Back to Church of Mother of God at Amida

THE FLOWER THAT GLADDENS

A History of the Monastery of Mor Jacob of Salah

By Mor Philoxenius Yuhanon Dolabani

the late Metropolitan of Mardin and Environs

Translated into English by Malphono Isa Gulten and Fr. Dale A. Johnson with special notes, helps, and a new introduction

 

PREFACE

 

A saint said "Everywhere a bee sets its produce is honey, and where a righteous man dwells, the name of the Lord is always upon his tongue."

The stories of the saints and those who love our Lord, they are very useful and unifying. They passed through this great struggle by virtues. Through it they produced excellence and brought forth many wonders for the world.

Therefore, our Orthodox church is the Holy Mother of the saints and she is the Foster-Mother of the genius' and intellectuals. She is the first link in the spiritual chain by the virtues of the hermits and by the wondrous miracles of her children.

Thus, how great is the region of Turabdin, blessed with perfection, with the fragrance of its saints' censors rising up and ascending every morning and evening, sweetening the courtyards of the (Mother of Lights) East. Also, by these burning coals of its monasteries the patriarchal glory is deeply shown.

From these monasteries, the one that has the most fame in our church is the monastery Mor Jacob of Salah.

Today its history is placed on our hands. It is especially offered to the Syrian community in everyplace. Whereupon, after it's composer, the late Blessed Mor Philoxenius Yuhanon Dolabani was layed to rest, he requested that I publish this book.

As a blessing, I humbly desired to publish this (book). Today it is being published by the financial gift of the Blessed monastery, and by the effort of, His Grace Mor Iwannis Ephrem of Turabdin and in the Patriarchal press of Mor Ephrem on Mount Lebanon.

Therefore, I offer it as a memorial to the spirit of its author. I beg the Lord, that through the prayers of the saints, the Syrian community will be helped.

Our expectation is that the remainder of his compositions honestly be published and be spread abroad among our groups.

God is our hope and upon him we trust.

By Raban Gorgis Saliba, 1973, Lebanon.

The present Bishop of Mount Lebanon.

 

 

INTRODUCTION

At the end of September I went with a companion, Fr. Julius Rosroi, a Frenchman, and his two friends, both architects, for the purpose of examining and determining the correct readings of the inscriptions upon the ancient churches and monasteries. Among these monasteries we went to the monastery of Mor Jacob the recluse. This was the second time I saw it and the very old buildings. The ancient inscriptions impressed me.

Notably, residing and dwelling in it was the monk Jacob of Bote, a vibrant man and the caretaker. He respected me too much. While I was leaving from it, he wanted me to write for them something about this monastery. And when I came to Midyat, to the Bishop Iwannis Ephrem, this request was repeated.

Therefore, when I arrived back at my residence, I began to write and collect things relating to this monastery. Today, I offer it like a glad flower to the readers, garlanded in accuracy which is loved by many. I wish that if I have succeeded they shall pray for me. If I have made a mistake anywhere, let them correct my faults because those who do not make mistakes are few.

The˙books which I collected are these:

1. Life-story of Mor Jacob the recluse from the old version which is handwritten. (Probably located in the Church of Forty Martyrs in Mardin)

2. The History of Turabdin which was written by the late Patriarch Ephrem Barsaum and published by Metropolitan Gregorious Paulos of Bagdad, Basra, 1964.

3. Scattered Gems (Beroley Boderey) Again by the late Patriarch.

4. History of the Patriarchs of Antioch by the author. Written in Syriac (1965)

5. The Collection from the library of The Monastery Zapheron and from the library of St. Mark of Jerusalem and the library of Amida (Diyarbakr)

Mor Philoxenius Yuhanon Dolabani


 

THE FLOWER THAT GLADDENS

A History of the Monastery of Mor Jacob of Salah

 

CHAPTER ONE

About Salah (Shiloh)

Shiloh was a great town in Turabdin Because of this a great temple of Heraclius, God of the Persians and others was built there in ancient times. Two arches from this temple are still extant today. Undoubtedly it is an example of Selucian art.

General Shamir of the Persians came to it at the end of the 4th century A.D. to offer sacrifices to his Gods. (Human sacrifices were offered in it instead of animals: Morshabo and his disciples and one Persian. With them it was the end of Heraclius and his worship because all the people in the village accepted Christianity.

Jacob the Egyptian and Recluse came to it with his disciple Benjamin and took up residence at the end of the 4th century. Probably in the 7th century the name was changed from Shiloh to Salah. It became the residence of the Metropolitan of Salah. In the 14th century it became the residence of the Patriarch of Turabdin. In the year 1906 or 1907 it was the seat of the Patriarch Abu Meshiho II who was retired (possibly because of mental illness). After him, for some time of two brothers, Isa and Aziz of Keferburan. Then it was the residence of the monk Joseph from Hapsis (Mercimekli). When World War I began, the monk Joseph left and went to Anwarde and the monastery was abandoned. During the war it was empty and suffered damage.

It was restored again by the care of Mor Timotheos Toma and Mor Iwannis Ephrem, bishops of Turabdin. Particularly after it was permitted for tourists to return to our area freely, people are astonished by it's buildings when they come. Many of the faithful are overwhelmed by the prayers of the saints Mor Jacob the Egyptian, Mor Barshabo and his disciples and the Patriarchs, the Godfearing who are buried in it. Let their prayers be a blessing for all of us.

Shiloh according to the Syriac of Palestine, means "the sent one" is a noun-form of the verb slh. Maybe they changed the shin to semcath or tsade and they said Salah. Or maybe in Arabic it is the name given to someone. In Syriac they say "We are going to Saalah and in Kurdish Salahh, and in Arabic Salah.

 

CHAPTER TWO

Mor Jacob the Recluse

He was born in Egypt about the year 330 A.D. When he grew up a little, he entered school and was well known (lit. a shining example) in it. There burned in him a divine fire. He went out to the desert and established a small monastery near the gate of the great city of Alexandria. There were with him four monks whose names were Mark, Elisha, Joseph, and Isaiah. He began the ascetic life with them and meditated on the divine words. He fought bravely against Satan and was like a brilliant star.

When the wicked Julianos ruled, he issued cruel threats against the children of faith. Those who did not obey his commandments would be cut limb from limb. When the monks heard, they were very terrified and planned to escape. They did not know where they could go. The Blessed Mor Jacob said to them, "Come, implore God who shall open his way before us." They were favored by his words.

They travailed in prayer all night and all day. They prayed into the evening again. They ate nothing but recited, "Show us the way to go in it." Then they fell asleep. The Blessed Jacob saw a man in his dream and the man said to him, "Take your brothers and walk in this wilderness because the Lord has prepared a place for you it." When he awakened he told his dream to his friends.

When they and the Blessed One went out from the monastery they walked in the wilderness on the road that goes to Syria. They walked for three days. They were exhausted when they came upon a pillar, one that was made by the hermit who was called Gabriel. It was thirty cubits high and twenty cubits across. It had a door on top of it. If a man desired to enter it, a ladder was lowered to him and he went up and pulled it in after him. Because caravans came on wilderness road and they did not have water, three cisterns were dug around the base of the pillar to water people and beasts of burden.

When they sat by the base of the pillar they were depressed. Gabriel gazed from the window and saw a radiance. Then he called and said, "Blessed Jacob." He said, "Yes, here am I Lord!" He said, "Why do you sit there. Rise, come up to your brother because the Lord prepared you and demands for you to perform my funeral."

He sent them a ladder and they went up and entered. He gave them food and they ate and water and they drank. He said to them, "Stand now and let us go down and pray and request from God peace for all the world."

Then they kneeled, the Blessed Ones prayed and said about ten psalms. The Blessed Gabriel came and prostrated himself before them, then said, "My brothers, hasten unto me the commandment of the Lord for he has not allowed me to rejoice with you for even one day. Draw near now and give me peace and close my eyes." While that one was speaking with them, he died. They began to cry. Immediately, they heard a voice that said, "Welcome, oh man who did the will of his Lord. The sanctuary of the righteous ones longs for you."

When they heard this voice they were astonished and amazed. They stood and praised him and put him in the grave which he had dug himself under the pillar."

Now for their food they had herbs of the wilderness. They took milk and cheese from the animals which were grazing at the cisterns around the pillar. They had waterpots. When it was morning one of them went down and filled the waterpots.

Countless wild animals gathered there: deer, gazelles, antelope, lions, leopards, and wolves. They did not harm them. When these wild animals were gathered, the recluses got from them the things that they needed for food: milk from which they made cheese. From the caravans they got fine flour and libations for the Qorbono (lit. communion of the mysteries) hair for their clothes and common bread only. They continually fasted and prayed before God on behalf of the whole world.

When they had been there three years, Satan sought to divide them from the truth. They were tested with various hallucinations for a space of seven years until the brothers were wearied. They began to blame the Blessed Jacob and they said to him, "Oh, get up so we might be saved from this battle. We want God to let us leave this miserable place." But the Blessed One said to them, "Be patient, my brothers, today. Be ye pleasing to the Lord." He went down, the Blessed Jacob, to the base of the pillar and kneeled upon his knees and poured out his tears before God in great lamentation and said, "Lord God, you gave the apostles to tread upon the snakes and scorpions and the whole strength of the enemy. Destroy swiftly this enemy of ours. Do not let these thy servants perish who trust upon thy Holy Name and wait for thy rich mercies from you. Confound and humiliate the enemy who wants to kidnap them from thine encampment."

