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The Rev. Edoardo Tamer, Who Ministered to Syrians in Battle, Dies at 83


This obituary is a part of a sequence about individuals who have died within the coronavirus pandemic. Examine others here.

BEIRUT, Lebanon — As combating within the civil battle in Syria tore via neighborhoods within the metropolis of Aleppo, the Roman Catholic authorities provided the Rev. Edoardo Tamer, a Franciscan friar who had lived in a monastery there for a few years, an opportunity to get out for his personal security.

He declined.

“He mentioned, ‘I’ll dwell right here and I’ll die right here if that’s what occurs,’” mentioned the Rev. Firas Lutfi, the Franciscan regional minister for Syria, Lebanon and Jordan. “He determined to remain in Aleppo throughout this very important scenario.”

Father Tamer survived the battle however fell sick with Covid-19 this summer season. He died of the illness in Aleppo on Aug. 12 at 83.

Father Tamer spent most of his life within the Franciscan order, serving as an educator, translator and minister to Catholic communities in Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt, Israel, the Palestinian territories and eventually Syria.

He was born Romanos Tamer on Could 5, 1937, within the village of Sir El Danniyeh in northern Lebanon, the place his father, Boutros Tamer, had a store and a workshop that made wood containers for fruit. His mom, Kamleh Fayad, helped her husband with the enterprise.

Father Tamer, a Maronite Catholic, set his sights on the non secular life in childhood. “He was satisfied that he was known as from God to be a friar and particularly a Franciscan,” Father Lutfi mentioned.

Father Tamer started his monastic calling in 1956 as a 19-year-old novice within the Friary of St. Catherine in Bethlehem, within the West Financial institution, taking the title Edoardo. Three years later, he took vows of poverty, chastity and obedience in becoming a member of the Order of Friars Minor, based by St. Francis of Assisi within the early thirteenth century.

That dedicated him to a lifetime of simplicity and itinerant service, usually to the poor, a dedication represented by the easy brown gown and cord belt worn by the friars. He was ordained a priest in Jerusalem in 1965 and earned a license in theology three years later on the College of Saint Joseph in Beirut.

Over the subsequent 4 many years he held positions at faculties, schools and parishes, together with these in Harissa, Lebanon; Amman, Jordan; Latakia, Syria; Alexandria, Egypt; and Jericho, within the West Financial institution.

His survivors embody two brothers, Joseph and Antoun.

Father Tamer was transferred to the Monastery of Saint Anthony of Padua in Aleppo, Syria’s largest metropolis, in 2007. It was the place he would stay, serving for intervals because the superior and the director of the parish recreation heart.

Father Lutfi recalled that Father Tamer preferred to listen to confession in an effort to give folks “hope and peace.” He was expert at translating non secular texts from Italian into Arabic, most notably “The Mind’s Road to God,” a medieval treatise on spirituality by Saint Bonaventure.

Civil battle in Syria broke out in 2011, resulting in a bombing marketing campaign by the Syrian authorities and its Russian allies in opposition to armed rebels that destroyed whole neighborhoods in Aleppo. Town’s Christians, lengthy a small minority and divided amongst totally different sects, emigrated in giant numbers in the course of the battle. Estimates of the variety of remaining Catholics are within the hundreds.

However Father Tamer insisted on remaining, celebrating Mass, welcoming guests and at occasions taking in folks looking for refuge from the combating.

“It was his choice to remain and proceed his service regardless of the bombardment and the battle and illness,” Father Lutfi mentioned. “It was his mission to be beside individuals who endure.”