The Franciscans Reaffirm: “We Will Not Abandon Syria!”

On March of 2016 the website reported that the Custos of the Holy Land, Friar Pierbattista Pizzaballa invited the friars to pray and reflect, to help him and his Council to decide whether to stay at Knayeh, Yacoubieh and Jdeideh: three small villages in the Valley of the Orontes.

Many friars have responded to the Custos in writing or verbally. Friar Pizzaballa wanted to thank them, in late January, with a message that, among other things, says: «I carefully read and meditated on your comments, thoughts and concerns. Your views were of great help and made the decision less tiring. Again, thank you! Almost all of them have expressed the opinion that we must stay in the villages, without considering the reality of the number of parishioners (about 400 altogether in the three villages) and despite the danger.”

“The Custody – adds the Custos – has never given up the places and people that the Church has entrusted to it, even at the risk of danger. Not a few among our martyrs, even in recent time, died in circumstances not too dissimilar from the present situation. A shepherd does not abandon his flock and does not ask himself if his sheep are worth much or little, whether they are numerous or young. For a shepherd all the sheep are important and he or she loves them all equally “.

Franciscan Missions has prepared a short video showing the humanitarian crisis in Syria and launched an appeal to raise funds to help those most in need through our Friars who work in Syria. Please help us make a difference. Donate! Visit: