Mar Benyamin Shimun
XXI, Catholicos Patriarch of the Holy Apostolic Catholic Assyrian Church
of the East was born on 1887 in Qudshanis, Turkey. His father's name
was Eshai a blood member of the Patriarchal family, and his mother's
name was Asyat the daughter of Qambar of Eill.
He was ordained Archbishop on March 2, 1903 by the hand of his uncle
Mar Rueil Shimun XX Patriarch. Fourteen days later Mar Rueil past away,
and a unanimous decision was taken by the church Hierarchy and Mar Benyamin
was elevated to the exalted rank of Catholicos Patriarch on March 30,
1903, by the hands of His Beatitude Mar Iskhaq Khnaneeshoo Metropolitan
of Rustaga, Shamisdin, who was accompanied by Mar Estapanoos Bishop
of Gawar, in the church of Mar Shaleeta which was built in the year
During WWI Hormizd d’ Mar Shimun, the Patriarch’s brother, who at the time was studying in Constantinople (Istanbul), was imprisoned by the Turkish Government, they told Mar Benyamin we have your brother, tell your people to lay down their weapons & surrender, Mar Benyamin's reply was "It is imposible for me and my people to surrender after seeing the atrocities done to my Assyrian people by your government; therefore my brother is one, my people are many, I would rather lose my brother but not my NATION"; so the Turkish Government transferred Hormizd to Mosul, and then executed him by hanging.
Mar Benyamin Shimun later was tricked and assassinated while on a peace mission,
by the devious and coward Simko (a Kurdish bandit). Mar Benyamin received
the crown of martyrdom on March 3, 1918, he was only 31 years old. He
had succeeded his predecessor at the age of eighteen, and for fifteen
years had occupied the patriarchal See at Qudshanis.
His soul will never rest in peace unless his Assyrian people which he loved so
dearly, and led during the times of crisis, achieve their God given
rights of self determination and security in their ancestral homeland that they can
proudly call their own.
On October 18th, 1987 His Holiness Mar Dinkha IV, Catholicos Patriarch
of the Assyrian Church of the East decreed that a commemoration (Dukhrana) of Mar
Benyamin Shimun shall be observed yearly by the Assyrian Church of the
East throughout the world, on the first Sunday that falls before the
Sunday entering in, or beginning of the Lent (Soma Goora).
“A good shepherd risks his life for the sake of his sheeps.
But the hired person who is not the shepherd and who is not the owner
of the sheeps, when sees the wolf coming, leaves the sheeps and runs
(John 10:11) .
“There is no greater love than this, that a man lay down his
life for the sake of his friends.”
We pray to God Almighty to rest the soul of our beloved & gabara Assyrian National Martyr
among all of the pious and righteous men in His Everlasting Kingdom, Amen.
“Truly I say to you, Today you will be with me in Paradise.” (Luke 23:43)
—Assyrian Enterprise —