Patriarchal Encyclical for the 103rd of the Syriac Genocide “Sayfo”

No. EN 386/18

ܒܫܡ ܐܝܬܝܐ ܡܬܘܡܝܐ ܐܠܨܝ ܐܝܬܘܬܐ ܕܟܠ ܐܚܝܕ

ܐܝܓܢܛܝܘܣ ܦܛܪܝܪܟܐ ܕܟܘܪܣܝܐ ܫܠܝܚܝܐ ܕܐܢܛܝܘܟܝܐ ܘܕܟܠܗ̇ ܡܕܢܚܐ

ܘܪܝܫܐ ܓܘܢܝܐ ܕܥܕܬܐ ܣܘܪܝܝܬܐ ܐܪܬܕܘܟܣܝܬܐ ܕܒܟܠܗ̇ ܬܒܝܠ

ܕܗܘ ܐܦܪܝܡ ܬܪܝܢܐ ܡ̄


We extend our apostolic benediction, benevolent prayers and greetings to our brethren, His Beatitude Mor Baselius Thomas I, Catholicos of India, and their Eminences the Metropolitans; our spiritual children: Very Reverend Corepiscopoi, Reverend priests, monks, nuns, deacons and deaconesses and the entire blessed Syriac Orthodox people throughout the world. May the divine providence embrace them through the intercession of the Virgin Mary, Mother of God, and St. Peter, Chief of the Apostles, and the rest of the Martyrs and Saints. Amen.


For your sake, we are being killed all day long, we are thought of as sheep to be slaughtered” (Psalm 44: 22)


Dearly beloved in Christ,

It is befitting to honor the martyrs because not even death stopped them from holding to their belief in Jesus Christ our Lord. They never compromised their principles nor abandoned their beliefs. They sacrificed their lives for their faith. We are the descendants of those who survived the massacres and walked through “the valley of the shadows of death” (Ps. 23:4) refusing to betray the doctrines of faith which were entrusted to them by the Holy Apostles and the Fathers of the Church. These are the martyrs of the Syriac Genocide “Sayfo” whose number exceeded half a million.

We boast in our martyrs as much as in the cross for which they embraced martyrdom. Hence, we aim at keeping their memory alive in the minds of the faithful, east and west, so that we draw from their sacrifices hope for our lives in the tribulations of our days which almost resemble theirs.

Therefore, we write to you, on the 103rd commemoration of the Syriac Genocide “Sayfo”, to remind you that, during the Holy Synod in 2015, it was decided that June 15 will be the date of the yearly commemoration of the Syriac Martyrs of Sayfo.

On this occasion, we will celebrate the Divine Liturgy at our Patriarchate in Damascus. We, likewise, encourage you all to celebrate Divine Liturgy and organize other activities on this occasion. We urge you to hold prayers for peace in the Middle East and throughout the world; may wars, conflicts, and massacres come to an end soon, through the intercession of the Holy Martyrs.

We also hope that you will continue to pray for the safety and immediate return of the two abducted Archbishops of Aleppo, their Eminences Boulos Yaziji and Mor Gregorius Youhanna Ibrahim.

We ask the Lord to bless you all and grant you good health. May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. ܘܐܒܘܢ ܕܒܫܡܝܐ ܘܫܪܟܐ


Issued at our Patriarchate in Damascus, Syria

On the Seventh of June, 2018,

Which is the 5th year of our Patriarchate

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