last fifteen years of his life, priestmonk (hieromonk) Youssef El-Suryani and my weak-self had the blessing of serving him until his departure to the Heavens.
And I apologize because I am neither a writer nor good with words, but altogether I recorded some of what I have learned about the life of our beloved father, whether it what was from what was narrated to me by his reverence from his pure lips, or from the fathers who lived in his time, or from those who knew and dealt with him closely.
And in fact, it is very hard and difficult, even unjust to summarize and reduce this pure and luminous life -which spanned for more than eighty years of which he spent nearly sixty years in monasticism- in just a few lines and some papers. But we will try to highlight some aspects of his life which contains many situations, events, pain and glory. So that it may be a help to us in our pilgrimage here on earth, in order that we may meet there, in the glorious Heaven.
This biography that is between your hands O dear reader is the product of a lifetime and of spiritual experiences. Fr. Mettaos struggled, fought, tested and endured many trials of all sorts. And whenever his blessed lips spoke on monasticism, he would speak truly, in all truth; he would provide beneficial guidance and experienced advice.
Fr. Mettaos truly lived through deeds and actions, and not in sayings and words. He was a helper to all, he encouraged, instructed and taught. The verse in the book of Job is very applicable to him, “Surely you have instructed many, and you have strengthened the weak hands. Your words have upheld him who was stumbling, and you have strengthened the feeble knees" (Job 4:3-4)
First and foremost, I thank God who aided me in the production of this fragrant biography, and all those who helped in producing this book. I offer my most profound thanks to my father, H.G. Bishop Mettaos, bishop and abbot of our monastery for his love, encouragement, revision and introduction to this book.
The Lord is able to make this fragrant biography a source of blessing to all those who read it, to give us all motivation to seek and strive with all our might so that we may have a share in the inheritance with all His saints.
Through the intercessions and prayers that is offered on our behalf at all times by the Mother of God, the pure virgin St. Mary and St. John Kame the great, intercessor of our monastery and through the prayers of our father of whose fragrant life is recorded in this book, our beloved Fr. Hegumen Mettaos El-Suryani, and through the prayers of H.H the honoured Pope Shenouda III and his partner in the apostolic ministry, our father the honoured Bishop Mettaos, bishop and abbot of the Syrian Monastery.
And to our God be the glory and honour, now and ever and unto ages of ages. Amen.
Asking you to pray for my weak-self
The Priestmonk (Hieromonk) Ignatius El-Suryani