On June 15, 2020, on the occasion of the Commemoration of the Martyrs of the Sayfo Syriac Genocide, His Holiness Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem II celebrated the Holy Qurobo at the altar of the Sayfo Martyrs in Mor Aphrem Monastery in Maarat Saydnaya.
Their Eminences Archbishops: Mor Yacoub Babawi, Patriarchal Vicar for Monks Affairs and the Administration of Mor Aphrem Theological Seminary, Mor Selwanos Boutros Al-Nehmeh, Archbishop of Homs, Hama, Tartous and Environs, Mor Timotheos Matta Al-Khoury, Patriarchal Vicar of the Patriarchal Archdiocese of Damascus, Mor Anthimos Jack Yacoub, Patriarchal Vicar for Youth Affairs and Christian Education, and Mor Boutros Kassis, Patriarchal Assistant, assisted His Holiness in the Holy Qurobo.
In his sermon, His Holiness spoke about the martyrs of the Syriac Genocide Sayfo, which the church is commemoration on this day every year. He pointed out that the church does not forget those who suffered for the preservation of their faith and who died during the persecutions in order to defend their faith. He encouraged the faithful of the Syriac Orthodox Church to celebrate this commemoration because the martyrs are a good example of preserving the faith at any price, because true love is the sacrifice of one’s self, even to death. His Holiness added that the blood of martyrdom continues to quench the thirst of the church of the Lord Jesus Christ and it yields a blessed harvest, namely a renewed faith in the hearts of the children of the church. This renewed faith leads many to accept the faith. He also emphasized that we are all called to witness to our faith and to reveal the glory of God so that many can believe in Him through us. His Holiness concluded with a prayer for the peace in the world and asked the Lord to protect people from diseases.
During the Holy Qurobo, His Holiness conducted the special service of the martyrs in commemoration of the Sayfo Martyrs. At the end of the Qurobo, the faithful were blessed by the Sayfo icon and the relics of the Sayfo Martyrs.