Abd-al-Masih (martyr)

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This article is about the Christian saint. For other uses, see Abdul Masih.
Feast October 3

Abd-al-Masih (or Abda) is the name of two Christian martyrs of the middle ages.

One, of unknown date but later canonised as a saint, was a converted Jewish youth who was killed by his father for his faith. The story is set in Singara and is a Syriac text with later versions in Arabic and Armenian.[1] There is disagreement about the location of his martyrdom. Some sources say Singar in Iraq near the Syrian border, and others say Taglibis in Arabia. He is regarded as the patron saint of sterile women in Syria, and has his feast day observed on July 13, and July 22 or October 3.[2]

Another medieval martyr was 'Abd al-Masih, also known as Qays al-Ghassani. He died in the 9th century, during a wave of conversions to Islam. His death was recorded in a 10th-century manuscript now belonging to Saint Catherine's Monastery.[3]


  1. ^ This text was the subject of the PhD thesis of Michael L. Morris, University of Southampton, 2009.
  2. ^ Holweck, F. G. A Biographical Dictionary of the Saints. St. Louis, MO: B. Herder Book Co., 1924.
  3. ^ Obscure text, illuminating conversation: reading The Martyrdom of 'Abd al-Masih (Qays al-Ghassani).

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