Flavianus Michael Malke
Flavianus Michael Malke
|Eparch of the Diocese of Gazireh|
|In office||19 January 1913 - 28 August 1915|
|Predecessor||Julius Behnam Aqrawi|
|Ordination||13 May 1883|
by Ignatius George V Shelhot
|Consecration||19 January 1913|
by Ignatius Ephrem II Rahmani
|Birth name||Ya'Qūb Melkī|
Kalat’ül Mara, Ottoman Empire
(now in Turkey)
|Died||29 August 1915 (aged 55–56)|
Cizre, Ottoman Empire
(now in Turkey)
|Feast day||29 August|
|Title as Saint||Blessed|
|Beatified||29 August 2015|
by Cardinal Angelo Amato
Flavianos Michael Melke (Syriac: ܦܠܒܝܐܢܘܣ ܡܝܟܐܝܠ ܡܠܟܝ, Flavyānus Mikhayil Malké), born Ya'Qūb Melkī; (1858 – 29 August 1915) to an Aramean christian family was an Eastern Catholic prelate of the Brothers of Saint Ephrem. He became the Syrian Catholic eparch of Gazarta (modern Cizre). Malke was killed in Gazarta during the Armenian genocide after he refused to convert to Islam.
On 8 August 2015, Pope Francis approved his beatification after he determined that Malke was killed in hatred of the faith. He was beatified on 29 August 2015, the centenary of his martyrdom. He was one of well known Aramean victims of the genocide of 1915.
Malke was an Aramean. He was born in Kalat’ül Mara, a village to the east of Mardin, Turkey, in the Ottoman Empire. He belonged to an Aramean family which hails from Kharput. In 1868 Malke joined the Saffron Monastery where he studied Aramaic, Arabic and Turkish beside theology. He was consecrated a deacon in 1878 and a secretary of the library and a teacher in the monastery's school.
He leaned towards Catholicism and subsequently joined the Syriac Catholic Charafe Monastery school spending four years. He was ordained a priest in Aleppo on 13 May 1883 and was assigned to various villages in Tur Abdin. His church and house were sacked and burned during the massacres of 1895 which also led to the murder of many members of his parish including his mother. The following years he served as a visiting priest in several sacked villages in Tur Abdin where he helped with the rebuilding efforts. Due to his works, Malke was ordained Chorbishop in 1897 and vice bishop of Mardin and Gazarta. In 19 Januari 1913 he was consecrated a bishop together with the future patriarch Gabriel Tappuni in Beirut.
In the summer of 1915, during the height of the Armenian Genocide, in the rural region Tur Abdin, Malke, who was in Azakh at the time, returned to Gazarta upon hearing news of an impending massacre against the Christians there and refused to flee despite being advised so by local Muslim leaders. He was arrested by Ottoman authorities on 28 August 1915, alongside the Chaldean bishop of the city, Philippe-Jacques Abraham. According to Muslim eyewitnesses they were given choice between death or conversion to Islam the next day, upon their refusal, Jacques Abraham was immediately shot dead, Michael Malke was beaten until he became unconscious and was afterwards beheaded.
On 8 August 2015 his beatification was approved after Pope Francis determined that Melki was killed in hatred of his faith. Cardinal Angelo Amato - on behalf of the pope - presided over the beatification in Lebanon on 29 August 2015.
- "Pope approves decree of martyrdom". Vatican Radio. 8 August 2015. Retrieved 11 August 2015.
- "Bishop Flavien-Michel Malké". catholic-hierarchy.org. Retrieved March 29, 2012.
- تعيين سيادة المطران مار يوليوس ميخائيل الجميل مدافعا في الفاتيكان في قضية تطويب خادم الله المطران فلابيانوس ميخائيل ملكي (in Arabic). Bakhdida.net. Retrieved March 29, 2012.
- كرسي أبرشية ماردين (in Arabic). Archbishopric of Syrian Catholic Church in Aleppo. Retrieved March 29, 2012.
- "افتتاح التحقيق في دعوى تطويب المطران الشهيد ميخائيل ملكي". Syriac Catholic Patriarchy. Retrieved April 21, 2012.
- "1915". Hagiography Circle. Retrieved April 21, 2012.
- "الكنيسة السريانية الكاثوليكية تختتم التحقيق الأبرشي في دعوى تطويب المطران الشهيد مار فلابيانوس ميخائيل ملكي". Syriac Catholic Patriarchy. Retrieved February 11, 2013.