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H.H. Patriarch Ignatius Zakka's Encyclical on Fr Abdel's Martyrdom

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  • Rev Fr John Brian
    From: Syriac Orthodox Resources and Dr Thomas Joseph Sent: Wednesday, April 09, 2008 1:13 AM To His Eminence, our brother in Christ, Mor Severius Hawa Esteemed
    Message 1 of 1 , Apr 9, 2008
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      From: Syriac Orthodox Resources and Dr Thomas Joseph
      Sent: Wednesday, April 09, 2008 1:13 AM

      To His Eminence, our brother in Christ, Mor Severius Hawa
      Esteemed Archbishop of Baghdad and Basrah

      After prayers and peace in the Lord, we say:

      With great sorrow we received the news of the martyrdom of the late Reverend
      Father Yousef Adel Abboudi the parish priest of St. Severius the Great, who
      was slain for sticking to the faith in the Lord Jesus in performing his
      priestly duty. We cried for his departure because it is a great loss to the
      Holy Church and his family. Our comfort is in knowing that his virtuous
      spirit has joined the spirits of the martyrs who were seen by St. John the
      apostle as wearing white robes, the robes of righteousness and holiness. And
      we shall perform memorial prayers for him tomorrow at St. Ephraim the Syriac
      church in Ma'arret Saidnaya. And even though we grieved for his loss on
      earth, yet we believe that God's heavenly angels has received his soul with
      praise and hymns of glory.

      His disastrous loss is very great and painful. But although his virtuous
      body was laid to rest on earth, yet we bid him farewell with strong faith
      and surrender to God's will and hope for the general resurrection. We should
      not surrender to grief but we must look on his departure through the eye of
      faith and see his pious
      spirit flying in paradise with the spirits of the martyrs, saints and devout
      priests. St. Paul the apostle commands us not to grieve for "those who slept
      in faith like people of no hope", specially that our beloved departed,
      father Yousef, has granted the crown of martyrdom because of his faith in
      the Lord Jesus and his devotion to Him, and we believe that the Lord Jesus
      has prepared for him in heaven a crown of glory according to His promise.

      In the face of such painful calamity we cannot but ask God Almighty through
      the intercession of the righteous man of God, the slain priest Yousef, to
      bring comfort to your eminence's heart and to his brothers the priests and
      to his virtuous widow and his parents and his pious uncle, Archdeacon Bashir
      Abboudi and all members of the family and parish whom he served selflessly.
      And to grant us all the power to endure this sorrowful event with faith in
      the Lord Jesus Who promised us that He will come again with great glory and
      all those in the graves will hear His voice and come forth, those who have
      done good to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil to the
      resurrection of condemnation (John 5: 28-29). Let his soul be with the
      saints who believed and done good works and let his memory be everlasting.

      May the grace of God be with you.

      (Our Father Who art in Heaven.).

      H.H. Patriarch Ignatius Zakka
      (Seal and Signature)
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