Life of Abba Ezra, Abbot of St Merqoriewos (Mercurius) and Ambiguity on his Demise
OCP News Service – 09/03/2023
Asmara – Eritrea: Abba Ezra, Abbot of St Merqoriewos (Mercurius) entered into enteral rest on February 15, 2023.
Abba Ezra was born as ZeriaHawaryat to KbreAb and Tsehaytu in 1976. He attended his academic school and finished 11th grade. After this, the love of spirituality burn his heart and with no one’s influence he stopped his academic school and started learning at his village’s church and later went to Debre Bizen Monastery. He was later ordained a Deacon in 1997. Abba Ezra went around the monasteries and from Father GebreEgziabhier of Debre Dmah Monastery of Abune Merqoriewos (Mercurius) he learned the hymns. He continued learning under father Berhe the great scholar Ge’ez Poem and graduated in 2004.
He received the rank of a monk from Qomos (Abbott) Abba Ouqubamikaiel and he started teaching in 2004 until he passed away. In his service of 19 years, 5 thousand Poetic students graduated from him and a few graduated to teaching ranks.
Abba Ezra received his priesthood from Abune Diyoscoros (4th Patriarch of Eritrea) and in 2021 he was elected to be the Abbott of Debre Dmah Abune Merqoriewos (Mercurius).
The controversy around his demise:
It is said that “ On 15th February 23 Father Ezra went to a hospital in Mendefera and at noon at the age of 47 he fell asleep in the Lord, he was buried in Debre Dmah Monastery.” This was released by Lisan Tewahdo, the Eritrean Orthodox Tewahdo Church official website. Site: Lisan Tewahdo https://lisantewahdo.org/index.php/2019-09-27-19-45-59/2019-09-30-10-44-29/item/1629-2023-02-27-09-39-18
- He was stubbed while staying at the monastery property house located in the city of Mendefera.
- Other monks were on this Church property too.
- Those who were with Abba Ezra started rumors that “our father killed himself”.
- Abba Ezra didn’t show any sign that would indicate self-harm, this was seen by the eyewitness.
- His burial service was rushed so the body couldn’t be examined.
(Above updates were made from Asmara and would like to remain anonymous)
Things that weren’t mentioned:
- In December 2006, the day of the annual feast of the monastery: one monk and 56 priests and deacons were taken away by the government but Abba Ezra opposed this. For this reason, he was heavily beaten and persecuted.
- Abba Ezra participated in the burial of his holiness Abune Anthony 3rd Patriarch and for this, he received a lot of persecution from the Synod and his monastery. He was fined 15 thousand Nakfa and threats to remove his teaching position were made.
O Lord may your servant Abba Ezra rest in peace and give peace to Your Church.
OCP News Service