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Martyrs of Damascus

The Martyrs of Damascus were eight Franciscan friars and three Maronite laymen who were martyred in Damascus on July 9th, 1860. The Druz in Southern Lebanon had been been already massacring thousands of Maronite Christians when they arrived in Damascus. In Damascus they continued their terrible and nightmarish persecution by killing thousands more inside the city. After several days of slaughter the Druz reached the Franciscan convent and were greeted by Father Emmanuel Ruiz, the superior of the Convent.

The Druz militiamen demanded that Father Ruiz convert to Islam along with the other friars and laymen living inside the convent. Father Ruiz, in an act of total spiritual bravery and love of Christ refused. The Druz chopped him into several pieces before killing their rest of the inhabitants of the convent. Pope Pius XI beatified Father Ruiz and all of the others in 1926. Their feast day is celebrated on July 10th.

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