June 11 - Blessed Ignazio Maloyan

Son of Melkon and Faridé Maloyan. Studied at the convent of Bzommar-Lebanon where he was ordained on 6 August 1896. Member of the Bzommar Institute. Took the name of Ignatius in remembrance of Saint Ignatius of Antioch. Parish priest in Alexandriaand Cairo, Egypt from 1897 to 1910. Assistant to Patriarch Boghos Bedros XII in 1904, but respiratory health problems forced his return to Egypt. Dispatched to the diocese of Mardin to restore order and discipline. Archbishop of Mardin on 22 October 1911, working with the Armenian Catholic minority. Encouraged the devotion to the Sacred Heart.

At the outbreak of World War I, Armenians in Turkey, especially Christians, became the target of persecutions. On 30 April 1915 a group of Turkish soldiers surrounded theArmenian Catholic Bishopric and church in Mardin, claiming it was used to hide weapons. On 3 June 1915, Turkish soldiers arrested Bishop Maloyan along with many otherArmenian Catholic priests and laymen. In court, chief of the police Mamdooh Bek orderedbishop Maloyan to convert to Islam; the bishop declined, and was beaten, tortured,chained, and imprisoned. On 10 June 1915, Ignazio and over 400 other Christians, including fourteen priests, were force marched into the desert. When they stopped,bishop Ignazio celebrated an impromptu liturgy with scraps of bread; the group was thenmurdered. The bishop was the last to die. At the last minute, Mamdooh Bek again demanded that Ignazio convert to Islam; when the bishop refused, Bek shot him.