The archbishop of the Maronite Catholic Church narrowly — and miraculously — escaped serious injury or death on Jan. 8, when a bomb fell on his bed in Damascus, Syria.
And what makes the story even more notable is that Archbishop Samir Nassar was taking a nap right before the bomb hit. Now, he’s crediting a brief trip to the bathroom with saving his life, Catholic News Agency reported.
“A shell fell on my bed… when I had retired for a little siesta, a few seconds at the sink saved my life,” Nassar reportedly told Aid to the Church in Need, a nonprofit that works to amend persecution. “The bed was riddled with shrapnel.”
Despite surviving, Nassar’s house of worship is badly damaged and in need of new windows and doors, among other repairs. Now he, like so many other Syrians, is without a home.
“Providence watches over his little servant,” he said. “But now I am exiled like 12 million Syrian refugees who have nothing left.”
The archbishop said that the church’s staff were elated to see that he survived the bombing, as they assumed he was killed in the blast. According to Nassar, “they cried with joy” when he came out of the rubble alive.
The incident came as the Syrian civil war rages on nearly seven years after it first began in March 2011. More than 400,000 people have reportedly died in the conflict, with millions fleeing the country, CNN noted.
“Violence is the only master,” Nassar said. “Innocents are being sacrificed every day.”
Find out more about the ongoing conflict here.