Catholic World News

Saint's relics discovered intact in rubble of Syrian monastery destroyed by Islamic State.

April 05, 2016

In the rubble of the ancient Mar Elian monastery in Quaryatayn, Syria, which was destroyed by the Islamic State, the former prior has discovered relics of the saint for whom the monastery was named.

Father Jacques Murad, who was taken prisoner when forces of the Islamic State overran the area, returned to the Mar Elian monastery after Syrian government troops recaptured Quaryatayn. He reported that relics of St. Elian-- the son of a 3rd-century Roman military official, who was executed when he refused to renounce his Christian faith-- were found near the saint's tomb. "The fact that the relics of Mar Elian are not lost is for me a great sign," the priest told the Fides news service. "It means that he did not want to leave the monastery and the holy land."

The Mar Elian monastery, established in the 5th century, was systematically demolished by the Islamic State last year. 

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