While he was praying and lamenting, there appeared to him an angel of the Lord who said to him, "I have heard thy prayer. Hallucinations shall not appear to you." He went up to his brothers and said to them, "Be encouraged because the Lord has made salvation for us." When they heard, they rejoiced and were encouraged. They stood and prayed and prepared the Holy Mysteries. They delighted in the spiritual feast.

After two years, when the Blessed one was finishing his common prayer, An angel of the Lord harkened unto him and said to him, "Thy prayer has been heard. Now, rise immediately and go to the city of Amida because there it pleases the Lord that you should rest from your labors."

He called his friends and said to them, "My brothers, the Lord called to me that I should go on a journey. I cannot delay. I want you to dismiss me in prayer. They were sad about his separation from them. They gave the peace and he was blessed by them. He went down from the pillar and began to wander in the desert. Thereafter he was led away by the Holy Spirit and he found himself standing upon the seashore. He saw a ship sailing on the sea. Straightaway he began walking on the water. Those in the ship were afraid when they saw him. They thought to themselves that he was a phantom. When he drew near, he said to them, "Where are you going?" They said to him, "To Tarsus." He rode with them. Immediately a strong wind began to move the ship and put it into port in Tarsus the city."

There, a youth cast himself down upon the earth. He had had a gangrenous sore on his leg more than twelve years. When the Blessed One saw him he looked at him and he knew that he had had it a very long time. He was tormented by it. Mor Jacob wept and asked him, "What is you name?" He said, "My name is Anthony." The Blessed One asked him, "Do you desire to be healed?" He said to him, "Yes, Lord!" The Blessed One picked up dust and applied it to the wound and said to him, "The Messiah, the Son of God heals you and removes this wound from you." Immediately the wound closed up and was healed.

He jumped up and stood and entered the city shouting, saying, "Today God has visited me." When they saw him they were amazed and asked him, "Where is this man?" When he went out of the gate there was a big crowd. They caught him and begged him to stay. He did not want to stay. He put his hand upon the sick and they were healed.

When he left the city, the young man Anthony followed him. They walked and traveled unto the suburbs of Amida, about a day's journey away from the city. They came across a certain man who met them and he began to scream and throw rocks at them. The Blessed one said to Anthony, "Be strong in the Lord, my son. Go near and catch him." Anthony drew near and he caught the youth. He was vexed and became wild and was beating himself with stones. The Blessed One drew near and caught him and said to him, "To you I say, Oh Evil One and Rebel, in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, depart from him!" At that very moment, he let out a loud cry and it departed. The child rested and was healed.

The Blessed One asked him, "Where are you from?" He answered, "I am the son of Antimos, governor of Amida." The father of the boy sent assistants to search for him. They were not able to find him. They returned and sat at the gate of the city to rest. Immediately they saw the Blessed One and the two with him.

They ran and informed his father. They went out together and welcomed them. When the father met him he asked, "What happened. He answered how the Lord restored him by the hands of these Blessed Ones. Antimos fell at the feet of the Blessed Jacob and begged him saying, "Do a favor unto thy servant and come enter my house and sanctify it by thy footsteps." He did his bidding and went with him. Behold, all the city heard and came out to see the wonder. When they saw the youth they gave glory to God. He prayed for them and blessed them. They brought to him all the badly diseased and he made them well.

On that day there was great joy in all the city. There was from the region of Turabdin an Abbot who was called Bar Shabo. His monastery was named Shorgin. He had ten disciples in that monastery. This one drew near to Antimos and told him, "If you order, sir, beg this Blessed One with me that he may stay with us in the monastery. If you do, he shall always come to visit you."

They begged the Blessed One and he accepted and did as they wanted. The governor of Hasankefh, Rufus, the brother of Antimos, wanted to go with them because the monastery was near. When the Blessed Ones went out, Antimos left with them. They went to the church and they were blessed by the priests in it. They entered with Mor Sergis, Metropolitan of the city. They were blessed by him. Also, he went out with him and they went outside the gate of the city for a long time. They gave the peace to each other. They went on their way.

When they reached a hamlet, one which is called Kenarbo (the nest of the raven) they saw there a child who came and fell before the feet of the Blessed One. Then he said, "If you order sir, permit that I should go with you wherever you go." The Blessed One said to him, "What is your name?" He said to him, "Halo, thy student." But that one said to him, "As you ask so shall it be for you." Therefore he followed him.

When they had prayed the evening prayer they had a meal. They rested and in his dream, the Blessed One saw Anthony his disciple sitting upon a glorious cart. He was happy and his head was bowed saying, "Pray for me because I am ordered to go to a distant country and you shall not see my face again." When the Blessed One awakened from his sleep, he thought about the dream. His tears came down and he cried bitterly because it meant death for his student He called and said to him, "Anthony." He said to him, "Here am I Lord." The Blessed One said to him, "How (was your dream)?" He said to him, "I saw, and behold, we were upon a great river. We wanted to cross it. Then a ship came and a sailor stretched out his hand and took me. I turned here and there but I did not see you." Then the Blessed One knew that the dream was the same. He said to him, "My son, be not afraid of what it pleases the Lord to do." They stood in prayer until the dawn. When they left to go, Anthony drew near to his master and said, "Pray for me, chosen one of God, because the fever is shaking me." But he said to him, "The Messiah, the son of God shall come to help give you what is suitable." Anthony drew near to Halo and took him by his hand and said to his master, "Behold, the Lord has prepared you as a disciple in place of me." The Holy one became sad that his disciple understood the dream. Then they walked on the road a long time. They arrived at a beautiful meadow. Anthony said to his master, "My Lord, if you order, the time of the Psalms of the third hour is now. Let us pray here." The Blessed One was persuaded by him. When they ended their prayers, the pains of death began beating the Blessed Anthony. He cast himself upon the earth and said to the Blessed One, "My teacher, draw near and close my eyes because the angel of death is greviously standing over me. I cannot continue the journey now to the other place. I beg you Lord not to mention my faults. Give me your prayers." The Blessed One drew near and put his face upon his face and gave him the peace and said to him, "The Messiah shall be to you a companion. He shall show me thy face in the coming world." When this one said this the Blessed Anthony slept.

They sent (news) to the villages around and many people gathered there. They praised him with honor and built over him a temple that was called the temple of Mor Anthony. The Blessed Mor Jacob was very sad because of him. Mor Bar Shabo drew near to him and said to him, "My brother, this was a natural thing from God. This is the common way. Stand now that we may venture on our way."

They walked on the road. Then they arrived at a farm that was near their small monastery. There was a faithful one called Habib there. When he saw the Blessed Barshabo, he fell at his feet and said, "I want you to come to my house." When he entered his house, he gave them water and they washed their feet and lay down. He had a son who was lame and paralyzed who was called Daniel. When the Blessed one saw him, he asked his father what had happened to him. He said to him, "He was born like this from the womb of his mother."He asked him, "My Lord, Bar Shabo, We should pray for him because of this." The Blessed one opened his mouth and said, "Daniel." He said, "Yes, Lord!" The Blessed One said to him, "In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ Rise!, Walk!. Immediately Bar Shabo lifted up the youth and then he was walking like one who was never lame. When his parents saw him they were joyous but they became afraid. They were like the dead and said to him, "Blessed Bar Shabo, this man is an angel of God." When all the faithful of the village heard, they gathered and saw the boy walking. They gave praise to God while saying, "Glory to you Messiah God, how close you have come to these calling you in truth."

The Blessed Bar Shabo took the Blessed One. Halo his disciple, and Daniel also followed him. They went to their monastery. The disciples of the Blessed Bar Shabo went out and they received Them with great honor and they sat in the monastery. The blessed good news of the Blessed Jacob was spread in all the country. Many sick and troubled ones came and were healed. When Rufus, the governor of Hasankefh and Benjamin, the Bishop heard this news they came to him. They were blessed by him and he prayed for Rufus. When they had asked for his peace (said goodbye!), they returned to their castle. But the Holy one with his two disciples continued in fasting and prayer. They were engrossed in the glory of God.

After about two months, behold, a great general of the Persians, Shamir, marched from the East to these regions. The news went out and the people fled and entered the castles. The mother of Daniel and Halo took them and they entered the castle. When the general went up, he camped in front of the castle. The soldiers were spread out all over the the country. There was a village below them called Salah (Shiloh). It had a place of worship of the Magians beside it which was built in ancient times in the name of Heraclius. It was a divine temple for the Persians. Whenever the Persians had gone up to this country they made a feast and raised up a sacrifice to Heraclius their God. The general too went up to it as was the custom. When he came to it he pitched his tent. He prepared ten fat bulls as a sacrifice. His troops spread out and went up to the monastery of Shorgin. The Blessed Ones planned to escape. The Blessed One said to them, "My brothers do not turn your backs, but let us be steadfast in our place. Let the thing that pleases the Lord be done among us." But these Blessed Ones said, "The Messiah our Lord is in your hands. We put ourselves in them."

