Balai of Qenneshrin
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Balai of Qenneshrin (Died ca 450 A.D.) was a Syriac saint who lived in Qinnasrin in northern Syria during the 5th century. He was originally a native of Edessa who later moved to Qinnasrin after being ordained a monk. A collection of sermons is attributed to him as well as a number of hymns found in the Beth Gazo, a Syriac liturgical book without which clerics belonging to the West Syriac Tradition cannot perform their liturgical duty. The book is considered a reference of Syriac Hymnody and contains a collection of Syriac chants and melodies. The bulk of the hymns are attributed to Ephrem the Syrian, but the origin of Beth Gazo can be traced back to the early centuries of Christianity going as far as 150 A.D.
The below quotes are from Balai of Qenneshrin, Poems (ed. and tr. Zetterstéen, Beiträge zur Kenntnis, D and 17).
Balai of Qenneshrin, Poems (ed. and tr. Zetterstéen, Beiträge zur Kenntnis der religiösen Dichtung Balai’s, 2)
- 12 memre on the patriarch Joseph
- Hymns of Balai
Quotes and Excerpts:
ܐܶܡܶܗ ܕܡܳܪܰܢ ܥܠܰܝܟܝ ܗ̱ܘܽ ܣܰܒܪܰܢ ܫܰܪܺܝܪܳܐܺܝܬ. ܕܫܳܡܰܥ ܗ̱ܘܽ ܠܶܟܝ ܝܰܠܕܶܟܝ ܦܰܐܝܳܐ ܒܰܣܺܝܡܳܐܺܝܬ܀
Mother of our Lord, we put our trust in you truly, since Your majestic Son listens to you kindly.
ܠܳܟ ܬܶܫܒܘܽܚܬܳܐ ܒܕܘܽܟܪܳܢ ܐܶܡܳܟ ܠܳܐ ܣܰܒܥܳܐܺܝܬ. ܒܰܪ ܐܰܠܳܗܳܐ ܕܚܰܝܶܠ ܣܳܗ̈ܕܰܘܗ̱ܝ ܐܰܬܠܺܝܛܳܐܺܝܬ܀
To You be glory on the day of Your mother’s memorial unceasingly, Son of God, who strengthened His martyrs
ܐܳܘ ܡܝܰܩܰܪܬܳܐ ܬܳܝ ܩܘܽܡܝ ܒܰܐܦܶܝ̈ܗ݀ ܕܰܡܚܺܝܠܘܽܬܰܢ. ܘܰܒܛܰܝܒܘܽܬܳܐ ܢܺܐܚܶܐ ܥܰܡܶܟܝ ܒܰܨ̈ܠܰܘܳܬܶܟܝ܀
O blessed Mary, come and be the protection of our weakness that we may live in grace with you through your prayers.
ܐܳܘ ܩܰܕܺܝ̈ܫܶܐ ܗܘܰܘ ܠܰܢ ܚܰܒܪ̈ܶܐ … ܪܰܚ̈ܡܶܐ. ܩܘܽܡܘ ܒܰܨܠܘܽܬܳܐ ܘܰܒܟܺܐܢܘܽܬܳܐ
O holy ones, be our companions, [lacuna] mercy. Persevere in prayer and righteousness before God.
ܩܘܽܡܘ ܒܰܨܠܘܽܬܳܐ ܣܳܗ̈ܕܶܐ ܥܰܡܰܢ ܓܰܢ̱ܒܳܪܳܐܺܝܬ. ܘܰܛܪܘܽܕ ܠܒܺܝܫܳܐ ܕܗܳܐ ܡܰܐܟܶܐ ܠܰܢ ܐܰܡܺܝܢܳܐܺܝܬ܀
Help us fervently with prayer, martyrs (literally confessors), and expel the Evil One, since, behold, he constantly harms us.
ܩܪܺܝ ܠܥܰܢܺܝ̈ܕܶܐ ܘܰܐܩܺܝܡ ܐܶܢܘܽܢ ܦܳܩܘܽܕܐܺܝܬ. ܒܰܪ ܐܰܠܳܗܳܐ ܕܢܘܽܚܳܡܳܐ ܐܰܢ̱ܬ ܫܰܪܺܝܪܳܐܺܝܬ܀
Call the departed and raise them by way of command, Son of God, since You are truly the Resurrection.
ܕܘܽܟܪܳܢܶܗ ܕܬܐܘܽܡܰܐ. ܢܶܗܘܶܐ ܠܒܘܽܪ̈ܟܳܬܳܐ. ܘܰܨܠܘܽܬܶܗ ܬܶܗܘܶܐ. ܫܘܽܪܳܐ ܠܢܰܦ̈ܫܳܬܰܢ܀
May the commemoration of [Saint] Thomas be blessings [to us] and his prayer a bulwark to our souls.
