His Holiness, Mar Benyamin Shimun XXI (1887-1918)
Posted: Monday, April 05, 2010 at 03:25 PM UT
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 Catholic 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 1689.
Mar Benyamin Shimun was tricked and assassinated while on a peace mission, by the devious and cowardice Simko (a Kurdish leader). 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 people which he loved so dearly, and led during the times of crisis, achieve their God given rights of self determination and security in a 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 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).