Saint Ahodemeh Church
The Church of Saint Ahodemeh, also called the Green Church, is an old church in the south-eastern side of the city of Takrit in Iraq. This church was built in the seventh century by Marutha, the son of Habib of Takrit, who was famed throughout Christendom for his great academic and apologetical works, for his great concern for the church, and for the construction of churches and monasteries in upper Mesopotamia and throughout the east. This church was built at a height of 30 meters from the waters of the Tigris River. It was an important center for Christians in Tikrit, and was famous for the seat of the East Mafriyat. It was regularly attended by Christians until the thirteenth century. The Feast Day of Saint Mark is on the 25th of April
Monastery of Saint Elian
An old archaeological monastery, the Monastery of Saint Elian is in the town of Al-Qaryatayn, in the southern countryside of Homs. The monastery contains within it the remains of Saint Elian of Homs, who was martyred during the Roman persecutions of the third century. A Byzantine-style church was built in the monastery and decorated with columns of marble.
During the reign of ISIS, the terrorist Islamist regime, the monastery was attacked on the 6th of August, 2015. ISIS used bulldozers and bombs to destroy this great monument of faith under the pretext that the monastery was not worshipping Allah. Recently the Syriac Catholic Eparchy of Homs has started to rebuild the church. The Feast Day of Saint Elian is on the 6th of February.
Monastery of John of Dailam
This is a Syriac monastery, located around 3km from the Town of Bakhdida in the state of Nineveh in Iraq. The monastery derives it traditions from Mor John Dailam, who served in the town of Bakhdida throughout the 7th century. The earliest recorded mention of the monastery is found in ancient manuscripts from the 9th century. This monastery was subject to many attacks over the years, all its monks were killed, and the monastery was burned down. In 1998, the Eparchy rebuilt the monastery, and its doors have been open to visitors. The Feast Day of Mor John of Dailam is on the last Friday of March.
Monastery of Saint Mark
Within the walls of the old town of the city of Jerusalem, in the Armenian district and right next to the Church of St Thomas, lies this old monastery. It name is derived from a tradition, which tells us that this is the house of Mary, the Mother of John Mark, who was the disciple of St Peter the Apostle, and the travel companion of St Paul in some of his trips. The monastery and the church have maintained their historical simplicity, and it is this vestigial antiquarianism, which inspires spiritual wonder and awe. The Feast Day of Saint Mark is on the 25th of April.
Monastery of Mor Augin
The monastery of Mar Augi, or of Mar Eugen the Evangelist, is in Mount Isla (the Eternal Refuge) in the Nusaybin region in the state of Mardin in south-eastern Turkey, near the border with Syria. This monastery was built in the first half of the fourth century, when Mar Augin, a Coptic monk from the Coptic countries (Egypt), along with seventy of his Egyptian disciples, came to preach Christianity in the region of Nusaybin and its outskirts. Where the region was then affiliated with the Persian state. Large parts of it were still afflicted by magic, paganism, and idolatry. They converted to Christianity at the hands of Mor Augi. The Feast Day of Mor Augi is on the 31st of April.
Monastery of Saint Ephrem – Alshbany
Considered the oldest of the Syriac Catholic monasteries in Lebanon, this monastery was constructed on a hill at the foot of the town of Chaniyeh in 1705. Its name is derived from the abundant spring of water located next to it. This monastery was constructed by zealous and faithful young men from Aleppo and Mardein, who endured great tribulations and persecutions, in order that it might be a place for the cultivation of virtue, knowledge and wisdom. This monastery was burned and demolished, and its monks killed in 1860. It is still being restored till this day through the efforts of the Patriarchate. The Feast Day of Saint Ephrem is on the 18th of June.
Monastery of Mor Gabriel
One of the oldest Syriac monasteries in the world, it is estimated that the Monastery of Mor Gabriel was built in 397 A.D., in the town of Tur Abdin in southern Turkey, by two Syriac monks called Samual and Samson, who were laid to rest, respectively, in 409 and 433 AD. The site is considered one of the most important in Syriac spirituality. The monastery holds many rare artifacts from the 5th and 6th centuries. These include, among many more, Byzantine mosaics and vases. The monastery has survived many catastrophic wars and cataclysmic disasters, which have afflicted the region. The Feast Day of Saint Gabriel is on the 31st of August.