Some of the Persians entered the monastery. They bound the Blessed Bar Shabo and his ten disciples. But when they saw the Blessed Jacob they drove him away as one abhorrent because he was dressed in hair and a razor had not touched his head. They took the Blessed Ones down to the general. He saw that they had faces like the children of the King. The devil whispered to him how to deceive and separate them from their truth. He called the Blessed Bar Shabo, their Master, and said to him, "Oh old, stupid and foolish man, why do you deceive these children in your incantation and witchcraft about Jesus the Nazarene, your master. Draw near, therefore, and offer a sacrifice to the God Heraclius in this place. If you obey my commandment and offer a sacrifice of these ten fat bulls, ask from me anything you desire. But if not, you shall be sacrificed instead of these bulls." But the Blessed Bar Shabo boiled and spat upon his face and said to him, "Because you have been hasty with me in thy word that you deceive me and my disciples from the truth of the Messiah, you will not return to your land in peace. You will not be satisfied with the plunder of your enemies. But the sword of your enemy shall be wet with your blood." The cruel one boiled up in great anger and he ordered the executioner to come quickly. He cut off their heads with the sword.

When the Blessed one saw that the trial of his martyrdom had arrived, he was very happy. He ran toward his disciples and said to them, "My sons, see that you do not relax from your truth because today the Messiah calls us to his wedding." They began to dance and they said, "Those who follow us today shall be invited by the Messiah." The Abbot drew near to the cruel one and said to him, "Allow me and my hostages in my hands to offer the sacrifice. In the end I shall be the seal." Then he allowed Bar Shabo to bring them up one by one to the sacrifice.

The servant of the general, on looking carefully, saw a strange vision. When one was slain, the angelic powers of heaven would put on his head a crown of glory and he was elevated with them. He took off his clothes and put on the garment of one of them and mixed with them saying, "The Messiah calls me today to rejoice with you in his banquet." The Abbot came, grabbed and handed him to the executioner and he slayed him and threw his corpse upon the remains. When it was completed (killing of them) the brave old man also became a martyr of God. He bowed his head before the executioner and he slayed him.

With them the word of David was fulfilled, "We are being led like lambs to the slaughter."

Then when hehad rested himself, the cruel one shouted in a loud voice and said, "How great is our God Heraclius. He prepared for himself the slain, these enchanters." When they came to the tabernacle they found the clothes of his servant. When they searched they came to the slain and they found his body among them. They reported to the cruel one and he became wild and cried in a loud voice and said, "Oh! The incantation of Jesus the Nazarene was not enough for you that you take my servantinstead of your enchanters ." He immediately ordered that they bring vines and oil and pitch to burn the corpses" (of the martyrs). The Lord called up a thick cloud. Hail stoned them, him, and his powers (soldiers). The earth opened and devoured them and their corpses as witnesses. The Lord was heard. After the cloud was the sound of the movement of angelic beings. All of them ran leaving arms, horses, and they were drowned in water and stones of hail. The remainder drowned in the Tigris river. Not a single one of them was left.

The people of the region left the castle and they gathered a great and endless booty. The silver and gold could not be counted as they found it thrown upon the earth. The Persians did not enter the country again.

When the Blessed one, Jacob saw that they had killed his friends he was very sorrowful and increasingly he began to fear his sanity. He said, "Woe is me, if God revenges me for the blood of his blameless servants because I did not allow them to escape. Stand, go to the place where the Blessed Ones were killed." He came to the dome which is the place of worship of the Persians. There the devil howled and shouted with a sound so loud that all the region shook. There went out from the place many legions (of devils) until the whole region was hidden (in darkness). When the inhabitants of the village saw, they were astonished. But the Blessed One was resolved not to depart from his place. He organized for himself a habitation made from earth. He sat in it with Halo and Daniel his disciples. He prepared the large temple for travelers.

The news about the Blessed One went out all over the earth: to the Romans, Armenians, Syrians. From everywhere they gathered with him, the sick, the infirm. God restored them by his hands.

The residents of the region gathered about him. They begged him to receive gifts. He would not receive them. They built a small temple above the place where Bar Shabo the Abbot and his disciples were martyred. Then when the temple was finished all the residents of the region offered donations to it. The voices of the martyrs were heard in the night saying Halleluia like the angels that are in heaven. To this aay it is called the House of Martyrs of Bar Shabo the Abbot and Eleven of his Disciples. These martyrs were crowned on August 18th. May their prayers be with us, Amen.

Halo and Daniel the disciples of the Blessed One,served the temple and him. They gave him nourishment, enough to preserve himself, and the Lord strengthened him. The region was blessed by his footsteps. No man was able to harm him, especially in the village where he was dwelling. There were sick people who ran to him, desiring help from God, and he saved them.

This news eventually reached King Steven of Armenia. He sent his servants to him. They begged him to pray for him. He sent presents with them. He would not accept or receive them from them and he said, "Go tell your Lord, as your faith is, so shall it be. May the Lord enlarge your throne and your power. Take this and give it to the poor of your region. Because I am a solitary man and I do not desire to gain a thing on earth except the cave that I am in, in my life. I do not allow my disciples to build a roof either but only to be in the house of the Persians which was built. In addition, they receive no nourishment from receiving gifts, but they eat from the labor of their own hands." When they saw that he had not received their gift, he demanded that it be doubled and given to the poor. Continually, he sent (his servants to ask) that he pray for him.

The plague (cholera) was in Arzon, the city and in the surrounding villages. Many men died from it. Then the residents of the city and the villages said to each other, "Let us go seek refuge in God and in the prayers of the Blessed One, Mor Jacob the Recluse. God shall let pass this rod from us." They ran to him while saying, "We want you to have mercy upon us and we desire from God that we should be rescued from this anger." He was sad for them. He cried tears before God, then he said, "Have mercy Oh Lord, upon thy humble flock that take refuge in you and by my weakness let this rod pass from them." He called Daniel his disciple and gave him the censor and incense and made a prayer of pardon. He picked up dust from under his feet and began to throw it to heaven and said to them, "Go in peace and as your faith shall be to you." They returned to their region. When they saw it (the plague) was silent they rejoiced greatly. When they entered the city and the villages, they asked when the Rod passed. They said that it had been yesterday at noon of the day. Thus they understood it was at that time when the Holy one prayed for them. All of them shouted aloud, glory and thanks, saying, "Glory to you oh God, Lord of the heaven and earth, who has shown us and made us worthy of seeing this man before us at this time. Blessed be the region of that one who dwells in it."

There dwelled in a village near the Blessed One, a Roman soldier who was called Gosen. He was very rich. Now he had no son but only a daughter. His wife and daughter were going to him who was Holy. They delighted in his coversation. The girl was beautiful. She saw Halo, the Blessed One, and was captivated. She lusted for him. She said to him, "I desire to take you as a husband and I will give you one talent of silver to give to my father. Everything you give to my father shall be yours. But Halo, the Blessed, was angry with her when he heard, and said to her, "The Lord rebuke thee." But she was not able to contain herself. She took one of her father's servants, slept with him and became pregnant. When he pregnancy was revealed to her mother she asked her how it happened. She said to her, "Halo the disciple of that one, the recluse, he lured me and slept with me.

When she heard, her mother held her peace. She thought to devise a way to rid her of her pregancy.But the Messiah who always desires to reveal the honor of his servant did not allow her (to abort the child). But the day arrived when she gave birth and she bore a son. She sent her mother to her father and revealed to him the fact. He was troubled and disturbed. He rushed out and called his servants. They drew out their swords to kill him, the Holy one, and his disciples. When they went out from the town they began hallucinating and fell on their faces. They knew it was their discipline in God. It was revealed to the Holy one about them. He calle Halo, "My son, what do these people testify about you." He answered him, "My Lord, God will deliver this affair. I am unashamed before God and before you. I have hope that we shall not be ashamed. " The Holy one said, " Be strong my son, because God is the savior of all opressed ones." And the Holy one called Daniel his disciple and sent him to meet Gosen. He came to him and Gosen fell upon the earth, he and his serants. He took their hands and stood before them and said to them, "Arise and go to the Holy recluse, he is calling you. He took the hand of Gosen, drew him and brought him (to Mor Jacob). The Holy one went out and spoke with him quietly and said to him, "Why take vengence on these rewards. Where is thy love that was first with us.?" And he was not able to answer a word.

This news spread all over the region. Many people and also Rufus the governor and Mor Benjamin the Bishop gathered there. But when these ones heard they were very sad and ran to the Holy one. The Holy one said to Gosen, "Bring the infant here." He said to him in a loud voie, "To you I say in the name of the Lord Jesus christ loosen thy tongue and speak. reveal to me and to those standing, who is thy father?" Immediately, he stared at Gosen and he said to him, "Thy daughter slept with Dokyos thy servant and I was his fruit. Thus thy silver was stolen from you and she gave it to him. Behold, he buried it under the doorstep."

When they saw the wonder which happened, they gave glory to God. Rufus the governor ordered that the girl and Dokyos be brought. They took them to a well and stoned them with big stones. They were buried and died. To this day, they call it the well of Dokyos. Gosen was driven out of the town and he went down to the plain, north of it. He built a village in it and called it Kepher Gosen. Likewise the plain was called the plain of Kepher Gosen.

