ܕܡܪܥܝܬܐ ܕܐܘܚܕ̈ܢܐ ܡܥܪ̈ܒܝܐ ܕܐܡܝܪܟܐ
|The martyr Mor Sham'un of Beth Ma'em, Mapheryono (Catholicos), April 06|
Mor Sham'un (Simon) Mapheryono the martyr (1710-1740)
Mar Basilius Sham'un, son of Malke of Beth Man'em, is a unique learned man of his time. He became a monk at a monastery in Tur'abdin before 1695, and was ordained a priest. Because of his ascetic and virtuous life, he was ordained a mapheryono (Catholicos) for Tur'abdin in 1710 under the name Basilius. In the following year he returned to his ascetical life and worship. About 1727, he resumed the administration of his diocese until he was sent by the Kurdish tyrant Abdal Agha to Muhammad Bek prience of Jazira of Bohta to kill him. When the Catholicos arrived to the palace of the prince, the prince ordered the slave to give him a cup full of poison to drink, The Saint took it, and asked the prince: from where do want me to drink the cup as to have time and drew the cross on the cup then he drunk it, and nothing happened to him, the prince wondered and asked the slave: is not the cup was full of poison? he answered, yes, the he ordered the slave to pour water in the cup and drink it, the slave did as been ordered and died in the same day. Then the prince asked the saint to sing and dance (because he knows will not dance so he will have a reason to kill him) the saint apologized to dance but he started to say his famous poem in Kurdish language (known as "Lavej") on the general resurrection and punishment of the sinners, so the prince send him back to Abdal Agha, who put him in jail. In the night of Holy Friday, Catholicos called his students: Metropolitan Ruzq Allah of Mosul and deacon Danho from Dayr al-Salib and told them: tomorrow I will be killed, you both go and preserve your souls, they answered that we'll never leave you alone but we'll die with you. Next day Abdal called the saint and asked him to give permit to his slave to be married against the law of the Church, the Catholicos refused to do, then Abdal ordered to be killed in prison, they killed him then throw him down from the high roof, and they saw light from the heaven covered his body. That happened on April 6, 1740. He died a martyr for his religion and canon law.
He was a good church father who mastered the Syriac language in which he wrote and composed poetry. His poetry is clear and pleasant. He also obtained a fair knowledge of religious sciences by reading the books of the church learned men. Following are his books:
(for his works, go back to: History of Syriac Literature and Sciences, Patriarch Ignatius Ephrem I Barsoum, Presseggiata Press, p 169)
1. Theology, in twelve parts, each divided into ten chapters written in eloquent language. It discusses the Trinity and the unity of God, the procession of the Holy Spirit, the Incarnation, the Nativity, the Redemption, the refutation of purgatory, the end of the world, the resurrection, eternal bliss and hell. He finished it on July 15, 1719. It consists of three hundred seventeen pages. We found a copy of it in his neat handwriting at Mor Awgen (Eugene) Monastery.
2. The Chariot of Mysteries, eight treatises, on the intellect, an interpretation of the cherubim chariot which Ezekiel saw, the creation of the world, angels, devils and Adam and the benefit we gained from the Incarnation of Christ, resurrection, the kingdom of heaven and hell.
3. Silah al-Din wa Turs al-Yaqin (The Armor of Religion and the Shield of Conviction) , in sixteen parts, on the Holy Trinity, Incarnation, that faith cannot be obtained through knowledge, a refutation of purgatory, a refutation of those who maintain that punishment and reward apply only to the soul and not the body, on repentance and on leavened bread for Communion. This book contains some weak and refutable ideas.
4. Discourses or homilies on the interpretation of the wings of the Seraphim, the talents, the last farthing, the Lord's prayers, as well as a refutation of purgatory and the end of the world. These discourses consist of one hundred eighty pages.
5. An anthology containing many odes in the three meters (the five, seven and twelve syllabic meters) most of which are of excellent quality with only some of mediocre quality. Of these we found more than one hundred fifteen odes, the most famous of which is his lengthy ode beginning thus: "Lord who through His Son created the world from nothing." The second famous ode is a rhymed one beginning thus: "The Father is light, the Son is light and the Spirit is light." The anthology also contains fine and pleasant pieces and a metrical discourse on repentance in the melody of "Qum Faulos" ("Rise up, O Paul").
6. An abridgement of Bar Bahlul's lexicon, made in 1724.
7. Thirty-six homilies written in poor and ungrammatical Arabic. Nevertheless, some of his contemporaries translated his first two books.