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An Orthodox Christian Monk saved the life of a Muslim Prince

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  • Bill Samsonoff
    2005.02.04 HNA: An Orthodox Christian Monk saved the life of a Muslim Prince In 1951 Father Theodosios Makkos saved the life of Prince Hussein who later became
    Message 1 of 1 , Feb 4, 2005
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      2005.02.04 HNA:
      An Orthodox Christian Monk saved the life of a Muslim Prince

      In 1951 Father Theodosios Makkos saved the life of Prince Hussein who
      later became king of Jordan. Father Theodosios was born in Smyrna, Asia
      Minor, present day Turkey, on July 11, 1913. He became an orphan at an
      early age and was reared by his grandmother and aunt. He had a burning
      desire to become a monk and serve the Church in the Holy Land. He came to
      Palestine in 1928 and remained there until his death, 1991 at the age of 78
      years old. He served the Church of Jerusalem with great devotion at various
      places and positions for 63 years. His last 50 years he was the spiritual
      father and resident priest at the monastery for women, Saints Mary and
      Martha, sisters of Lazarus in Bethany, a suburb of Jerusalem.
      While in Palestine he befriended King Abdullah. In July 1951 the king
      made a pilgrimage to the holy shrine of Omar at Jerusalem with his grandson
      Prince Hussein. The prince was a very young man at that time. While in
      Jerusalem King Abdullah was assassinated. Father Theodosios was present,
      accompanying the king. He immediately took the young prince under his
      cassock (Rasson) and brought him to the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of
      Jerusalem. The prince was hidden there. Fr. Theodosios reported the
      Patriarch about the tragedy of the assassination of King Abdullah and was
      greatly concerned for the safety and life of the young prince. The
      Patriarch, before the rebels cut off the phones, placed a call to the
      Jordanian authorities that the young prince is alive and hidden in a safe
      place in the Orthodox Patriarchate. The Jordanian government sent
      appropriate officials to the Patriarchate and took the young prince under
      the protection of Jordan. For that reason King Hussein always was indebted
      to the Elder Theodosios for saving his life. He visited often the simple
      monk Theodosios in his monastery in Bethany. When later the prince became
      king he continued to have close relations and visit him at the monastery
      and Fr. Theodosios had an easy access to the king's palace. Fr. Theodosios
      was able to enter the palace at any time. He helped numerous people through
      his good word to the king. The king requested the Patriarch to elevate him
      to the Episcopate. Elder Theodosios was elected by the synod three times to
      be elevated but he refused the honor. He chose to remain a simple monk to
      serve the nuns at the monastery of Martha and Mary. He was well known
      throughout the region for his love and charity for all people without
      regard of religion or race. He loved all people without distinction and
      dedicated to charity and the service of justice. When I was in Jerusalem
      for the month of January 1986 on a mission of study and dialogue with Jews
      and Muslims I had the honor to meet Fr. Theodosios. I visited him in the
      monastery and he told me the story. He also told me that whenever the king
      greeted him as a sign of respect the king opened his palm for him to kiss,
      whereas the other people kissed the back of his hand. This is a remarkable
      story of friendship of a simple monk and a king, a Greek Orthodox Christian
      and the other a Muslim. Father Theodosios dedicated his entire life to
      protect the shrines and people who live in Palestine that he loved so much.
      Especially he was honored for saving the life of the future king from
      certain death. This is a great example for all people to follow, that is,
      to love all and protect the life of all regardless of religious
      affiliation, nationality or race. All people are people of God created in
      His image. I was blessed to have known the Blessed Elder Theodosios. All
      must emulate his example of love and respect for the other.

      Rev. Dr. Protopresbyter Professor George C. Papademetriou, Hellenic
      College/ Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology

      © 2005 Hellenic News of America, Inc. - All Rights Reserved
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