VATICAN - Martyrdom of two Lebanese Capuchin missionaries recognized

Thursday, 29 October 2020 martyrs   missionary institutes  


Vatican City (Agenzia Fides) - The Holy Father has authorized the Congregation for the Causes of Saints to promulgate the Decrees concerning the martyrdom of the Servants of God Leonardo Melki and Tommaso Saleh, of the Order of Capuchin Friars Minor, killed in hatred of the faith in Turkey in 1915 and in 1917.
The two Capuchin missionaries from Baabdat, a Lebanese town in the district of al-Matn on Mount Lebanon, 22 kilometers from Beirut, were arrested, tortured and killed in Turkey during the 1915 genocide. Fr. Léonard Melki (1881-1915) refused the apostasy, after hiding the Blessed Sacrament upon the arrival of the police. He was taken to the desert, where he was executed on 11 June 1915 with the Armenian Bishop, Blessed Ignace Maloyan, and 415 men from Mardin.
After giving hospitality to an Armenian priest during the genocide, Fr. Thomas Saleh (1879-1917) was arrested and sentenced to death and deported in the middle of winter under the escort of a platoon of soldiers. He died on January 18, 1917 repeating with courage: "I have full trust in God, I am not afraid of death". (SL) (Agenzia Fides, 29/10/2020)