His Eminence, our brother in Christ, Mor Severius
Esteemed Archbishop of Baghdad and Basrah
After prayers and peace in the Lord, we say:
With great sorrow we received the news of the martyrdom of the late
Reverend Father Yousef Adel Abboudi the parish priest of St. Severius
the Great, who was slain for sticking to the faith in the Lord Jesus in
performing his priestly duty. We cried for his departure because it is a
great loss to the Holy Church and his family. Our comfort is in knowing
that his virtuous spirit has joined the spirits of the martyrs who were
seen by St. John the apostle as wearing white robes, the robes of
righteousness and holiness. And we shall perform memorial prayers for
him tomorrow at St. Ephraim the Syriac church in Ma’arret Saidnaya. And
even though we grieved for his loss on earth, yet we believe that God’s
heavenly angels has received his soul with praise and hymns of glory.
disastrous loss is very great and painful. But although his virtuous
body was laid to rest on earth, yet we bid him farewell with strong
faith and surrender to God’s will and hope for the general resurrection.
We should not surrender to grief but we must look on his departure
through the eye of faith and see his pious spirit flying in paradise
with the spirits of the martyrs, saints and devout priests. St. Paul the
apostle commands us not to grieve for “those who slept in faith like
people of no hope”, specially that our beloved departed, father Yousef,
has granted the crown of martyrdom because of his faith in the Lord
Jesus and his devotion to Him, and we believe that the Lord Jesus has
prepared for him in heaven a crown of glory according to His promise.
the face of such painful calamity we cannot but ask God Almighty through
the intercession of the righteous man of God, the slain priest Yousef,
to bring comfort to your eminence’s heart and to his brothers the
priests and to his virtuous widow and his parents and his pious uncle,
Archdeacon Bashir Abboudi and all members of the family and parish whom
he served selflessly. And to grant us all the power to endure this
sorrowful event with faith in the Lord Jesus Who promised us that He
will come again with great glory and all those in the graves will hear
His voice and come forth, those who have done good to the resurrection
of life, and those who have done evil to the resurrection of
condemnation (John 5: 28-29). Let his soul be with the saints who
believed and done good works and let his memory be everlasting.
the grace of God be with you.
(Our Father Who art in Heaven…).
(Seal and Signature)
Ignatius Zakka I, Iwas
Patriarch of Antioch and all the East