The Holy One's name became famous in all the regions. Many people came that they should hear his word and be blessed by him. They brought gifts but he did not receive them. He instructed them and he said, "Abstain from the covetnous of this world that you may keep yourselves from sin, and your faith will not be harmed. Be vigilent that Satan does not deceive you and you fall from the truth. For you shall be persecuted for the orthodox faith. There shall appear destructive heresies, depravities, boasters against the church of God. They will tear to pieces the pure innocent lambs in the whole region. Blessed is he who does not stray from his truth.

Now they lovingly heard him. He was greatly honoured in their eyes. Every dispute which was in the nations around them was dissolved. Day and night he engaged in fasting and prayer. His neck was always bowed before God in compassion and tears and he asked mercy from God for the whole world and peace for the monasteries, churches, and kingdoms.

Halo made a vow to himself not to speak to a woman all his life. Therefore he separated from his Abbot, he went aside and built a monastery for himself and sat in it. To this day it is named Dieroyo Mor Halo.

Daniel his disciple served him in the fear of God. He was being perfected. He was also in holiness. The Holy one loved him and blessed him and said to him, "My son, keep your manner. Do not give advantage to Satan to mock you but fight mightily against him.

The Holy one entered into his last years and he desired (death) from God and said, "Now Lord, my God, gather the days of your servant in peace. For thirty two years he had been a recluse. He begged that he should die. He called Daniel his disciple and said to him, "Behold, I am going to die, put my bones upon the martyrs of God. Be careful in your service and remember my commandments and my words always." When the faithful heard they came to the door of his cell that they might be blessed by him. When he saw the crowds he was very sad. He went out and sat by the door of his cell as was his custom. He spoke with them while saying, "Why are you mourning and sad? I am savoring (the thought) of going away with the Lord. Provide me with prayers. The angel of death stands over my head. They answered, saying, "Pray for us that we shall be kept from all harm. While he prayed he signed the cross unto them saying, "The Messiah led me from the land of Alexandria. He brought me here and he shall lead you unto all righteousness. He shall pour upon you blessings and shall keep you from all dangers." He added, "Lord, give to them times of peace and months of joy and abundant years. Blessed are all who labor with their hands. Keep their faith unharmed. Surround this region in the with the watchful care of thine angels. To the Churches, and monasteriese in it and the whole region: Counsel them thy peace, rest, love, and unity. Keep their priests and their children in the truth of the faith and may the hymns of the choirs be magnified in them forever."

When he had said this he turned to the crowds and signed them with the cross saying, "The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ commit ye. May he give you a good wage in his kingdom. Again he signed the cross to the village saying, "The Lord shall surround you with a strong wall. He shall keep you in his Victorious Cross." He also signed himself with the Cross and surrendered himself to the creator on the 18th of September in the year 732 A.G. (421 A.D.)

Many had gathered. They placed him in the temple as Daniel his disciple ordered. They praised him with great honor. They held a vigil for three days, then everyone returned to his place.

 

 

CHAPTER THREE

Concerning the Two Abbots, Daniel and Theophilus, and about the Building of the Church Mor Jacob

 

After the crowds that had come to the funeral of Mor Jacob the Recluse, the Egyptian, had been dismissed, only Mor Daniel his disciple remained. Every day, the faithful came from every region and were blessed by the bones of the Holy one. There were more visitors after his death than when he had been alive. They came with many vows and many gifts.

Mor Daniel began the foundation of the glorious construction. One hundred labourers were organized before his death which occurred probably at the end of the fifth century.

The monastery grew and by the beginning of the sixth century, they needed a bigger church. This meant that the Church of Mor Jacob the Recluse was built under the diligent and careful guidance of the Abbot Fr.Theophilus. To this day, his name is written on the ceiling of the church. It was added to until end of the seventh century, when the Persians surrounded the castle of Hasankef for about two years. It seems that they also surrounded this monastery because it was built on the site of their temple.

His name was the third abbot known to us. We see the late Mor Athanasius Ephrem in his book "Barolo" in the history of the monasteries saying about it, "The monastery of Jacob the Recluse was built before the year 419 A.D. and the Temple about the year 770 A.D. Although we see the record in the writings that were on the walls, there is a dater of an older inscription, "he went out from this world and to his Lord with Lord Constantine in the year 1048 A.G. of the Greeks or the year 737 A.D. This was when it was rebuilt.

 

 

CHAPTER FOUR

 

The names of those who shared in the expenses of the building (of the Monastery).

Inscription on the ceiling above the central arch of the eastern enclave.

May the Lord be the Giver of good rewards to every individual who has had apart and has given a blessed gift in this House and especially to those who are from this village, whose names are written on this tablet:

a. Sov(o), the son of Elijah 130

b. (Dani)el, the son of Aho 120 zuze

c. Sergius, the son of Peter 150

d. Gabriel, the son of Lazarus 150

e. Aho, the son of (E)lijah 100

f. Gabriel, the son of ... 50

g. Shayno, the son of Athanasius 100

h. John, the son of Sergius (6 or 3)0

i. Qatuno Hayay 20

j. ... the smith 15

k. Lazarus, the son of ... 10

l. Qusino 10

m. (Ja)cob, the son of Elisha 10

n. (Jo)b, the son of the priest 5

o. (Rube)l, the so(n of...) 6

p. Simeon, the son of Zuto 10

q. Abraham, the son of Zuto (10 zuzel)

r. Lazarus, the son of (...)s 5

s. (Theophilus, the a)bbot, son of

Sergius 5

t. Iyor, the son of Matthew 6

u. Jesse, the so(n of ...) 5

v. G..., the son of Jo(hn) 8?

w. Elijah 5

x. Elisha 10

y. Joshua, the son of ... 15

z. Abo, the son of Elijah 4

zz.Aho the cobbler 5

There are some who gave one zuzo each; and may God Bless everyone who contributed to it.

 

*(The list has been corrected by Dr.Andrew Palmer. Dolbani did not read the ceiling inscription himself. He sent a priest to copy it and there are many errors).

 

 

CHAPTER FIVE

 

Inscriptions that we found upon this monstery from the year 770-1364 AD.

1. Mor Yohannon, Bishop of Serug left this world and departed to his Lord, in the year 1219 of the Greeks in the month of Ab, the 26th day, Friday, 908 AD.

2. Yesua Kashisho left this world and departed to his Lord, the year 1250 of the Greeks, 939 AD.

3. They left this world and departed to their Lord, Shemoun the Abbot of this residence, the year 1255 of the Greeks, 944 AD. And Abraham the son of his sister, monk and priest who departed 1259 of the Greeks. All who read this shall pray for them. 948 AD.

4. Ezekiel, a monk from this monastery left from this world and departed to his Lord. He departed 1265, 954 AD. All who read this shall pray for him.

5. Jacob the Monk departed from this world and departed to his Lord, he departed 1283 of the Greeks. He died 972 AD.

6. Habib the monk and priest from the monastery, He departed from this world full of bruises and departed to his Lord, the year 1284 of the Greeks, 973 AD. He was killed in Kazaran. All who read this shall pray for him.

7. Kostan the monk and priest, he departed and left this world full of bruises and he departed to his Lord, the year 1341 of the Greeks, 1040 AD. All who read this spare him, and all who have partaken amen. Yuhannon the monk, pray for him.

8. Hassan Moshe, he departed from this world and he departed to his Lord, the year 1400 of the Greeks, 1089 AD.

9. Moses the Abbot of the monastery and priest of this dwelling, he left this world, 1400 of the Greeks, 1089 AD.

10. Iwannis TheodorosShahar, son of the deacon Abu Farj of Salah, Metropolitan of Edessa. He had a sweet and gentle voice. He was consecrated in the year 1204 and was killed 1222 AD.

11. The monk and priest Sohdo. He wrote the Gospel of the Church of Mor Saba of Hah in the year 1538 of the Greeks, 1227 AD. (This Gospel is extant to this day. It is now located in the Monastery of Mor Gabriel. It is famous among the Syrian people for its calligraphy and its painted minatures. He also wrote the Gospel for Turabdin which is kept now in the library of Dolabani in Mardin.)

12. In the Church of Salah this altar was finished in the days of Mor Ignatius, Holy Patriarch, the nephew of Bishop Bar Sauma, the brother of the Bishop Aziz in the year 1660 of the Greeks, 1349 AD.

13. Dioscorus Moshe of Salah from the Monastery of Mor Abraham 1285-1292 AD.

14. Basillios Bar Sauma of Salah, Metroplitan to Salah, consecrated Barwahib, Patriarch 1349 in the church of Mor Elia that is in Salah. (Michael I was the godfather of Barwahib.)

15. Aziz of Salah, Metropolitan, brother of Bar Sauma.

16. Dioscoros Moshe of Salah, Metropolitan of Salah was dedicated the year 1330 and he departed 1354 AD.

17. Basillios Sobo, son of the priest Ab al Hasan of Salah was consecrated in the year 1354 by the Patriarch Ishmael.

 

 

 

CHAPTER SIX

About the Separation of Turabdin from the Apostolic Throne and Patriarchate of Turabdin.

