METROPOLITAN METHODIOS REMEMBERED MIAN M. ASHRAF, M.D. AT MEMORIAL SERVICE
His Eminence Metropolitan Methodios of Boston participated in a Memorial Service at Harvard University's Memorial Church on May 21, for Dr. Mian M. Ashraf, the renown cardiologist who operated on Archbishop Iakovos and also treated Metropolitan Methodios. Metropolitan Methodios offered the following remembrance of Dr. Ashraf who passed on on May 7 at the age of 73.
I am truly blessed and honored to be present this morning to express my condolences to you, Marian, and all your family, and to share some personal reflections on the wonderful man whose memory we honor.
An exceptional man, Mian Ashraf came to this country from a far away land. While never forgetting his roots, he planted new ones in America, a land which he grew to love. The land which provided him the opportunity to excel as a doctor and a human being. And indeed, he excelled. People from all over the world chose to come to Boston to be treated by Dr. Ashraf, a pioneer in by-pass surgery.
Mian Ashraf was a renown surgeon. He was a rare human being, blessed by Almighty God in whose image and likeness he was created. And just as God creates all of us in the palms of His hands, so, too, did Dr. Ashraf hold in his hands the hearts of countless patients---hearts that he healed from various maladies. One of those hearts was that of my spiritual father, Archbishop Iakovos, in 1990. Archbishop Iakovos had the highest regard for Dr. Ashraf whom he loved and considered a personal friend. When my turn for a by-pass came in 1993, Dr. Ashraf was no longer operating but he was present in the operating room making sure that everything was done properly.
He is said to have once remarked, “I’ve never found a difference inside---everyone’s got warm blood and a heart”. This belief inspired him to gather people of all faiths, Jews, Christians and Moslems to join him in one of the proudest days of his life---the day he presided at the ground-breaking ceremonies for the Islamic Center in Sharon. I was present that day, and remember the great significance of that ceremony.
Dr. Ashraf believed in the God-given dignity and goodness of people regardless of creed. I remember how he opened his home to Archbishop Iakovos to recuperate after surgery. I remember the stimulating discussions around the dinner table and the delicious meals Marian prepared. This he did for all his patients, regardless of race or creed or status. He considered everyone a good person capable of being an ever better, more wholesome human being.
In my conversations with him over the years, I experienced a man of distinction and dignity, of intelligence and integrity, a profile in courage, a man knowledgeable and well read not only in the field of medicine, but of human nature, of life in all its aspects. He was a serious man with a great sense of humor. He made you feel very special—as if you were the only person in the world that particular moment. When you looked into his gleaming eyes and into his beautiful soul, you saw the world as it was meant to be—a place where God’s children could live in peace and harmony and fellowship.
I know that he was embraced by the love of his immediate family during the years that he suffered the ravaging ramifications of the disease which ended his career and eventually took his life. But I want you to know that he was embraced in spirit every day by his countless friends and patients throughout the world who thought of him and prayed for him.
Today, his colleagues, his friends and especially his patients throughout the world, join his beloved family and all of us as we remember him and pray for the repose of his soul. I am sure Dr. Ashraf is smiling right now, and that his eyes are beaming as he sees us all---Jews and Christians and Muslims, his colleagues and friends, people of all backgrounds and professions sharing fellowship with one-another, recalling those special moments in our lives that were graced by this very special person.
I convey to you the heartfelt condolences of the Greek American community. I pray that our benevolent God open His arms and embrace Dr. Ashraf in His Bosom, granting him eternal rest.