ASIA/SYRIA - Death of the Director of the Pontifical Mission Societies. Patriarch Laham: "May his death be an offer for peace"

Aleppo (Agenzia Fides) - Fr. Jules Baghdassarian, 55, National Director of the Pontifical Mission Societies (PMS) in Syria, a position he had held since 2003, died yesterday at noon, following a sudden heart attack. Fr Jules was a Greek Catholic priest (Melkite) and resided in Aleppo. The funeral will be held next Saturday in the church of San Giorgio in Aleppo, by His Exc. Mgr. Jean-Clément Jeanbart, Greek Catholic Archbishop of the city.
Fr. Jules had suffered much for the plight of the Syrian conflict, which reached the heart of Aleppo. In recent months, given the serious humanitarian situation of thousands of refugees in the city, he had devoted himself to charitable activities, assistance and accommodation of displaced families, to the organization of aid, to the resolution of the many problems that arose in this society. Probably - the POM Office in Aleppo refer to Fides – the worries, the situation of psycho-physical stress, anxiety and fatigue were fatal to him.
Greek Catholic Patriarch S.B. Gregorio III Laham, expressed to Fides Agency his condolences to Fr. Baghdassarian’s family and to the Greek Catholic community of Aleppo, he remembers him with these words: "He was a great friend of the poor, was inspired by great zeal for charity. His verbs were love and serve." "We hope - he adds - that his death is an offer for peace and reconciliation in Syria, for the future of the Christian community in Syria, for the triumph of charity in Syria and the Middle East." (PA) (Agenzia Fides 15/11/2012)

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