In the tenth year of the episcopy of Basillios Sobo, Metropolitan of Salah one of the flock of Turabdin, one insolent monk whose name was George, slandered Mor Ismael, Patriarch of Antioch who sat in the monastery of Dier Zaphron. The Patriarch did not hasten to investigate and he excommunicated the Bishop. When he knew this, he ran to the Patriarch as he wanted forgiveness. The Patriarch despised him and left him waiting by the door of the monastery of Korkmo three days and did not allow him to enter.

Therefore the bishop returned, sadly to Turabdin. He wrote humble letters to the bishops of the region, that they should go with him to the Patriarch to free him. He was befriended by Yuhannon Yesua, Bishop of Qartmin and Philoxenus, Bishop of Hah and Sharko, and the rest of the bishops, priests, deacons and leaders. They went to the Patriarch.

For four days they stood by the outer door and he did not receive them. It greatly displeased them. When the returned to their region empty-handed, they shouted while they were walking around the monastery, three times: He is honorable, worthy, and righteous, Basillios, to be elevated to the Patriarchate. They arrived at the monastery of Jacob of Salah, the throne of the mentioned bishop.

The bishop went to Hasenkeph with Melik Adel Fakir aldin Salemon I, the owner of the castle. He told him his story as it was. He received from him a certificate of the Patriarchate that proclaimed his jurisdiction. The bishops of Turabdin gathered in the monastery of Salah and they proclaimed Basillios Patriarch of Turabdin and Hasenkeph in the feast of the Transfiguration, August 6th, in the year 1364 AD. He was called Ignatius Sabo.

Five diocese followed him: Omroh of Qartmin for Hah, the monastery of Saliba of Bethel and Bethresha, the monastery of Mor Malke, and Zargil of Methamoro, Hazo Beth Makamah. It was the monastery of Mor Koriakos and it was also named Besharia, and Midyat. He lived twenty-five years. He died in the year 1389 AD and his body was placed in his monastery.

He consecrated three bishops:

1. Malko Metropolitan to Midyat who was killed by Tamerlane in the war with Tamerlane, 1393 AD.

2. Yuhannon Toma, a Beth Severian for Qartmin between 1371-1394.

3. Philoxenus Yesua Kosnoyo for the monastery of Salah and Hah 1368-1410 AD.

The Bishops of Turabdin chose after him, Raban Yesua Barmoto who was consecrated in the year 1390 AD and again named Ignatius. He died in the year 1390 AD. In 1417 he was retired by the craftyness and stealth of the minister of Hasankef. He was released from his trouble in the year 1417 by the cunning of the minister of Hasenkef. He was greatly wronged by him in that while he left to Mecca he left his son with the Patriarch and exhorted him that he should place him under his care and not let the leaders of the region release him. Thereafter, his son made known the opposite about the Patriarch upon his return. He (the father) gossiped about him (the Patriarch) to the people. For this reason, after he had consecrated nine bishops, he (the father) forbade him (from being Patriarch). He went down to the monastery of Deir Zafaran. He dwelled in the monastery of Notfo according to the command of the Patriarch. He died in the year 1421 AD.

 

C. After Barmoto was released, they elected in his place Rabban Masoud Salah I. He was not successful. One night he was wounded by the Kurds. For this reason, the King of Hasankef crucified eight of their leaders. He was blamed by the King of the Arabs. He was called to the castle and craftily a drug was put in his wounds and he died in the year 1420.

 

D. Afterwards, Bishop Hanok, an Anwardian, had chosen Metropolitan of Edessa of Qartmin in the year 1421 AD. He died in the year 1444. He served as the Patriarch of Turabdin for 23 years. He consecrated six bishops and they are these:

1. Yuhannon Qoriakos for Beth Tesono, a Sabrinian for Qartmion, 1421-1422.

2. Yuhannon Barsauma Kshoah, a Menamian, for Qartmin, 1432-1441.

3. Philoxenus Kume Sabirinian, for Qartmin 1444.

4. Basillios Gallo of Zargil 1442-1455.

5. Dioskoros Behnam of Hah 1444-1457.

6. Iwannis Barsaum Zakaki IV from Arbo for Beth Reshe 1443-1457.

 

E. They elected afterwards, Bishop Philoxenus Bar Reshono Gafal, a Sabirinian, for Qartmin and of Hah. He was elected in 1444 and he died in the year 1445. He composed an Anaphora which was highly polished and original. "God is your peace and rest of all those fields." He arranged a preface, "Blessed are you, the desirable sacrifice." The original version was found at the monastery of Mor Malke in the year 1911. He consecrated four bishops:

1. Basil Gabura from Basabrin for Qartmin 1444-1446.

2. Yohanon Gevrgis from Basibrin, for Qartmin 1440-1495.

3. Dionysios Isaiah from Hapsis for the monastery of Deir Salib 1453-1463.

4. Philoxenus Abraham from Beth Manam for Mor Malke (Beth Reshe) before 1454-1476.

F. They elected after him Basillius Yesua Bar Gallo from Salah, bishop of Hazo on the 14th of September in the year 1456. He was Yeshu II. He died in the year 1467. He was an able and handsome malphono. He was a sweet writer and skilled in apologetics with the people of his faith and non-Christians in the true word. Even he agreed with their election and he received thier petition and the clothes of honor that the Melek Halaf gave to him in January of the year 1456 even though he was not consecrated. He postponed the action while he was waiting for the unity of the diocese. He said unto them of his election, "I cannot be Patriarch without the agreement of the Maphrian. He should receive me. The See is kept for him. Still he did not know of the death of the Maphrian Barsaumo nor did the Mardinians. They went down to Mosul because some of them wanted the Maphrian to be Patriarch. . When they had found that he had gone to be with the Lord, they brought his nephew Athanasius, Calif of Gazratho (Cizere) who served him.

They came through the valley of Beth Arbeya as a shortcut. They did not cross over through Gazratho and through Turabdin. They arrived in Mardin and immediately consecrated him Patriarch. But it was not made known to all the bishops of his jurisdiction and not to the Turabdinians. If they had told the Turabdinians, the division of the See of Turabdin would have ended. It was the same as the division in Damascus by the effort of the late Patriarch Behnam.

Yeshu was a candidate for Turabdin. When he saw that they managed things by themselves, not wisely but commonly, he gathered all the bishops of Turabdin during the Festival of the Cross in 1456 and they consecrated him Patriarch for Turabdin. After he had served his See for eleven years he died in the year 1467. He consecrated four metropolitans:

1. Philoxenus Aziz from Basila of Hah before 1460.

2. Dioscorus Yuhannon Piso from Anwardo for Midyay, in the year 1464-1468

3. Dionysius Ishaiah from Hasenkef for Hah 1468-1486.

4. Dioscorus Episcopus who died before 1473.

G. After him they elected Philoxenius of Hah who is Aziz Barsoubtho, who is called Abu Zimani. He was from the village of Basila in the district of Mardin. He was a just and virtuous man. He was adorned with all the rights of the Shepherds. He was awake and very diligent in the keeping of his flock. He did not stop preaching and counselling. Wherever he was present, a great peace was established with the Patriarch Halaf of Mardin. He was consecrated Patriarch for Turabdin on Maunday Thursday of Holy Week in the year 1461. In the year 1471 Patriarch Halaf invited Patriarch Aziz Barsoubtho and Bishop Yohannon Giwargis of the Monastery of Qartmin. He consecrated Rabban Yohannon his secretary as Bishop for Sawro. He consecrated a Maphraian for the East, the nephew of Aziz for Gozato (Cizere).

In the year 1474 when the big church of Basibrina was destroyed, he sent two priests to the Patriarch and they asked him for two architects to restore the churh. He fulfilled their requests and sent them with them Basillios Aziz the Maphrainan of the East.

When the Patriarch Barsoubtho wanted to consecrate Holy Moron, he sent for and invited Patriarch Haleph of Mardin and Bishop Yohannon Barshille, Bishop of Sawro. When he consecrated the Holy Moron, the Patriarch of Mardin invited the Patriarch of Turabdin and all his bishops and they went and were in peace the rest of their lives.

This love which existed between the Patriarchs was also shown toward the clergy. As the writers of the Beth Gazo testify as written in 1470 by Rabban Ephrem from Salah, when he counted 200 clergy, priests, and deacons whom he taught and consecrated. Again he mentions Rabban Matti and Priest Saliba and the Priest Isa, the Priest Rabban Masoud, Priest Rabban Behnam, Priest rabban Abdo, Priest Shabo, Rabban Shemoun and all the priests of the blessed village, all of them were fifteen honorable priests. With them, there were more than 60 deacons. There was not a word of envy among them. Each one praised the other and the other praised his friend. The heart of one loved another and this one loves that one. (Ref. MS Amid 1/10)

In this love, he died in the year 1482. He was buried in Hasankef in the year 1482. He is counted among the good ones. He left these compositions for us:

1. The Book of The Ascention of the Mind. It has seven chapters and forty six pages. He speaks about spiritual visions of a hermit who saw through his spiritual eyes how the good God dwells in the hearts of the children of light. It is also about the earthly paradise and the spirits that dwell in it. It is about the creation of the angels and the spirits of humans. It is about repentance and the fire that burns sin.

