Glorifcation of Holy Hieromartyrs Nicolas and…
Glorifcation of Holy Hieromartyrs Nicolas and Habib Khasha
Balamand, October 21, 2023
His Beatitude Patriarch John, together with the Most Reverend Metropolitans and bishops of the Holy Synod of Antioch, held a thanksgiving prayer for the glorification of the two hieromartyrs, Nicholas and his son Habib Khasha of Damascus. The prayer took place at the Patriarchal Monastery of Our Lady of Balamand, in the presence of a group of priests, deacons, monks and nuns, and a crowd of believers who came from various archdioceses.
First, the clergy and people crossed the western courtyard of the monastery in procession towards the church, with the icon of the two hieromartyrs ahead, while the Orthodox National Scouts played music. At the church, the choir of the Saint John of Damascus Institute of Theology at the University of Balamand chanted during the thanksgiving prayer.
During the service, His Beatitude and the Most Reverend Metropolitans, members of the Holy Synod, signed the decree that declares the glorification of the Fathers Khasha in the Synod’s register. At that point, the Secretary of the Holy Synod, Bishop Gregory (Khoury), read out the following statement of the Holy Synod: “Glorification of the two hierormartyrs, priests Nicholas and Habib Khasha of Damascus.
The official recognition and glorification of the two hireomartyrs, Father Nicholas Khasha and his son Habib of Damascene, took place in the Patriarchate of Antioch on October 19, 2023, as follows:
The Church of Christ offers praises very piously to those who underwent martyrdom for their faith in Christ. It asks for their intercession to the God Lover of Mankind for the forgiveness of the people’s sins, the healing of the sick, and spiritual benefit. Fathers Nicola and Habib provided amazing evidence regarding their faith in Christ.
Father Nicholas was martyred in the city of Mersin on the 2nd of August 1917 and his son, Father Habib, was also martyred in the body in Mount Hermon on the 16th of July 1948. Therefore, they deserved honor and reverence from the believers.
Therefore, Patriarch John X of Antioch and All the East made a presentation to the Holy Synod about their life as martyrs. He asked to recognize their holiness and set a feast day to commemorate them on July 16 of every year.
For this reason, after taking into account their martyrdom for the sake of our faith and the general ecclesiastical recognition of their holiness, we decided, following the tradition of the universal Church, to pay the appropriate and due honor to these holy men, and accordingly we decided synodally and determined in the Holy Spirit the following:
The Damascene Fathers Nicola Khasha and his son Habib, who received the death of martyrdom, are counted among the ranks of the holy martyrs. Honor is presented to them by the believers with praises every year, on the 16th of July. Their liturgical service and icon were also approved. Accordingly, this synodal decision was made, printed, and signed in the register of the Holy Council of the Great Church of Antioch, and was circulated to all believers and sister Orthodox churches.
At the end of the prayer, His Beatitude delivered a speech during which he touched on the most important issues of the hour in Lebanon and Syria and the bloody siege on Gaza.
He praised the lives of Saints Khasha and mentioned that “the path of holiness is a calling for each one of us,” especially since they are models for Christian family life.
He focused on the Antiochian gesture towards the Jerusalem Church by restoring ecclesiastical communion with it, while emphasizing the right of the Antiochian ecclesiastical jurisdiction in Qatar specifically, and in the Arabian Gulf. He raised a cry of peace for the return of the bishops of Aleppo, Paul and John, and the rest of the kidnapped.
Praise be to God at the end of “this Antiochian week par excellence,” which ends today with this prayer of thanksgiving.
After concluding the prayer, the believers participated in a procession of the icon of the holy martyrs. The lives of the new saints and Saint Raphael, Bishop of Brooklyn, were distributed to them.
We always ask for the intercession of new saints.
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