Identity of Syriac Bishop established
Sometime back, The Washington Post published an image gallery on the theme “Once Upon a Time in Syria”, featuring pictures from that country dated early 20th century. Image No.5 in the gallery was that of a Syriac bishop.
This got a few of us curious about the identity of the bishop. Now help has come from Dr. David Gaunt, Professor emeritus of History, Centre for Baltic and East European Studies, Södertörn University. He has forwarded this explanation provided by his student Hanna Beth-Sawoce. The image is that of Bishop Iwannis Elias Halluleh of Jerusalem (April 27, 1900, Library of Congress Photo).
Halluleh was bishop of Jerusalem from 1896-1906 and oversaw the building of the ‘Patriarchate’ reception room (Baţrikxana-بطركخانه).
His birth name was Manşur. He was born in Mardin in 1855 and became a monk in 1875. He was consecrated bishop by Patriarch Peter III [IV] in 1886 and headed Dayro d Za’faran, the seat of the Patriarchate at the time.
He then became bishop of Syria in 1895 (at the time what is now Syria and Lebanon were one diocese with its center in Nabak, the H̱oms area).
Then he became a bishop of Jerusalem in 1896 until 1906.
Between 1923 and 1928, he was Patriarchal Vicar in Cairo after which he retired at St. Mark’s monastery in Jerusalem where he passed away on May 15, 1933.