31 October, 2014 AsiaNews.it Twitter AsiaNews.it Facebook            

Help AsiaNews | About us | P.I.M.E. | | RssNewsletter | Mobile





mediazioni e arbitrati, risoluzione alternativa delle controversie e servizi di mediazione e arbitrato
e-mail this to a friend printable version


» 06/25/2013
SYRIA
Custos of the Holy Land: Fr Franҫois Mourad killed by Islamist insurgents in al-Ghassaniyah
Fr Pizzaballa talks about the killing of the priest, new martyr in Syria. Franҫois Mourad was killed during an attack by Islamic fighters against the Monastery of St Anthony, in Idlib province. Until his death, the priest had worked with the Franciscans to alleviate the suffering of Christians and Muslims. Now the village stands completely destroyed.

Jerusalem (AsiaNews) - "Fr. Franҫois Mourad's killing of is a sad occurrence and a blow to all the friars of the Custody of the Holy Land," said Fr Pizzaballa, Custos of the Holy Land, as he spoke with AsiaNews about the Syrian clergyman who died on Sunday in al-Ghassaniyah, a predominantly Christian village in Jisr al-Shughur District, Idlib province. His funeral was celebrated yesterday in the small village of Kanaieh, a few kilometres from where he was killed.

Until yesterday, there were two versions of the murder, the first spoke about a stray bullet, the second of an actual attack carried out by Islamist insurgents against the Monastery of St Anthony in al-Ghassaniyah.

"The second is the most reliable version," Fr Pizzaballa said. "From the photos and the testimony of our religious, the rebels attacked the village in past few weeks, forcing most residents to flee."

The Monastery of St Anthony was the only safe haven, where Fr Franҫois lived along with some Franciscan friars, four nuns and ten lay Christians. But on Sunday, rebels part of a fringe extremist Islamic group, stormed that place too."

According to the Custos of the Holy Land, Islamists broke into the convent, looted it and destroyed everything. When Fr Franҫois tried to defend the nuns and other people, the gunmen shot him dead.

"Right now, the village is completely deserted," Fr Pizzaballa said. "Rebels have moved there with their families and occupied the houses still standing."

"Let us pray that this absurd and shameful war ends soon and that the people of Syria can get back to a normal life soon," he said.

Hailing from a village in the province of Latakia in northwestern Syria, Fr Franҫois Mourad, 49, was trained by the Franciscan Fathers in the Holy Land.

Feeling called to a more contemplative life at the end of the 90s, he left the Franciscans to complete his studies with the Trappists of Latrun (Palestine).

Once back in Syria, he was ordained priest by the Syriac Catholic bishop of Al-Hasakah on the Syrian side of the Al-Jazira region.

In recent years, he launched a new monastic foundation, inspired by Saint Simon and founded a small monastery of contemplative life in Hwar, Aleppo province, devoting himself to the training of some young postulants, all Syrians.

He was in Hwar until this year when fighting between Islamic rebels and regime forced him to take refuge in al-Ghassaniyah, on the Orontes River, guest of the local Franciscan monastery.

Until his death, he worked together with the friars to bring relief to the Christian and Muslim residents of the area. (S.C.)


e-mail this to a friend printable version

See also
06/24/2013 SYRIA
Idlib: monk killed at Franciscan convent in Al-Ghassaniyah
06/26/2013 SYRIA
Fr Mourad, "a man of faith" who gave his life for Christ and Syrians
09/09/2013 SYRIA
Maaloula: rebels break into the village homes, kill three young Christians
06/28/2013 SYRIA
Strong doubts expressed about the beheading of three Franciscan friars in Al-Ghassaniyah
10/25/2012 SYRIA
Trappist nuns in Azeir, a sign of hope for Syria at war

Editor's choices
IRAQ - ITALY
Letter from Archbishop of Mosul: Thank you for your aid, supporting the plight of refugees
by Amel NonaThe donations made through the "Adopt a Christian from Mosul" campaign are used to buy food, warm clothes, blankets for refugees and rent houses or caravans given the early onset of winter and. Two women have defended their Christian faith before the Islamist militants who wanted to convert them, despite the threat of death. A refugee among refugees, Msgr. Nona discovers a new way of being a pastor.
IRAQ - ITALY
Almost 700,000 euros raised as the 'Adopt a Christian from Mosul' campaign continues
by Bernardo CervelleraA second instalment is sent with funds raised in September. The fate of East-West relations is being played out in the Middle East and Iraq. Pope Francis and the Synod issue an appeal. Governments are lukewarm. Aid is coming from around the world. A new international community is defeating the "globalisation of indifference."
IRAQ-VATICAN
"Adopt a Christian from Mosul": Archbishops’ thanks as first aid arrives
by Amel NonaMsgr. Amel Nona, the Chaldean Archbishop of Mosul, who is also a refugee himself, thanks all the donors to the AsiaNews campaign. The situation is increasingly difficult given the huge number of refugees and the arrival of winter and snow, making outdoor shelters and tents impossible. The crisis, an occasion that activates the faith of Christians.

Dossier

by Giulio Aleni / (a cura di) Gianni Criveller
pp. 176
Copyright © 2003 AsiaNews C.F. 00889190153 All rights reserved. Content on this site is made available for personal, non-commercial use only. You may not reproduce, republish, sell or otherwise distribute the content or any modified or altered versions of it without the express written permission of the editor. Photos on AsiaNews.it are largely taken from the internet and thus considered to be in the public domain. Anyone contrary to their publication need only contact the editorial office which will immediately proceed to remove the photos.