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Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Name that Syrian Saint!

Were you aware of the many saints from Antioch-Syria? Here are some of those illuminaries:

St. Margaret of Antioch, a 3rd century martyr, was venerated in Britain for hundreds of years and still has very many churches dedicated to her in England and Scotland.

St. Theodore of Tarsus was the Archbishop of Canterbury in the 7th century and was instrumental in organizing the Church in England.

St. Joseph of Damascus played an important role in revivifying the Church and also took part in the modern translation of the Bible into Arabic. He was martyred on July 10, 1860, and canonized by the Antiochian Synod in 1993.

Also, St. Raphael Hawawini, a Syrian who became the Bishop of Brooklyn (+1915) and who
was canonised in the United States in 2000.

There are other contemporary martyrs as well, such as Father Nicolas Khashi and Father Habib Khashi, a father and son, who died in Syria.

During the First World War, Patriarch Gregorios IV was given the title “Father of the Poor” because he sold many things belonging to the patriarchate to buy wheat and flour for the hungry, both Christian and Muslim. He was so loved that, when he died, there was a fight between the Christians and Muslims over who would bury him. The Muslims insisted on reading prayers and doing a service over him, and only then would they let the Christians take his body for a Christian burial. The Holy Synod is to decide whether he is to be canonized.

From here.

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