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Patriarch Michel Sabbah, born in March 19 1933 to a Palestinian Christian family in Nazareth, Palestine, is the Archbishop and Latin (Roman Catholic) Patriarch Emeritus of Jerusalem from 1987 to 2008.Patriarch Sabbah began his priestly studies at the Latin Patriarchal Seminary of Beit Jala in October 1949 and was ordained a priest for the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem in June 1955. He was a parish priest for a few years before being sent to the University of St. Joseph in Beirut to study Arabic language and literature. Shortly thereafter, he became director of schools for the Latin Patriarchate. He served in that position until the Arab-Israeli war in 1967. He then moved to Djibouti to teach Arabic and Islamic studies until 1973, when he began doctoral studies in Arabic philology at the Sorbonne. In 1980, he was named President of the Bethlehem University. In 1987, Pope John Paul II appointed him Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, making him the first native Palestinian to hold the office since centuries.Since 1999, Patriarch Sabbah has been the International President of Pax Christi, a Catholic organization promoting peace. Sabbah has also spoken in support of Palestinian rights, the two-state solution and the Palestinian refugees' right of return. He has criticized the apartheid wall and called for an end of the Israeli occupation. Sabbah resigned as Patriarch on March 19 2008, after reaching the age of 75, the age of retirement.He is currently the Grand Prior of the chivalric Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem, one of the knightly orders founded in 1099.On the 11th of December 2009 Patriarch Sabbah together with other prominent Christian Leaders launched the Kairos Palestine Document in an international conference in Dar Annadwa in Bethlehem, Palestine.