its brightest lights. He published a number of works, particularly in the fields of history, liturgy and translation, from the printing press he had established at Sharfeh. The patriarchate of Rahmani was a generally propitious time for the Syrian Catholic Church, with a considerable increase in members, particularly from the Syrian Orthodox Church. In 1902 he created a seminary for Syrian Catholic clergy on the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem, entrusting its management to the Benedictines.16 In the previous year he had founded the congregation of Ephremite Sisters of the Mother of Mercy at Mardín and at IHarisa-Darün.17 In 1913 several Syrian Orthodox bishops converted to Catholicism. Rahmani oversaw the transfer of the patriarchate to Beirut from Mardín in order to protect his church from the Ottomans and from clashes with the Syrian Orthodox. After the 1915 massacres many Syrian Catholics took refuge in the Lebanon, particularly after the end of the Great War, when the Lebanon became a French protectorate. The period of the French mandate was, for the Syrian Catholics, aperiod of socio-cultural advancement and ecclesial renewal. Encouraged by Pope Benedict XV and protected by the French mandate, the Syrian Catholics launched a new round of missionary work. Many Orthodox from the Syrian community in Iraq converted to Catholicism.
Ignatius Gabriel Tappuni, who became patriarch on Rahmani's death in 1929, was made a cardinal in 1935, thereby recognising, at least implicitly, this Roman office as superior to his position as Syrian Catholic patriarch. With strong personal ties to France, to whom he owed his cardinal's hat, Tappuni continued to pursue, until his death in 1968, the ideal of an Eastern Christianity drawing from the wellsprings of both western and Arab cultures. A seasoned Vatican hand, he had the ear of the curia and was adept at handling the rivalries between Roman institutions. During the Second Vatican Council, he was the only eastern church dignitary with a seat on the presidential council. The council's decision that the eastern Catholic churches should eliminate Latin practices and return to their native traditions owed much to his influence. Thanks to his efforts, his church enjoyed an influence out of all proportion to its small membership.
Ignatius Antony II Hayek proved a worthy successor to Gabriel Tappuni. Born in Aleppo, he undertook lengthy studies in Rome, ending with a degree in canon law. Returning as a parish priest, his involvement with charitable organisations brought him into close contact with the impoverished workers
16 SeeD. Trimbur, 'Vie etmort d'unséminairesyrien-catholique:l'établissementbénédictin de Jérusalem', Proche-Orient Chretien 52 (2002), 303-52.
17 The Order would disappear in the turmoil of the First World War, but was refounded at Harísain 1958.
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