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Damasco/ Damascus / Damas

Eglise Latine Saint Antoine
Rue du Parlement
P.O.B. 7680 – Salhieh
Damas – Syrie

Tel : +963.11.331.62.37
Fax: + 963.11.335.38.25



The Custody of the Holy Land in Syria

The Franciscans arrived in Damascus in 1223, in Aleppo in 1238 and Latakia in 1719: it should be noted that the Custody of the Holy Land is not lacking in experience when it comes to Syria. After the Second World War, a special effort was poured into education with the creation of schools for boys and girls, schools that were nationalized in 1967. The activity then focused on the sanctuaries (especially the Memorial of St Paul in Damascus, built by Pope Paul VI as an ecumenical center and visited by Pope John Paul II in 2001) and on the four parishes, two located in Damascus, one in Aleppo and the other one in Latakia. There are other places, including the missions in the villages of the Orontes Valley: Knayeh, Yacubieh, Ghassanieh and Jisr El Shoughour.


Throughout the ages, wars and persecutions in the Holy Land have not stopped the activities of the Custody: up to these days, in these hours, the Franciscans play an important role in the operations of humanitarian aid in favor of the population, both Christian and Muslim who suffers from the war.
(for more information, click here)


The Franciscans continue to be present to “help – in the words of the Fr. Pierbattista Pizzaballa, Custos of the Holy Land until August 2016 – who has lost everything, even hope.”


Hope that Monsignor Georges Abou Khazen, a Franciscan of the Holy Land now elected new Latin Apostolic Vicar of Aleppo, still has: “God was responsible for Paul’s conversion in Damascus from oppressor to preacher of the Gospel. His disciples were called Christians for the first time in Antioch, in Syria. He is able to protect his children and keep the flame of faith alight so that it can continue to be a sign of hope, of dialogue and of reconciliation”.


The Terra Sancta Organ Festival in Syria as a sign of peace and solidarity

The Custody of the Holy Land in Syria owns two beautiful pipe organs in Damascus (where a choir is present) and in Aleppo. Our parishioners have asked us to repair the organs so they can play them during the liturgies and, also, organize concerts. In other words, our Christians want to continue to cultivate the quality of their lives beyond the emergency, starting from the activities that take place in churches, related to faith and beauty. With a project coordinated by the Terra Sancta Organ Festival, in January 2016 the organ of the Church of St. Anthony in Damascus has been repaired and a series of  concerts celebrated the reparation works.


In Syria, the Terra Sancta Organ Festival is called the Damascus Pipe Organ Week and it is organized together with the Higher Institute of Music, and in collaboration with the Damascus Opera House.


In Syria  the Terra Sancta Organ Festival is the only international festival that is active in the country during the war, as a sign of solidarity that goes beyond the emergency situation. The initiative, which is being carried out for the second time around, is greatly appreciated. According to the Apostolic Nuncio to Syria, H.E. Card. Mario Zenari, “people need to find these moments of spiritual relief and music can help tremendously. We have heard too many rumors about wars, bombs, mortars falling on Damascus and this music frees us from these anxieties; it helps to elevate the soul and unites everyone in a language that requires no translation. There is a need for evenings like these and I hope that there will be others.”


What is the purpose of music in times of war? For Missak Baghdboudarian, the director of the Syrian National Symphony Orchestra, “war has taught us that life must go on and how important music is in times of war for society and for all of humanity. During war, we lose our positive side, our humanity. Only music manages to awaken the human part of our society and that is why we continue to work in spite of all of the challenges we encounter every day at every level. As musicians, our mission is to continue to work to keep society alive and to keep music alive in Syria.”






The Organ of the Church of St. Anthony in Damascus

Gebrueder Spaeth
Paepstl.. Hof lieferanten
Op. 481


1 Bourdon 16′
2 Montre 8′
3 Cor de chamois 8′
4 Oktave 4′
5 Flute à chaminée 4′
6 Fourniture 3-5 r


7 Bourdonne à cheminée 8′
8 Salicional 8′
9 Unda maris 8′
10 Dolkan 4′
11 Flute à pointe 4′
12 Cornet 3-4 r
13 Trompette 8′


14 II – I
15 II – P.
16 I – P.
17 II – I 4′
18 II – I 16′


19 Bourdon-basse 16′
20 Soubbasse 16′
21 Octavebasse 8′
22 Gedackt-basse 8′




Terra Sancta Organ Festival