Bishop Flavianus Michael Melki, an epitome of faith and simplicity, who was martyred during the Assyrian Genocide in 1915 when he refused to convert to Islam and deny his faith, was beatified. Almost 250,000 Catholics were murdered during the tragedy. Pope Francis urged the faithful to pray for all the Catholics in the Middle East and other countries who are undergoing brutal persecution. He presented Bishop Melki as the guardian of faith and exhorted the people to hold fast to the faith amidst challenges.
Flavianus Michael Melki, born in 1858, was dedicated for the poor all through his priestly life. He led a life of poverty. He loved the poor to the point of selling his vestments to help them. It was on August 8th that Pope Francis confirmed his beatification, acknowledging that he has sacrificed his life for faith. Bishop Melki will be the first to receive this honour among the Syrian Catholics who were murdered during Assyrian Genocide..