Monastery of Mor Hananyo
The Monastery of Mar Hanania, or the Monastery of Saffron is in the state of Mardin in Turkey, on the borders of Qamishli in Syria. The construction of the monastery dates to pre-Christian times, where it is believed that it was a huge fortress from the Roman era. The monastery was established at the end of the fourth century, when Saint Ananias, a monk from the Monastery of Saint Matthew, bought it and transformed it into a monastery, and planted vines and olives within it when he was the Bishop of Mardin and its dependent jurisdictions. From the fifteenth century until the twentieth century, it was called the monastery of “Cormo” - a Syriac word meaning “saffron” - since this plant was present throughout this region and was used as food and medicine. The Feast Day of Mor Hananyo is on the 26th of August.
Mar Mattai Monastery
An archaeological wonder, this monastery is located 35km north-west of the city of Mosul in Iraq, on the summit of Mount Alfaf. It is 2100m above sea level, and is considered one of the most popular sites of pilgrimage in Iraq. The monastery was founded by Mor Matti, a famous Syriac Catholic hermit of the 4th century. After its founding, many thousands from the neighbouring region and from Nineveh, including monks, hermits and people afflicted with autism, ascended the mountain. This is the reason why the mountain is called "Alfaf" (which means "thousands"). It is also called "Maqlub" (which means "upside down"), due to the position of its rocks. The monastery contains a church and several hermitages for the monks, and has a large wall surrounding it. The road leading to the church was later paved. It is called "Tabaky", which is a Syriac word meaning "little hill". Many enemies of Our Lord and Our Church have attempted to burn the monastery down; they have, however, been thwarted, and the monastery remains till this day. The Feast Day of Mor Matti is on the 18th of September.
Monastery of Our Lady of Deliverance
This monastery is located on the summit which overlooks the towns of Daroun and Harissa. It was founded by his Beatitude Patriarch Ignatius Michael III Jarwa on the 22nd of September 1786. It was he who dedicated the monastery to Our Lady of Deliverance, acknowledging Our Lady’s divine assistance and recognising the beauty of the Blessed Virgin, who had aided the Patriarch countless times and helped him escape mortal danger and death. The Patriarchal Monastery of the Syriac Catholic Church is not only the residence of our Patriarch, but is also considered the soul of the Antiochian Syriac Catholic Church. This is because it is a beacon of priestly and monastic education, and because of its famous library, which is rich in manuscripts and books. The monastery's ancient printing press is another of its prominent features. The monastery is also surrounded by large farmlands, which are cultivated by the Ephremite monks. The Feast Day of Our Lady of Deliverance is on the 15th of August.
Monastery of St. Moses the Abyssinian
The Monastery of Saint Moses the Abyssinian is an old Syriac Monastery which follows the Syriac Catholic Church in its rites. The monastery derives its name from Saint Moses, who left Carthage and migrated to Syria. The monastery is about 80km north of the city of Damascus and about 15km from the city of Nabak, in the Qalamun Mountains of Syria. It is about 1320 metres above sea level. According to certain inscriptions on the wall of the monastery, the current church was built in 1058 A.D. The Feast Day of Saint Moses the Abyssinian is on the 28th of August.
Monastery of the Martyrs Behnam and Sarah
This is a Syriac Catholic Monastery which lies in the state of Nineveh in Northern Iraq. It lies 14km south of the Town of Bakhdid, and about 30km south of the city of Mosul. The monastery dates to the 4th Century AD, when the Assyrian Prince, Mor Behnam, and his sister, the Princess Sarah, became Christians, along with forty of their friends, by the hands of Mor Matti the Syriac. When their father, King Sanhareeb, became aware of their conversion, he ordered that they all be executed. The repentant king would later embrace Christianity, and commission the building of the monastery as a penance for his sins. This we know through the story of the martyrdom of Mor Behnam. This monastery is considered one of the most important religious sites in Iraq, and is visited by Christians and Muslims alike. The Feast Day of Mor Behnam and Sarah is on the 10th of December.