The Martyrs of Damascus will be saints on 20 October

The Martyrs of Damascus will be saints on 20 October

The Blessed Martyrs of Damascus will be canonized on 20 October 2024: Manuel Ruiz López and his seven companions, of the order of the Friars Minor, and Francesco, Mooti and Raffaele Massabki, lay Maronite faithful, as established by the Ordinary Public Consistory, convened this morning in Rome, for the Canonization of some Blessed, and presided over by Pope Francis.

“I am a Christian and I will die as a Christian”

The martyrdom took place during the persecutions against the Christians by Shi’ite Druse in Lebanon and Syria. In the night between 9 and 10 July 1860, a commando entered the Franciscan convent in the Christian neighbourhood of Bab-Touma and killed eight friars and three Maronite faithful. Manuel Ruiz, the guardian, at the time of the incursion, ran into the church to take the Blessed Sacrament and when he was ordered to convert to Islam,  on pain of death, he said, “I am a Christian and I will die as a Christian” and he was murdered on the altar. (you can read the full story HERE) 

The commemoration in Damascus

The news was received with joy in Damascus, where the preparations for the annual commemoration, which will be held on the evening of 10 July, are underway. The Latin Bishop of Aleppo, Hanna Jallouf, and the Maronite Archbishop of Damascus, Samir Nassar, will be present. A Mass will be celebrated followed by a procession with the relics through the streets of the Christian quarter, where thousands of Christians shed their blood for the faith. Fra Firas Lufti, of the Custody of the Holy Land, guardian of the Franciscan convent of Bab-Touma, hopes to be able to take a small delegation from the parish to Rome for the canonization.

The canonization in Rome

On 20 October, together with the Martyrs of Damascus, Giuseppe Allamano, a priest, founder of the Institutes of Consolata Missionaries and of the Consolata Sisters; Marie-Léonie Paradis, founder of the Congregation of the Little Sisters of the Holy Family and Elena Guerra, founder of the Congregation of the Oblates of the Holy Spirit, called the “Sisters of St Zita,” will also be canonized. The ceremony will be held in Rome, in the Vatican.

Marinella Bandini