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Ignace Antony I Samhiri

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Mar Ignace Antony I Samhiri
Patriarch of Antioch
Church Syriac Catholic Church
See Patriarch of Antioch
Enthroned 8 December 1853
Reign ended 16 June 1864
Predecessor Ignace Peter VII Jarweh
Successor Ignace Philip I Arqous
Personal details
Birth name Antony Samhiri
Born 3 November 1801
Mosul, Iraq
Died 16 June 1864
Mardin, Turkey
Residence Mardin

Mar Ignace Antony I Samhiri (or Antun Semheri , Samhery, 1801–1864), a converted bishop from the Syrian Orthodox Church, was Patriarch of the Syrian Catholic Church from 1853 to 1864.


Antony Samhiri was born on 3 November 1801 in Mosul in a Syrian Orthodox family. He was ordained priest on 15 August 1822 and consecrated coadjutor bishop of Mardin in January 1826 by the Syrian Orthodox Patriarch Ignatius George V.[1]

In the Dayr al-Zafaran monastery he found books about the Catholic Church and he took into the Catholic faith. He spoke with his Patriarch who said him to take time, but on 17 March 1828, with Grégorios Issa Mahfouz bishop of Jerusalem and one hundred fifty families, Antony Samhiri formally joined the Syrian Catholic Church. For this act he was imprisoned and humiliated for eight months, till a payment of a ransom to the local Ottoman authority.[2] In 1840 he was appointed patriarchal vicar for the Melkite community in Amid.

He was elected Patriarch of the Syrian Catholic Church on 30 November 1853, enthroned on 8 December 1853, and early in 1854 he traved to Rome where Pope Pius IX personally invested him on 7 March 1854.

From Rome Antony Samhiri went in France (he was the godfather of Louis Napoléon), Belgium and Netherlands to raise funds. After two years of traveling in Europe Rome urged him to return to his flock,[3] where he financed the building of many churches.

He died in Mardin on 16 June 1864.[4] The present bishops of the Syrian Catholic Church derive their apostolic succession from him.


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