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Melkite Greek Catholic Church Information Center

St. EliasHoly Prophet Elias the Thesbite / Mar Elya / Mar Eleeya

Holy Prophet Elias the Thesbite / Mar Elya was one of the great prophets of the Old Testament in the Bible.

Biography

20 July - The actions of Holy Prophet Elias the Thesbite / Mar Elya are told in the First and Second Books of Kings in the Old Testament of the Bible. (1 Kings 17 through 2 Kings 2) Holy Prophet Elias / Mar Elya was filled with zeal for spreading the word of Holy God. He lived during the reign of King Achab (875-845 B.C.).

The year of the birth of Holy Prophet Elias the Thesbite/ Mar Elya is unknown. It is certain that he lived in the first half of the 9th century BC, as he was a contemporary of King Ahab and Queen Jezebel.

The Bible calls Holy Prophet Elias the "Tishbite" in reference to his birthplace, Tishbe or Tishba. Tishbe or Tishba was a small village in the Gilead Heights, near the present Ajloon, in Jordan.

The Bible does not mention the names of his parents. We don't know anything about his childhood.

Holy Prophet Elias the Thesbite / Mar Elya had long hair and wore sheepskin. He lived in the desert and mountainous area of Palestine.

Mission

The mission of Holy Prophet Elias the Thesbite / Mar Elya was an important and difficult one. Holy God entrusted him with the delicate task of reestablishing the worship of Him. The King, the Queen and the people had abandoned worshiping Holy God for the cult of Baal and Astarte (or Ashera), the god and goddess of fertility in Phoenicia.

Jewish Prophets

Holy Prophet Elias the Thesbite / Mar Elya was one of the Jewish Prophets in the Old Testament.
"The Hebrew Prophet was not merely, as the word commonly implies, a man enlightened by God to foretell events; he was the interpreter and supernaturally enlightened herald sent by Yahweh to communicate His will and designs to Israel. His mission consisted in preaching as well as in foretelling. He had to maintain and develop the knowledge of the Old Law among the Chosen People, lead them back when they strayed, and gradually prepare the way for the new kingdom of God, which the messias was to establish on earth. Prophecy, in general, signifies the supernatural message of the Prophet, and more especially, from custom, the predictive element of the prophetic message." Prophecy, Prophet, and Prophetess Catholic Encyclopedia

Prophets of Baal

Under the influence of his Tyrian wife, Jezabel, King Achab, erected a temple to the Tyrian god Baal in Samaria. Also, King Achab inported many prophets of Baal.
Holy Prophet Elias / Mar Elya bid King Achab to summon the prophets of Baal to Mount Carmel for a decisive contest between the god of Baal and Yahweh, the God of the Jews. The contest was held, Yahweh won, and the prophets of Baal were killed. (1 Kings 18:1-46)

Widow

Holy Prophet Elias the Thesbite / Mar Elya was hospitably received by a poor widow with a son. A famine and drought had reduced to them to their last meal. She gave that meal to Holy Prophet Elias the Thesbite / Mar Elya. Holy God rewarded her charity by providing meal and oil during the year-long famine and drought. (1 Kings 17:7-16)
Later, the son became sick and died. Holy Prophet Elias the Thesbite / Mar Elya prayed to Holy God to restore this boy to life. Holy God positively answered Holy Prophet Elias the Thesbite / Mar Elya's prayers. (1 Kings 17:17-24).

Chariot of Fire

The Holy Prophet Elias / Mar Elya rode a chariot of fire into heaven. The Holy Prophet Elias / Mar Elya did not die. Ths event ocurred when The Holy Prophet Elias / Mar Elya was talking with his disciple, The Holy Prophet Elisha. (2 Kings 2:1-14)
"As they (The Holy Prophet Elias / Mar Elya and Holy Prophet Elisha) walked conversing, a flaming chariot and flaming horses came between them, and Elijah went up to heaven in a whirlwind." (2 Kings 2:11) Then, the Holy Prophet Elias / Mar Elya is also known as Mar Elias al-Hayy, or Holy Prophet Elias the Living, because he was taken up to heaven in a flaming chariot.

The Holy Prophet Elisha

As Holy God commanded, The Holy Prophet Elias / Mar Elya annointed The Holy Prophet Elisha to succeed him. Then, Elisha followed The Holy Prophet Elias / Mar Elya as his attendent. (2 Kings 20: 15-21)

Great Feast of the Transfiguration of Holy God the Son within the Holy Trinity / Our Lord, God and Savior, Jesus Christ

6 August - Great Feast of the Transfiguration of Holy God the Son within the Holy Trinity / Our Lord, God and Savior, Jesus Christ. Holy God the Son within the Holy Trinity / Our Lord, God and Savior, Jesus Christ took The Holy, Glorious and Illustrious Prince of the Apostles Peter, The Holy Apostle James, and The Holy Apostle John with Him onto Mount Tabor, where He revealed to them His Divine Nature to the extent that human eyes could see it and human flesh could experience it. Falling down, stricken by the vision of Divine Glory, they saw Holy God the Son within the Holy Trinity / Our Lord, God and Savior, Jesus Christ conversing with the Holy Prophet Moses and The Holy Prophet Elias / Mar Eya. Holy God the Son within the Holy Trinity / Our Lord, God and Savior, Jesus Christ showed them "as much of His glory as they could behold," and they were knocked unconscious by the Divine Power. Afterwards, the Lord strictly told the Disciples not to tell anyone what they had seen. The hymns for the feast tell us that He did this "so that having seen You in glory, they would not be dismayed at the time of your suffering," and that in this way "You showed the reality of the resurrection You are to grant us, in your love for humanity and your almighty power as God."

