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Ecumenism of blood

· Bishop Melki to be beatified in Lebanon ·

An authentic testimony of “ecumenism of blood” can be found in the figure of Bishop Flavien Mikhaiel Melki, who was born and raised in the Syriac Orthodox Church and died in communion with the Syriac Catholic Church. He was killed in the hatred of the faith in 1915 during the rule of the Young Turks.

The martyr — who Cardinal Angelo Amato, Prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, will beatify on Saturday, 29 August, on behalf of Pope Francis in Daroun-Harissa, Lebanon — was born in 1858 in the small village of Kalaat Mara, located in Vilayet de Mardine, in north eastern Greater Syria (in what is today Turkey), to a deeply Christian family of the Syriac Orthodox Church. At the age of 20 he was ordained a deacon and became the librarian of the monastery.

It was in those years that in deepening his understanding he studied, among other things, the fathers of the Eastern Churches and decided to become Catholic. He courageously left the monastery, and openly declared his faith, travelling to Lebanon, to the Syriac Catholic Patriarchate of Charfé, where his beatification is taking place. 

Rami Al Kabalan, postulator for the cause

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