2. The Way of Truth - A book which he composed about profitable things for monks.

3. Letter for the Holy Mass - for the recipient who is not worthy and about the priesthood.

4. Two sermons for his Synod. The first one is about the transitiory world and about the world to come. The second one is an admonition to the clergy - a warning about evils and fortune tellers.

2. Philoxenus Mobarak of Hah. whose reported resignation occured in the year 1485.

3. Basillius IV of Zargil, 1463 -1481.

4. Qorillus Yuhannon of Panyo, son of the priest Simon of Midyat and the Monastery of Ataphya. 1468 - 1508 -1519.

5. Dioscoros Jacob, son of Gallosh and Midyatian for Hah and Bethel (Dier Saliba), 1472 -1505.

6. Soyryos Grebo of Beth resha, 1479.

H. When the Bishops gathered for the election of the Patriarch they split and elected two. Basillius Shabo from Arbo, Bishop of Zargil, and Dioscorus Yuhannon Bar Qofer and Anwardian. From here they went up in two groups to the Amir of the Fortress (Hasankef). He declared them both Patriarchs. They were consecrated in the same year. The Patriarch Shabo sat in the monastery of Salah and Patriarch Yuhannon from Anwardo sat in the Monastery of Mor Abrohom near to Midyat. They considered the great dispute in Turabdin that those on the side of Shabo said that Shabo was worthy to become Partiarch because he was a great, holy, and humble man. But, indeed, he was simple (unlearned) in the teachings of the church. Those for Yuhanon said that he was more worthy because he was young, handsome, and he liked the life of self-denial and poverty. He was an able teacher and unique for his time. He was full of zeal for the keeping of the laws. In the Divine Providence of God he was present in the days when the Patriarch came to Hah. When he returned from Gozarto, he and Bishop Yuhanon went to their Diocese. When the people of Basibrina heard this from the group the Patriarch Yuhanon, they zealously gathered the priests and leaders and they went with the Patriarch Halaf. They talked about peace. He was very happy with their passion. Increasingly, the desire of the Patriarch was for peace in Turabdin. He sent and gathered all the Bishops of Turabdin and the leaders of the Diocese attended this meeting of peace. Bishop Abrohom of Jerusalem and Bshop Behnam of Gergir went down to Beth Manam, where they made a peace treaty. The Patriarch Halaf wrote an agreement expressing their opinions and the bishops signed it.

They excommunicated anyone who broke that Patriarchal agreement. They decided that the Patriarch Yuhanon, the young one, would aid the other, the old one. If one of them should die, the Patriarch should appoint the living one. Both of them agreed. The Patriarch Yuhanon of Anwardo moved from Midyat to the Monastery of Salah. Both sat there together. In the year 1488, Shabo died and was buried in the Monastery of Salah. He consecrated these bishops:

1. Basillius Masoud from Zaz of Zargil and Arzon and Siirt, and Hasankef. He was consecrated in 1481 and died in 1491

2. Bishop Gabriel, the son of Rabban Bar Saumo Kake from Arbo, the cousin of Bishop Bar Saumo. He died 1492.

3. Bishop Simon from Hah in the mid 1500's. Taken from the book (Sepher Haye)

I. After him Patriarch Yohanon remained in the Patriarchate. He died in the year 1492. He was humble, pure, and of excellent action. After him they elected Basillius Masoud II. Monk Aziz from Midyat, his disciple, wrote about him in a book (4/7 probably in the library of Dolabani in Mardin).

"I Aziz, the sinner monk, son of Saliba, monk from Midyat of Turabdin, son of Simon Masoud from Zaz student of the Patriarch of Turabdin, who was raised up under his feet 46 years, I and my spiritual brothers were 200 monks. Among these some of them became Bishops, Patriarches, Cathliocos'. From them Hermits, Stylites, Recluses, Cenobites, and Mourners, and those who have cast off the world, Anchorites, some of them are false, and servant monks, and Hytimians, Gizerians, Mardinians, Saroyians. Also Amidians, Hasankefians, madadians, and from the region of Hazo, Arzon, and Siirt. Also from Hatak, Lapha, and from the region of Harpet and Semeshgazan, unto the boundry of the Romans, the monks testify and the Holy One brought all of them up. I am the least of them. I renewed and bound this book according to the order of Aboun Maphrian, my spiritual brother.

He is Masoud, son of Simon, born in Zaz the village, in the year 1431. He went to the monastery of Salibo of Bethel in the year 1453 shaded by the fear of God. He continued in self-denial, service, and the monastic life. In time he reached the goal. At the beginning of his life he was un-educated. When he imprisioned himself in one of the cliffs, God helped him. He began to say glorious spiritual poems. His relatives recorded them without his knowledge. Then he studied the language, was ordained priest and was elected general Abbot for the monks of Turabdin in the year 1464. He trained many in the was of self-denial until their numbers increased to 100. They obeyed his laws. They kept the canons religiously. Since then, he has been known as the renewer of monasticism for his century. In the year 1481 he was consecrated Bishop of Zargil and Hasankef. He was called Basillius. The number of monks in Turabdin, Besharia, and Hateak increased until it became 200 monks by the end of his life. He restored and built monasteries. In the year 1492 he became Patriarch for Turabdin. It is said that John XII of Antioch was the one who enthroned him.

In the year 1493, the Amirs and Kings of Hasenbak, took Rastom Beg, son of Masoud,out of prison. As Patriarch, he ransomed him with fifteen tongowat (Zoze). Signed by Rabban Bar Saumo the monk, on his behalf, of the village and distirct of Lapha near Molahto in the year 1821 AG> 1510 AD. While in Mor Hobil and Mor Abrohom near the village Midyat in the region of Turabdin, at this time eight bishops and one Maphrian graduated. The Maphrian was the owner of this book

Bar Hasan Beg was made king and liked by all. His cousin Nur Ali Beg rebelled against him. He came to the western side and gathered the military who looted and plundered the region of Hasan Beg without mercy. He beseiged Hasan Beg. Sultan Beg, the minister of Sultan Sankor of Tabriz was a refugee in it. The people of the region were forced to hand him to Nur Ali Beg. He took him and cut him to pieces and his servants and centurians with him. He took the reions of Mardin, Hasankef, and Amid.

From Nisibis, he attacked Salah and he plundered the monastery of Mor Jacob and the residents of Turabdin. He looted all the books, boxes, chalices and staffs. The monks and Patriarch Masoud escaped and the monastery was empty. He looted the whole region of Hasankef and all the monasteries were destroyed by the accursed Kurds.

Afterwards, Sultan Restin sent ambassadors for peace three times. He didn't go to meet him. From these he sent a big army and five Amirs from his servants. They came to kill him. He ran away from them and took refuge in the castle of Shenishhzan. He sued for peace.

The uncle of the Sultan brought the military, taking Mardin and Hasankef. The sons of Nur Ali rebelled and were imprisioned (in the castle) with many hostages.

It is said that in 1494 there was indignation between the bishops of Turabdin and Patriarch Masoud of Zaz because he was consecrating bishops without their consent. They indicted him before the governor of Hasankef. Thus, they sent wardens after the Patriarch Masoud, and imprisioned him in the Church of Mor Zocho of Hasankef. He remained there four days and no man, either great or lowly,came to his rescue. The wardens wanted five hundred dinars of gold from him. When he saw that no man ransomed him, neither the bishops, nor the leaders of the country, he thought to deceive the wardens. He said, "Release me to go around the region and I will give you what you want." When they allowed him to go, he went to the monastery of Fotho and they would not receive him. The leaders of the region would not give him anything. Then he decided to go down to Gozato. The leader Bar Saumo told the Patriarch the owner of Gozarto would hand him over to the govenor of Hasankef. The servants of the Amir of Hasankef were wondering about him in Hah and in the monastery of Dier Salib. When he understood that there was no help for him, he secretly fled to Nisabin with two monks. When he arrived to Clayben in the region of Mardin, he introduced himself and wrote two letters, one to the region of Hasankef, the other to the region of Haytim saying, "Now I am crossing to Syria. But you, all the people of the diocese of Turabdin, remain in peace from now. Anyone who tries to make a new patriarch beside me shall be excommunicated, both the one who consecrates him and the one who is consecrated. He will not be forgiven by the Holy Apostles for my weakness. One Patriarch is enough for the Syrians. That one is the one in Mardin. As our Lord said in his Evangelion. Let there be one flock and one shepherd." He went and imprisoned himself in the region of Karput with three monks who acompanied him.

When the Bishops saw what had happened and the letters which were written to them, they thought to follow the one who was in Mardin. They gathered the Bishop Jacob of Hah, Bishop John of Midyat, Bishop Gewargis of the monastery of Qartmin, and leader Yeshu, and the leaders of Arnas and Midyat and signed in front of the warden of Hasankef and in front of the prince of Mardin, Kasim Beg. They said, we want the Patriarch of Mardin. Likewise they had peace and they obeyed the Apostolic See. It was 1495, the beginning of the Patriarchate of Mar Ignatius Noe the Lebanese of Antioch. This was the first peace they made with the Apotolic See in Dier Zapharon.