Apostolos

James: 5:10-20

Gospel

Luke: 4:22-30

Kontakion, Troparion, Exapostilarion, and Vespers Sticheron or Doxastichon

TROPARION (tone 4)
The glorious Elias, the angel in body, the pillar of the prophets and second forerunner of Christ’s advent, by sending grace from on high upon Elisha, dispels diseases, purifies lepers and overflows with healing for those who honor him.

KONTAKION (TONE 4)
O glorious Prophet Elias who foresaw the glories of God, by your command you withheld the rains from heaven: intercede for our sake with the only One who loves mankind!

Procession with the Ikon of The Holy Prophet Elias / Mar Elya

At the end of the Divine Liturgy, there is procession with the ikon of The Holy Prophet Elias the Thesbite / Mar Elya. Then, there is the Blessing of the means of transporation.

The Blessing of the Means of Transporation

At the end of the Divine Liturgy, there is the Blessing of the means of transporation.
Because he rode chariot of fire into heaven, The Holy Prophet Elias the Thesbite / Mar Elya is the Patron Saint of transportation.
Then, means of transporation are blessed on The Holy Prophet Elias'/ Mar Elya's feast day, July 20. The means of transporation include automobles, bicycles, cars, motorcycles, SUV, trucks, and other means of Transportation. Sometimes, this blessing is referred to as "The Blessing of Cars".

Prayer for blessing of the means of transporation.

Name

The word "Elias / Elya" means "Yahweh is (my) God".
In English, "Yahweh is (my) God" can be translated as “The Lord is my God” or "God is my God".
In the original Hebrew text of the Old Testament, the Holy Prophet Elias the Thesbite / Mar Elya is called "Elyahu" which means "Yahweh is my God".
The form "Elias" has passed into Arabic from the Greek word, "Hlias". The official Arabic translation of the Bible has adopted the shortened form "Elya".
The Holy Prophet Elias the Thesbite / Mar Elya is also called "Eleeya", 'Elia", "Eliahu", "Eliyahu", and "Elya."
In English, the Holy Prophet Elias the Thesbite / Mar Elya is also called "Elijah".

The word "Mar" means "Lord" or "Master" in Aramaic and Arabic. The word "Mar" is an ancient Aramaic social title of honor and respect for males. It became a religious title. The word "Mar" is a title for Holy God. The word "Mar" is a title for respected, honored males, such as the great male prophets, such as Holy Prophet Elias the Thesbite / Mar Elias.

Saint Elias / Elya

The Melkite Greek Catholic Church declared that the Holy Prophet Elias the Thesbite / Mar Elya was a Saint.

Feast Day

Holy Prophet Elias the Thesbite / Mar Elya is honoured by both the Greek and Latin Catholic Churches on the same day, July 20.

The Order of Our Lady of Mount Carmel

The Order of Our Lady of Mount Carmel claims The Holy Prophet Elias the Thesbite / Mar Elya and The Holy Prophet Elisha as one of its founders or patrons.
The Holy Prophet Elias the Thesbite / Mar Elya is connected with Mount Camel by his encounter with the prophets of Baal on that location.
The Holy Prophet Elisha is connected with Mount Camel by his long residence on that location.
The Order of Our Lady of Mount Carmel celebrates the feast day of The Holy Prophet Elias the Thesbite / Mar Elya on July 20.

More information

About St. Elias the Prophet St. Elias Melkite Catholic Church, Cleveland, Ohio

St. Elias Byzantines.net

Elijah Catholic Encyclopedia

Maarrat Sednaya, Sanctuaries http://www.maarratsednaya.com/index.php?page=sanctuaries

Venerable Prophet Elijah Saint Joseph Melkite Greek Catholic Church, Lawrence, Massachusetts, Click on Feasts of Major Saints

Ikon

About St. Elias the Prophet St. Elias Melkite Catholic Church, Cleveland, Ohio


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Martha Liles
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Melkite Greek Catholic Church Information Center is dedicated to my cousins: Bucky (Richard C. Liles) and Shirley (Shirley Jean Liles Buck). Bucky fell asleep in the Lord on Dec. 12, 2000 and Shirley fell asleep in the Lord on Nov. 8, 2001.
O God of all spirits and of all flesh, who have destroyed death, overcome the devil, and given life to the world: grant, O Lord, to the souls of your servants Bucky and Shirley, who has departed from this life, that it may rest in a place of light, in a place of happiness, in a place of peace, where there is no pain, no grief, no sighing. And since You are a gracious God and the Lover of Mankind, forgive him/her every sin he/she has committed by thought, or word, or deed, for there is not a man who lives and does not sin : You alone are without sin, your righteousness is everlasting, and your word is true. You are the Resurrection and the Life, and the repose of your departed servants Bucky and Shirley. O Christ our God, and we send up glory to You, together with your eternal Father and your all-holy, good and life-givng Spirit, now and always and for ages upon ages. Amen.

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