ܠܰܐܬܪܳܐ ܕܗܶܢܕܘܽ ܐܶܫܬܰܕܰܪ ܗ̱ܘܳܐ ܬܐܘܽܡܰܐ ܫܠܺܝܚܳܐ. ܘܰܐܝ̱ܟ ܒܰܪ ܓܶܢܣܳܐ ܡܒܰܝܰܐ ܗ̱ܘܳܐ ܠܶܗ ܡܫܺܝܚܳܐ ܪܳܥܝܶܗ܀
The Apostle Thomas was sent to the land of India, and Christ, his Shepherd, comforted him as a human being.
ܐܳܘ ܥܰܢܺܝ̈ܕܶܐ ܥܳܡܪ̈ܰܝ ܩܰܒܪ̈ܶܐ ܩܢܰܘ ܒܘܽܝܳܐܳܐ. ܣܒܰܪܬܳܐ ܥܠܰܝܟܘܽܢ ܕܗܳܐ ܢܘܽܚܳܡܐ ܒܬܰܪܥܳܐ ܩܳܐܶܡ܀
O departed, tomb-dwellers, be comforted. The Good News is upon you, since, behold, Resurrection is standing at the door.
ܫܘܽܒܚܳܐ ܠܰܐܒܳܐ ܕܰܓܒܳܗ݀ ܠܡܰܪܝܰܡ ܡܶܢ ܟܽܠ ܫܰܪ̈ܒܳܢ. ܘܣܶܓܕܬܳܐ ܠܰܒܪܳܐ ܕܚܰܝܠܶܗ ܟܰܣܝܳܐ ܫܪܶܐ ܒܩܰܕܺܝ̈ܫܶܐ܀
Glory be to the Father, Who chose Mary among all generations, and worship be to the Son, Whose hidden power dwells in the holy ones.
ܐܰܝܢܳܐ ܕܰܐܚܒܶܗ ܠܨܰܘܡܳܐ ܟܽܠܙܒܰܢ ܘܶܐܬܓܰܐܺܝ ܒܶܗ. ܒܶܗ ܒܰܐܠܳܗܳܐ ܐܳܣܪܺܝܢ ܚܰܝ̈ܰܘܗ̱ܝ ܐܳܦ ܡܶܬܒܰܣܰܡ܀
The one who has always loved fasting and has [always] rejoiced in it, their lives are joined to God and they delight in Him.
ܬܶܣܓܘܽܕ ܥܺܕ̱ܬܳܐ ܠܰܐܒܳܐ ܕܟܰܠܠܳܗ݀ ܒܰܟܠܺܝܠ ܨܰܘܡܳܐ. ܘܢܰܘܕܘܽܢ ܝ̈ܰܠܕܶܝܗ݀ ܠܰܒܪܳܐ ܕܨܳܡ ܗ̱ܘܳܐ ܡܶܛܽܠܳܬܰܢ܀
May the Church worship the Father Who crowned her with the crown of fasting and her children give thanks unto the Son, who fasted for our sake.
ܦ̈ܘܽܡܶܐ ܕܰܐܘܕܺܝܘ ܒܳܟ ܆ ܘܰܐܟܠܘܽܟ ܘܐܶܫܬܺܝܘ ܕܡܳܟ ܆ ܥܰܡ ܥܺܝܪ̈ܶܐ ܢܶܩܥܘܽܢ ܆ ܫܘܽܒܚܳܐ ܒܡܶܐܬܺܝܬܳܟ ܀
The mouths that professed You, ate You and drank Your blood, shout with the angels, “Glory be upon Your coming!”
ܐܰܦܺܝܣ ܚܠܳܦ ܟܽܠܰܢ ܆ ܠܡܳܪܳܟ ܕܡܶܬܬܢܺܝܚ ܒܳܟ ܆ ܕܒܰܨܠܘܽܬܳܟ ܥܰܡܳܟ ܆ ܢܶܚܕܶܐ ܒܚܰܕܘܽܬܳܟ ܀
Pray, on our behalf, to your Lord, Who is pleased with you, so that, through your prayer, with you, we may rejoice in your gladness.
ܡܶܢ ܣܳܗ̈ܕܶܐ ܢܶܒܥܶܐ ܆ ܘܰܠܗܘܽܢ ܢܶܬܟܰܫܰܦ ܆ ܕܰܢܦܺܝܣܘܽܢ ܥܰܡܰܢ ܆ ܠܡܳܪܝܳܐ ܡܟܰܠܠܳܢܗܘܽܢ ܀
We beseech the martyrs and entreat them earnestly
to implore with us the Lord, who crowned them.
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