The Massabki brothers

From Maronite History


Who are they?

They were three Maronite brothers from Damascus, Francis, Abd-el-Mo'ty and Raphael, children of Nehme Massabki. They were born in the first half of the ninteenth century.

Their martyrdom

At eight o'clock on the evening July 9th, 1860, Muslim fanatics entererd the Franciscan church in Damascus, where the three brothers were kneeling before the Altar, and gave the Massabkis the choice between death and the acceptance of the Muslim religion. The Massabkis replied:'You may destroy our lives but you cannot destroy our faith in Christ and our souls; we are Christians. I the faith of Chirst we live and in the faith of Christ we shall die.'

They were killed before the altar. In the same night, many Franciscan priests and brothers were killed for their faith.


On May 4th, 1926 Patriarch Hoyek addressed a request to the Holy See, asking that the three Massabki martyrs be proclaimed saints. A committee was sent by Rome to make canonical inquiry in Lebanon and Damascus about the lives and virtues of the three brothers and the circumstances of their martyrdom. On October 7th, 1926, Pope Pius XI beatified the three brothers, Francis, Raphael and Abd-el-Mo'ty.


  • Butros Dau - Religious, Cultural and Political History of the Maronites (Lebanon, 1984)
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