The Convent of Our Lady of Saidnaya in Syria is still under siege

Damascus, August 4, 2015

While the Convent of St. Thecla, Equal-to-the-Apostles, in Ma’loula is being restored, the Convent of Our Lady of Saidnaya is still under siege, said auxiliary bishop of the Patriarch of Antioch and All East, Abbot of the Holy Prophet Elias’ Patriarchal Monastery in Shwayya (Lebanon), Bishop Constantine (Kayal) of Zabadani in his interview with RIA-Novosti.

Under the veil of the Mother of God. In the Convent of Our Lady of Saidnaya Under the veil of the Mother of God. In the Convent of Our Lady of Saidnaya

The ancient Convent of St. Thecla that was many times attacked by extremist Muslim groups is currently being restored. “One wing of the Ma’loula Convent is being renovated so that the sisters could return there. There is fear, there is still a danger, but we must return there. We must show that we will remain in this holy land,” Bishop Constantine said.

Ma’loula in Syria is the only remaining place in the world where the population’s spoken language is Aramaic (it is generally agreed that our Lord Jesus Christ spoke Aramaic in His life on earth).

In September and December 2013 Ma’loula was seized by the CCA and Jabhat al-Nusra militants. 13 nuns and 3 lay sisters together with the Mother-Superior of the St. Thecla’s Convent were held captive for over three months and were freed only through intermediary of the Lebanese intelligence services.

Ma’loula is rising from ruins. Bishop Luke (Habib-Huri) is visiting the town. June 14, 2015 Ma’loula is rising from ruins. Bishop Luke (Habib-Huri) is visiting the town. June 14, 2015

The representative of the Patriarchate of Antioch has also reported that at the present time one of the largest convents in Syria – the Convent of Our Lady of Saidnaya – is surrounded by Muslim fanatics.

At the orphanage for girls within the Saidnaya Convent At the orphanage for girls within the Saidnaya Convent
“The convent is surrounded by Muslim villages from all sides, and there are many fanatics there. But the Most Holy Theotokos is protecting us, the nuns and the laity feel Her invisible presence and are not going to leave their dwellings,” Bishop Constantine stressed.

The agency’s spokesman has also especially noted good relations between the Syrian Christians and representatives of the traditional Islam. “We have absolutely no problems with moderate Muslims. We live side by side with them; they share our joys and our sorrows. We coexist in peace, and even the political leaders belonging to both religions are amiable to each other,” the hierarch said in conclusion.


Yiannis Sarz8/27/2019 11:40 am
Where are the nuns these days? Are they all safe? I visited the monastery in the 70s for the first time. I have, many friends between them. Best wishes to the nuns with all my love. Yiann
Mike Corra6/29/2017 6:04 am
Attn Ms. Jenny Turner. This is interesting. Your grandfather and my grandfather were first cousins. Presumably, your grandfathers father and my grandfather's father, were brothers (in Saidnaya). My grandfather's father was Elias Khouri. I'd like to compare notes with you some time. Where do you live? What's your email address?
Mike Corra
Jenny Turner (mother Rose Corra Turner-family name of grandfather Khouri)4/7/2017 5:26 am
My grandmother and her sister , Eva Farris and Fahada Farris were raised in this orphanage after their mother died when they were young and their father had to work and could not raise them by himself.I am thankful for the convent and the sisters.
Debbie McAndrews from St. Margaret Parish, Lowell, MA6/8/2016 8:52 pm
I need to send records of a First Communion for someone that was baptized at The Convent of Our Lady of Saydnaya, Syria and am not sure what the email address is to send this information. I was hoping you could help me.
Thank you
Debbie McAndrews
Hieromonk Timothy Tadros8/8/2015 2:49 am
May our Lord through his holy mother the Blessed Theotokos continue to guard and protect her monastery of Saidanaya!
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