U.S. Soldiers Repairing a Monastery

Fascinating story from the NY Times about St. Elijah’s monastery in Iraq. A few quotes of note —

The sergeant is a nurse, the senior noncommissioned officer at the combat hospital here on Marez, but either by coincidence or higher purpose, he is also a master stone mason, experienced in historic preservation back home.

“We stand in a long line of people who bequeathed the faith to us,” said Maj. Jeffrey Whorton, a Roman Catholic chaplain, presiding over Mass in the monastery the other day, attended by three camouflaged soldiers, their rifles leaning in a corner.

The monastery is believed to date from the late 500s, when Elijah, an Assyrian monk, traveled from what is now Turkey. It later became part of the Chaldean Catholic Church. …

In 1743, a Persian king swept through the area and ordered the monks to convert to Islam. They chose instead to die. In a violent place where Christians are still targets, most recently in bombings this week that struck two churches in Mosul, St. Elijah’s history resonates.

“May I be committed like those who lived here and perished instead of denouncing their faith,” Maj. Julian L. Padgett, a Baptist chaplain, prayed after leading soldiers and contractors on the weekly Friday tour of the monastery.

About Jay F Guin

My name is Jay Guin, and I’m a retired elder. I wrote The Holy Spirit and Revolutionary Grace about 18 years ago. I’ve spoken at the Pepperdine, Lipscomb, ACU, Harding, and Tulsa lectureships and at ElderLink. My wife’s name is Denise, and I have four sons, Chris, Jonathan, Tyler, and Philip. I have two grandchildren. And I practice law.
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One Response to U.S. Soldiers Repairing a Monastery

  1. Matthew says:

    This is a really cool story.

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