ܕܡܪܥܝܬܐ ܕܐܘܚܕ̈ܢܐ ܡܥܪ̈ܒܝܐ ܕܐܡܝܪܟܐ
|Mor Tuma Harqaloyo, Metropolitan of Mabugh (Menbej), June 26|
Mor Tuma Harqaloyo (d. 627?)
Tuma Harqaloyo (Thomas of Heraclea) is one of the most distinguished and profound learned men, a thorough and prolific writer who attained the peak of the art of literature, and became the master of both subject and form. He belongs to Harqal, a village in Palestine. Studied at the Monastery of Qinnesrin and mastered the Syriac and Greek languages. He became a monk at the Monastery of Tar'eel (ܬܪܥ ܐܝܠ) and was ordained a metropolitan of Mabugh in the last decade of the sixth century. He was persecuted by Domitian, the Malkite bishop of Melitene, supported by the authority of his brother-in-law King (Emperor) Maurice, and escaped to Egypt in 599, but later returned to his diocese. He went to Egypt for the second time during the Persian expedition against Syria and Palestine and resided at a monastery at the Enaton (or Nine-Mile stone) in the neighborhood of Alexandria. At this monastery, he undertook the revision of the Syriac version of the New Testament of PhiloxenusPolycarp which he collated with four accurate Greek copies, thus producing in 616 A.D. a Biblical version known as the Heraclean version, which overshadowed other versions and whose quality has been unanimously recognized by scholars.
Thomas exerted great efforts in order to produce this Biblical version which immortalized his name. This version spread through the libraries in the East and in the West, and was also used in the Church service. In the Book of Psalms at the Oxford library, we read a note that these psalms were first translated in the time of the Apostle Addai, translated again by Philoxenus of Mabugh, and later by Bishop Thomas of Harqal at Alexandria. Thomas also assisted Athanasius I in holding the unity agreement with the Church of Alexandria, and visited the Emperor Heraclius with him at Mabugh in 627. He also drew up an alphabetically arranged liturgy in ten pages beginning with "Eternal and compassionate Lord," and translated into Syriac the liturgies of Dionysius the Areopagite, Basil, Gregory Nazianzen and John Chrysostom. The year of his death is not known, but the Church commemorates him on the 26th of June. (History of Syriac Literature and Sciences, Patriarch Ignatius Ephrem I Barsoum, Presseggiata Press, p 105)