He returned in difficult times and he died on the 11th of February, 1512 AD.

These are the Bishops he consecrated.

1. Basillios Yesua son of the monk Hoshab from Zaz, the nephew of the Patriarch, 1492-1516 AD.

2. Bishop Habib of Salah, 1495-1558 AD

3. Iwannis of Beth Reshe. He was killed in Arbo.

4. Episcopos Iwannis Kofer the Turabdinian.

5. Clemis David, the son of Bishop John from Bote.

6. Philoxenus Saliba Metropolitan of Cyprus.

7. Bishop Aziz from Midyat.

8. Bishop Aziz from Shateha.

9. Bishop Yeshu from Midyat.

10. Korillos Shemoun Zero the Midyatian of Midyat.

11. Dioscorus Sergis son of the priest Yoseph a Hahite from Hah.

12. Yoseph Episcopos of Hah.

Note: Of those for whom no date of their consecration is written we see that none of them was involved in the peace treaty as they were not mentioned and cannot be found among the Maphrian. They were not mentioned subsequently in the century which followed. This evidence needs research because this man loved poverty and was very famous for his righteousness. Nobody could expect such confusion like this. Even more than this, why was the Patriarch allowed to be captured and barely saved as the property of the monastery was looted.?

He wrote a simple composition "The Spiritual Ship" He included many subjects about Nazarites and Cenobites, and it fills 700 pages. The original manuscript which was completed in the year 1481 AD can be found in the Monastery of Morto (Dier Shefe in Lebanon, a Syrian Catholic Monastery.) There are passages missing in some places. There is a new version in Birmingham. We saw also some other works.

2.Five Poems. Three of them are in the style of Mor Jacob of Serug and the other two are Ephremian. One poem is from Paris.

3. Anophora in the church of Kelith. It was written in the year 1615. It begins "The Lord God, you are the spring of blessings and the sea of goodness." It fills 55 pages. At the beginning it has the Husoyo for the entrance of the Holy Mass which begins "Glory and thanks to the three Holy persons." The copier and others from his monastery, mention that he had some Husofoye and another two Anaphora's - medium and short.

 

 

CHAPTER SEVEN

About Other Patriarchs Who Followed

The Monastery of Jacob Salah lost the honour of the Patriarchate and with the Patriarch's return to his original residence, it never regained the residence of the patriarch.

K. Then the Bishops of Turabdin saw that Patriarch Noe had gone to Syria because of the adversity and had died there. The situration of his successor as Patriarch was that the nephew of Patriarch Masoud Basillios Yeshu of Zargil who was the third with that name was elected in 1516. He died in 1524. He consecrated two Metropolitans who were:

1. Yuhanon Isaiah, son of Father Addai from Basibrine from the Monastery of Mor Gabriel, the first student of Bishop Stephen, the Metropolitan of the Monastery of Qartmin from 1521-1539.

2. Basillius Shemoun, son of Jacob the Hahite for Zargil.

 

L. Basillius Shemoun the Hatakian, Bishop of Zargil was promoted after him in 1524 until his death in Jerusalem in 1551. He was worthy and consecrated two Maphrians one after the other, and ten Metropolitans whose names were as follows.

1. Basillios Yonan, Metropolitan of Zargil 1524-40.

2. Diyoscorus Yuhanon, a Kosnoyian for Bethel 1524-1552.

3. Korillos Jacob, a Midyatian for Midyat 1535-1552.

4. Bishop Addai, a Pomian Hatakian 1538-1539.

5. Philoxenus, Metropolitan for Kfarshoma 1543.

6. Yuhanon Kawme, a Menamian for Qartmin 1543-1551.

7. Basillios Jacob, an Hasnite for Zargil 1543-1551.

8. Iwannis Isa, a Midianite for Hah 1543-1555.

9. Bishop Moses in the Monastery of Salah 1553.

10. Bishop Adulahas 1535.

M. Patriarch Jacob, son of the priest Shemmasaldin who had been Bishop of Zargil was promoted after him and served from 1552-1571. It was the second time of peace in the days of Patriarch Nematallah, a Mardinite of Antioch and at the beginning of the Patriarchal (rule) of David Shah II of Antioch, He consecrated eleven bishops whose names were these:

1. Basillios Saliba Awad, Bishop for Zargil 1552-1566.

2. Yuhanon Yeshu from Marin for Qartmin 1553-1591.

3. Korillios Joseph from Alin from Dier Salib 1553-1559.

4. Philoxenus Yuhanon, Bishop of Mor Melke 1553-1559.

5. Iwannis, son of Deacon Elijah an Hababite 1560-1579

6. Diyoscoros Yoseph, son of the priest Yuhanon and Alinite for Hah 1561-1583.

7. Korillios Isa of Midyat and Hasankef 1561-1567.

8. Abudmesih bishop 1583.

9. Iwannis the bishop, a Turabdinian, 1591.

10. Bishop Jacob, a Hasinite 1571-1590.

11. Dionysios Saliba, Bishop for Dier Saliba.

 

N. Some people disobeyed and resented the peace. They remained divided. They elected for themselves a Patriarch whose name was Sohdo for 1583-1621. He ruled 38 years and consecrated eight Bishops:

1. Bishop Shemoun from Turabdin.

2. Bishop Habel for Arnas.

3. Yuhanon Saliba.

4. Yuhanon Behnam.

5. Bishop Addai Barwahba from Kafro.

6. Dionysius Gabriel for Hah 1635.

 

O. Abdo, a Midianite from the same family, was elected from 1621-1628. the leadership was halted when the Apostolic See made peace for the third time.

 

P. In 1664 another Midianite, Maphrian Habib, who had been a hermit, became Patriarch. He served for fourteen years and consecrated twelve bishops as follows:

1. Yuhanon Melke from Basabrin for Qartmin 1666-1692.

2. Severios Ephrem from Habob for Mor Melke from 1674-1689.

3. Severius Antonius, a Sbirinite, 1667-1707.

4. Korillos Denho, an Arnasian, 1680-1688

5. Bishop Saliba son of Shemoun from Kafarze, 1680.

6. Gregorious Demit, from Salah, 1686-1698.

7. Episcopus Azar Grego from Midyat. The man who made a division 1688-1719.

8. Severe Hanouk from Habab 1682-1718.

9. Bishop Joesph of Kefarbe.

10. Episcopus Gevargis from Zaz in 1707

11. Yohannon of Qartmin 1692-1706. Three wicked Bishops rose up against him and elected another in his place.

 

Q. Deho the illegal one, year 1688.

 

R. After him, Bishop Denho from Arnas 1707-1725. For the fourth time, they made peace with the Apostolic See through Maphraian Shemoun II. He had been consecrated by Isaac as a Maphraian in 1710. After him, the Maphraian Denho Baltage from Arnas in July 1740. But in the same year it pased to the new bishop.

 

S.In the same year, 1740, the new Bishop Barsaumo wanted to become Patriarch. He maintianed his state excessively until he died in the year 1791. Patriarch Gregargis IV of Antioch consecrated for them Maphraion Saliba Atoro from Basibrine in the year 1779. During that time they elected another Maphraian for them whose name was Abdullah from Hah. When the Patriarch Barsaumo died, a division occurred.

T. Each group elected one, Rabban Isaiah the Hermit.

U. Aho Episcopos of Mor Malke, in the year 1791. From here the Maphraian Salba started to make illegal consecrations. The leadership became a mockery. Five people were arrogant enough to assume this title in this short time.

V.Bishop Joseph of Dier Salib, in the year 1803.

W. Bishop Issac from Azaq in the year 1804.

X. Bishop Barsaumo from Habab in the year 1812.

Y. Bishop Barsauma from Basibrine in the year 1813.

Z. Bishop Merza from Basabrine in the year 1816. and the next year the bishops, Aho, Isaiah, and Saliba, died, they were added to the other five.

AA. Bishop Zaiton from Midyat, in the year 1821. After them:

BB. Bishop Abdlnor from Arbo. Bishop Barsaumo from Anhel became the Maphraian in the year 1815.. After him, Abdllahad of Beth Kendo from Anhel in 1821. Then the Patriarch Gewargis V of Antioch invited them to make peace in 1821 with an open letter but didn't succeed. When Patriarch Elias II was with Maphraian Abdlahah Kedo he made peace by submission of the govenor of Amid. He demoted them from the assumed names which they were holding to the degree of Episcopacy until they died. The last of them was Bishop Merza, who died in the year 1859. After that, Zaito from Midyat in the year 1869. The line of succession was cut. The church law had been greatly disrespected. Maphraian held the leadership of Turabdin until he was killed by a Kurdish man in March of 1844. The division of Turabdin continued for 475 years from the year 1364 until the year 1839. Five times peace was made but it did not last until they saw the bitter fruits which the division wrought for them. They were bankrupt and weak in everything because they were envious.

 

 

CHAPTER EIGHT

Concerning the Administration of the Monastery of Mor Jacob after the Patriarchate of Turabdin left it.

