Metropolitan Iakovos (89) fell asleep in the Lord on Friday evening, June 2, 2017 at Chicago's Weiss Memorial Hospital after a brief illness. A detailed tribute and biography of the late Metropolitan, who has overseen the Metropolis of Chicago since May 1, 1979, is available on the web site of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America.
The text of Bishop Irinej’s letter to Archbishop Demetrios, dated June 7, 2017, appears in the following:
E. No. 369
June 7th, 2017
His Eminence Geron Archbishop Demetrios of America
Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America
RE: Blessed Repose of His Eminence Metropolitan +Iakovos of Chicago
Your Eminence, beloved Γέροντα!
It is with a humble offering of prayer and a heavy heart that I put forth my most sincere condolences to Your Eminence, the Holy Eparchial Synod, and the fullness of the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Chicago on the loss of a truly noble and eminent hierarch of Christ’s Holy Church, His Eminence Metropolitan +Iakovos of Chicago.
His loving, caring, paternal advice not only to myself, but also to countless others endeared him to all who encountered him and came to know him as a true Father in God. Regardless of the jurisdiction that we came from, he bore no distinctions in the magnanimous breadth of his generous heart.
Always of distinguished, indeed aristocratic bearing, keenly insightful and radiating in spirit, this great and wise hierarch was a most honorable and respected representative of Orthodox Christianity throughout his long and faithful ministry. His liturgical grace and omnipresent smile will always remain with those of us who were blessed to have known him. For this and so much more, we offer appreciation to Christ, our Life and Resurrection.
Kindly receive my profound regret as I will not be able to personally participate in the funeral of Metropolitan +Iakovos, given that I have a long-standing obligation to my Diocesan Council, which will be meeting in Cleveland, Ohio on Friday, the 9th of June 2017.
May the cherished memory of our beloved archpastor and mentor, brother and concelebrant in Christ, +Iakovos, Metropolitan of Chicago, be eternal!
Your Eminence’s devoted younger brother and concelebrant,
BISHOP OF EASTERN AMERICA
THE SERBIAN ORTHODOX CHURCH