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Holy Prophet Elijah the Thesbite (Mar Elias)
 

St. ElijahHoly Prophet Elijah the Thesbite (Mar Elias) was one of the great prophets of the Old Testament of the Bible. 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 respected, honored males, such as the great male prophets, such as Holy Prophet Elijah the Thesbite (Mar Elias).

20 July - Holy Prophet Elijah (Mar Elias) was filled with zeal for spreading the word of Holy God. He lived during the reign of King Achab (875-845 B.C.).
His actions are in the First and Second Books of Kings in the Old Testament of the Bible.

Biography

The year of the birth of Holy Prophet Elijah the Thesbite (Mar Elias) 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 Elijah 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 Elijah the Thesbite (Mar Elias) had long hair and wore sheepskin. He lived in the desert and mountainous area of Palestine.

Mission

The mission of Holy Prophet Elijah the Thesbite (Mar Elias) 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.

Prophets

Prophets are people who were sent by God to speak the truth to those who were disobedient.

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 Elijah (Mar Elias) 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.

Chariot of Fire

The Holy Prophet Elijah (Mar Elias) rode a chariot of fire into heaven. The Holy Prophet Elijah (Mar Elias) did not die.
"As they (The Holy Prophet Elijah {Mar Elias} 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 Elijah (Mar Elias) is also known as Mar Elias al-Hayy, or Holy Prophet Elijah the Living, because he was taken up to heaven in a flaming chariot.

The Holy Prophet Elisha

As Holy God commanded, The Holy Prophet Elijah / Mar Elya annointed The Holy Prophet Elisha to succeed him. (2 Kings 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 Elijah / 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 Elijah, 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 Elijah 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 Elijah (Mar Elias)

At the end of the Divine Liturgy, there is procession with the ikon of The Holy Prophet Elijah the Thesbite (Mar Elias). 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 Elijah the Thesbite (Mar Elias) is the Patron Saint of transportation.
Then, means of transporation are blessed on The Holy Prophet Elijah's (Mar Elias'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 Elijah the Thesbite (Mar Elias) 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 Elijah the Thesbite / (Mar Elias) is also called "Eleeya", 'Elia", "Eliahu", "Eliyahu", and "Elya."
In English, the Holy Prophet Elijah the Thesbite (Mar Elias) 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 Elijah the Thesbite (Mar Elias).

Saint Elijah / Elya

The Melkite Greek Catholic Church declared that the Holy Prophet Elijah the Thesbite (Mar Elias) was a Saint.

Feast Day

Holy Prophet Elijah the Thesbite (Mar Elias) 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 Elijah the Thesbite (Mar Elias) and The Holy Prophet Elisha as one of its founders or patrons.
The Holy Prophet Elijah the Thesbite (Mar Elias) 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 Elijah the Thesbite (Mar Elias) on July 20.

More information

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

Elijah Catholic Encyclopedia

Ikon

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


St. George (Mar Giries) Melkite Greek Catholic Parish
Abouna Firas Boutros Khoury Diab
E-mail Address: Abouna Firas Boutros Khoury Diab,cure_zab@yahoo.com or Abouna Firas Boutros Khoury Diab, firas_khoury2002@yahoo.com
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