After the Patriarchate of Turabdin had seceded from it, it became a Bishopric for a while with some Metropolitans residing there. These were its important personnel:

1. 1454: Basioios Barsauma from the Mardin region became a monk in the Monastery of Mor Jacob the Recluse of Salah. he was ordained a priest. He became the Maphraian in 1422 and died at the end of January 1454. He was famous for his righteous deeds. He had a collection which was selected from the Commentary of Bar Salibi which he himself copied. It is in the library of the Patriarchate known as Kenbaris.

2. Iwannis Abdulmesiah from Salah, Metropolitn from Maiferkert (Silvan) 1460-1469.

3. Monk and Priest Kofar, son of Benjamin Kofar the Deacon, son of Fr.Shemoun from the village Kafro. He was one of the Monasteryof Jacob of Salah in1462. He wrote(copied) an Evangelian.

4. Rabban Shabo from Salah, He went to Jerusalem with Fr.Addai and while returning, he died in Damascus in 1492.

5. Patriarch Pilatus consecrated Holy Chrism (Moroon) in the Monastery of Jacob the Recluse of Salah, the Blessed Frotress in the year 1812 A.G., 1501 A.D. Please pray for David from Bote who is Episcopus in name, the son of the late John and for his parents and brothers in the flesh and in the spirit.

6. He consecrated Holy Chrism a second time in 1818 A.G., 1507 A.D. Pray for Shemoun Bishop in name. He departed this world full of troubles in the year 1823 A.G., 1512 A.D.

7. The Holy Spirit consecrated Jacob, Gabriel, Ammanuel, Yuhanon, Yeshu and Saliba as Deacons for the Holy Church of Mor Elijah in the Blessed Fortress of Salah through the hands of Mor Ignatius Yeshu of Zaz in 1836 A.G., 1525 A.D. (The Church no longer exists.)

8. Metropolitan Habib, a Salahite, 1495-1508.

9. Elijah Metropolitan of the Monastery of Salah was consecrated by Patriarch Savid in 1523.

10. Bishop Moses in Salah 1553, He was consecrated by Patriarch Shemoun 1543.

11. The brothers of the Monastery were Toma from Midyat, monk and priest, Monk Barsauma, Monk Moses, Monk Habib and monks, deacons and brothers Saliba, Joseph, Shemoun, Yeshu, Sargis and Deacons Korikos and Shemoun,

12. Gregorios Yeshu, son of Denho from Salah from the Monastery of Qartmin, Metropolitan of Amid. He died on 15 May 1679.

13. Gregorius Demit from Salah. Consecrated illegally for Jerusalem in 1691. He lived in the Monastery of Netfal (cave above Deir Zafaran) 1698.

14. Gregorius Shemoun from Salah from the Monastry of Mor Jacob, Malfono. Consecrated by Patriarch Gevargis, Metropolitan for Jerusalem, 1696-1720.

15. The Monastery of Jacob of Salah was empty. Kurdish people came and lived in it.

16. Philoxenus Zaitun, son of Denho from Anhel, son of Hazme was educated by Episcopus Melke and Bishop Abdulnor from Arbo. He studied Syriac and the Liturgy well. He became a monk in the Monastery of Qartmin. he was consecrated Metropolitan for the Patriarchate by Patriarch Jacob II in June 1848. On 5 March 1851, he was sent to Midyat and environs. Here he saved the Monastery of Mor Jacob of Salah from the hands of the Kurds and restored it as a church, he died in Mardin on 4 April 1855.

17. On 26 December 1870, the monk Hawsheb of the MOnastery of Qartmin was transferred to the Monastery of Mor Jacob of Salah as Abbot.

18. Mor Korillos Shemoun Metropolitan of Salah attended the election of the Patriarch in 1895.

19. The Holy Spirit consecrated monk Jacob Halaf a priest for the monastery of Jacob of Salah by the hand of Abdulmesih II on 12 October 1897 in the Church of Mor Shemouni in Midyat.

20. The Holy Spirit ordained the monk Yoseph priet for the Monastery of Mor Jacob of Salah by the hands of Patriarch Abdulmesih on 3 September 1900. He was the son of Yuhanon from Hapisnas.

 

 

CHAPTER NINE

Concerning the restoration of the Monastery of Jacob of Salah in the Day of Mor Timotheos Tomo and Mor Iwannis Ephrem of Midyat.

At the end of the World War I, when the world was quiet from troubles. The Patriarch Elias III started thinking about the Diocese. In 1923 he consecrated Mor Timotheos Toma as Metropolitan of Turabdin. He assigned him the whole dioceses of Turabdin (nine former dioceses) 1. Midyat, 2. Salah, 3. Mor Malke, 4. Dier Saliba, 5. Monastery of Qartmin, 6. Mor Eugin, 7. Nisibis, 8. Gozato, 9. Beth Zebdai. He began to lead them and answer their needs. In the year 1940 he thought about the restoration of Mor Jacob of Salah because all its rooms were ruined. He thought to build a room for at least one monk. He partitioned a cell in the south corner for the Monk Jacob from Anwardo, son of Fr. Giwargis (He is now a retired bishop in Sweden). After about two or three years le left it and went to Syria. The monastery was empty again.

When Mor Iwannis from Bote became Bishop, he decided to make a great effort to restore the monastery. He encouraged Jacob, son of Ibraham from Bote. He ordained him a monk in the monastery of Mor Gabriel and also as a priest in his monastery. He helped him rebuild the monastery. He built a room for himself and for his guests. Daily services began. This made the saints of the monastry happy. They began to apear from time to time for the glory of the place. I can testify to one view of them. On the night of Friday at six o'clock, which is the beginning of Saturday (semitic reconing of time) 1965, the student Issac, son of Gorea, went down the corridor of the church. Suddenly, he saw a great light like a bright sphere over the tomb of Mor Jacob, north of the altar in the middle of the temple. He went and told his friends.. Immediately Rabban Jacob the Abbot, the students and Ephrem, son of Mansour, Jacob Aden from Anwardo (now a priest in Paris) Shlemoun son of Haido, and Isa, son of Gawrea, and Malke, son of Toma, Sabri, son of Jacob, saw this vision together. Sudenly they thought to call the people of the village to come and share this vision with them. They sent two students, Issac and Bahay to tell the people to come. Immediately the vision went up to the south corner of the altar and it was changed into two men, then three. They were standing on their feet and had very white beards and a bright light surrounding them. After a quarter of an hour, Risho, son of Abraham came and Besna, the wife of Gawrea, and Gawrea, son of Issac, and Ephem, son of Gawrea, and Risco who came first and saw the three men standing in the light. The rest saw a sphere like the sun. When more people came, the men and sphere disappeared.

 

 

CHAPTER TEN

Rabban Jacob the Abbot and his Monk Daniel

Rabban Jacob was born in the village of Bote in1941 at the beginning of March from faithful Syrian Orthodox parents. He studied with Mor Iwannins, Episcopus, while he was a priest in the village of Bote. When he grew up he was sent by his parents to the school of the Monastery of Zaphron to do his religious studies. Afterwards he returned. He liked dwelling in a monastery so he went to the Monastery of Mor Gabriel. After staying there for three years, studying and copying books and serving the community from 1961-1964, he went to do his military service till the end of 1967. Then he came back to the monastery and made his vow to God to become a monk. On the same day in July, he was ordained a novitiate in the Monastery of Mor Gabriel by Iwannis Ephrem, Bishop of Turabdin. He stayed in the monastery learning the canons of monasticism for one year. Then necessity called him to serve in the monastery of Jacob of Salah which had been empty a long time.

 

MONK DANIEL FROM BAKSYAN

He is Edip Savci, son of Hanno from Baksyan viliage. He was born in the year 195?. He studied Syriac and Turkish in his primary school studies in his vilage. Then he entered the seminary of Mor Gabriel to finish his studies. In the year 19 ? . he was sent as a teacher to Mor Jacob of Salah where he teaches still. When he desired to leave this world, he took vows to become a monk. When the Abbot Rabban Jacob saw his zealous desire for the office of monasticism, then he asked Mor Timotheos Samuel to ordain him a novitiate. He ordained him in 1980 in the Monastery of Mor Jacob of Salah. Then he was ordained as a deacon 19 ? . Since then he has worked even more eagerly with two sisters Hasme and Nisani; those who gave themselves to the service of God.

We thought that it was suitable to write here, that in 1964 when Rabban Jacob, entered this monstery, there were in the village of Salah, 30 Christian families. In Bote there were 80 families, in Kaphro there were 70 families, in Hapsis there were 60 families, and in Arnas there were 50 families, in Yardo there were 30 families, in Benkelb there were 20 families, and in all these villages there are no Christians left except for 2 in Arnas, 3 in Hapsis, 1 in Yardo, and 2 in Salah. Since 1975, when the door of migration to Europe was opened, there has been a mass emmigration. The Syrians started to leave these villages for many reasons which are difficult to mention here, The fear is great especially at this time because it is the 12th day of the Gulf War. We do not know what the future will be for those who have left for Europe and America. Nor do we know the future of the monastery of Jacob of Salah. Pray for the strength of Fr. Jacob, Daniel, Hasmi, and Nisan.

Completed on the 15th day of the Gulf War on the Feast of

Severius of Antioch, Crown of the Syrians. February 1, 1991.                    

Back to Church of Mother of God at Amida